Sign up for your FREE subscription to the Ceramic Arts Daily Newsletter and we will give you Design Tips and How-To Instructions for Handmade Ceramic Tile Projects Free!

Ceramic Decorating Techniques

Explore the possibilities of decorating ceramics with techniques used at the forming stage through final glazing and even post-firing methods. Interested in trying out terra sigillata techniques? You'll find recipes and techniques here. Have you always wanted to try your hand at raku firing? You can learn more about it here. Wondering what is possible with commercial glazes? Look no farther! We've gathered myriad articles on myriad ceramic decorating techniques here in one place. The possibilities of what can be done with clay, ceramic tools, materials and a little imagination are virtually endless, and you'll find even more inspiration in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore.

This tile was decorated with resist inlay and underglazes. The design was carved with a loop sgraffito tool and a dental tool.

Resist Inlay: A Simple Decorating Technique

Posted On September 29, 2008 2 Comments

I think we’ve all heard it said that the simplest solution is the best. And while I always make it a rule to never deal in absolutes, today’s tip does seem to prove this adage true. Brought to us by Sumi von Dassow, this surface-decoration technique involves just a few tools and materials that I’ll bet you already have in your studio. And like most simple techniques, a little experimentation can result in many new ways to add interest and depth to your work. But Sumi doesn’t stop there; she also includes some general tips for working with wax resist, and these will help you regardless of which wax technique you use. Enjoy!


Ceramic Decal Video: Applying Decals to Glazed Pottery and Ceramics

Posted On July 25, 2008 11 Comments

I thought a video demonstration of applying decals would be a nice follow up to Wednesday’s feature on decal paper. So in today’s Video Tip of the Week, Justin Rothshank demonstrates this process. Justin also explains how easy it is to make custom decals with a laser printer, which opens up all kinds of creative possibilities. Watch the video and then try it for yourself!  –Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


The Details on Decal Paper for Ceramics

Posted On July 23, 2008 17 Comments

In today’s feature, Philadelphia ceramic artist Paul Andrew Wandless gives a primer on using decals on ceramic work. Paul discusses the various options of decal papers that can be used on ceramics and pottery.


Pottery Decorating Video: Trimming and Glazing a Wire-Faceted Bowl Pt. 2

Posted On July 18, 2008 2 Comments

This week’s Video Tip of the Week is a follow-up video on trimming and glazing the wire-faceted bowls Mark Peters demonstrated last week. In today’s video, Mark shares a Cone 10 Temmoku glaze recipe and Randy Johnston’s flashing slip recipe, which he likes to use on these forms. We have also posted these recipes on the site so you don’t have to worry about jotting them down while watching the video. Enjoy! -Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

This simple paper-slip-transfer technique is a great way to add imagery to your pots.

Paper Slip Transfer onto Greenware: Paper Slip Transfer onto Greenware: A Simple Way to Add Imagery to Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture

Posted On July 7, 2008 2 Comments

Have you ever wanted to draw imagery on a vessel or sculpture, but been frustrated by the fact that the surface isn’t a flat piece of paper? Today, Paul Andrew Wandless shares his simple paper-slip-transfer technique, which can eliminate this frustration. It also can add a nice print-like quality to your work. Give it a try in your studio!

Potter Lisa Bare Culp demonstrates another method of altering soft thrown pots with bisque stamps.

Ceramics Decorating Video: Bisque Stamp Alterations

Posted On July 2, 2008 1 Comment

Today’s Video Tip of the Week is a good follow up to Mark Peters video from last week. Lisa Bare Culp demonstrates a similar technique to Mark’s stamped rim technique, but on a simple vase form. I think it can valuable to see similar techniques on different forms because each shape has its own challenges. Also, every artist does things a little differently and you can always learn from getting multiple perspectives. I hope this will get you thinking about other forms to tackle with bisque stamps.
-Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

This stoneware teapot shows the subtle twist created in the pattern when the stenciled slab was stretched.

Stenciled and Stretched: Ceramic Decorating Technique Offers a New Twist on Stenciling on Clay

Posted On April 16, 2008 0 Comments

Stencils can be a very effective means of applying repetitive surface decoration to ceramic surfaces, especially for the drawing impaired (like me). Ivoryton, Connecticut, ceramic artist Hayne Bayless takes stenciling one step farther in his hand built pottery. He takes advantage of clay’s malleability to stretch and alter his stenciled design before constructing his pieces. Today, author Scott Ruescher describes the stenciling and stretching process as he observed it on a visit to Hayne’s pottery studio. Maybe it will inspire a new twist in your work!

This wheel-thrown porcelain vase was carefully incised and fired to Cone 10 in reduction, by Ann Selberg.

Carving with Care: Tips for Incising and Glazing Pottery

Posted On April 9, 2008 2 Comments

I am a big fan of old buildings. I love the architectural details that are so often left out in more contemporary structures. Successfully incorporating architecturally inspired details into my clay work is something I have always wanted to do, but still have not quite worked out as well as I’d like. Portland, Oregon, ceramic artist Ann Selberg, however, does this extremely well. Her work is inspired by the architectural terra cotta and metal ornamentation on the buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, which she passed on daily walks while living in Chicago a few years back. Today, Ann shares her techniques for creating her precisely carved, beautifully glazed, architecturally inspired pots.

The interesting relief textures on this jar by Ryan McKerley, were made using the technique described here.

Wax and Water

Posted On March 19, 2008 0 Comments

Ryan McKerley shares his technique for creating his unique relief surfaces. These pots are not carved in the traditional sense. The patterns are created by painting melted Gulf Wax (parafin) onto the surface of a bone-dry vessel.