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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.


How to Create Vibrant Surfaces with Layered Slips and Sgraffito

Posted On April 3, 2015 6 Comments

When you look at Lana Wilson’s layered slip and sgraffito surfaces for the first time, you probably find yourself wondering, “wow, how did she do that?” It isn’t immediately obvious how she creates the intense colors and intricate patterns.


Well, wonder no more! In today’s video, an excerpt from her much-anticipated new video Handbuilding with Color and Texture, Lana walks us through her process. Enjoy! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Depth by 1000 Strokes: Terri Kern’s Meticulous Underglaze Decoration

Posted On April 1, 2015 33 Comments

I admit it. I completely lack the patience (and, since I am being honest here, I might as well just say it: skill!) to do detailed drawn decoration on my pots, so I am really awed when I see other potters pulling off intricate imagery. Such was the case when I saw Terri Kern’s work in the November 2010 issue of Ceramics Monthly. Today, I am sharing that recent Ceramics Monthly article so that you can all share my awe.


Creating Interesting Patterns with Underglazes, Sgraffito Techniques, and a Rolling Pin

Posted On February 16, 2015 3 Comments

Workshops and conferences are such fantastic ways to enrich your art making. You leave brimming with new ideas to try, and these ideas can then morph with your own way of working and take you in a whole new direction.

In today’s post, Tracy Gamble explains how after a week-long surface symposium, she blended two artists’ techniques to take her own work in a new direction.

For a printer-friendly version of this article, be sure to download your free copy of Five Great Pottery Decorating Techniques: A How-to Guide for Decorating Ceramic Surfaces!- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Three Beautiful Surface Decorations That Look Even Better Layered

Posted On January 16, 2015 2 Comments

I am in love with the surfaces Jen Allen’s pots (not to mention the forms!). While each of the techniques in today’s clip stands on its own beautifully, they are magnificent when combined.

In this clip, an excerpt from her new video Darted and Decorated, Jen shows how she creates a subtle brushstroke texture with an engobe, and then layers glaze-trailed patterns on top. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Magnificent Marbling: Using Colored Slips to Create Marbled Patterning on Pottery

Posted On January 14, 2015 29 Comments

Slip, glorious slip. This versatile liquid form of clay can be used in a multitude of different ways to create and embellish ceramic art. One such method involves using colored slips to create a marbleized look on pottery, which is reminiscent of Staffordshire-style English marbled slipware. In today’s post, Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter demonstrate this process..


How to Use Thin Sprigs and Carving to Add Surface Texture

Posted On December 17, 2014 2 Comments

Carving into a form is a great way to add imagery and texture to pottery. But Michell Swafford came up with a different twist on carved texture. She carves a design into a leather hard slab, then makes very thin sprigs from that carving, which she then adheres to the surface of her pots. She then takes the decoration a step farther by carving additional detail in the attached sprigs. Genius! Read on for the details! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor. ps. This post is excerpted from the January/February 2015 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. To learn the rest of the process, subscribe to PMI! 


Video of the Week: A Genius Handmade Tool for Making Lines on Pottery

Posted On December 12, 2014 53 Comments

One of my favorite handmade texture tools that Amy Sanders demonstrates on the DVD we filmed this past summer is what I like to call her “rolly line tools.” In today’s video, an excerpt from that technique-packed DVD, Amy demonstrates how to make and use these tools. So Simple, so smart.


Using Underglazes as Stains to Bring Out Texture

Posted On December 4, 2014 2 Comments

Screen printing on ceramic work can produce some pretty exciting surfaces. But combining screen printing with other surface techniques, like stamping and staining, can take it a step further. Jason Bige Burnett masterfully combines screen printing with other techniques in his work. In today’s post, he explains how he uses underglazes as stains, which gather in his stamped textures and add depth to his screen printed patterns. What’s great about using underglazes for this is that the color palette is practically limitless! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Finishing Details: The Intricate Glazing Techniques of Lindsay Scypta

Posted On December 3, 2014 2 Comments

Lindsay Scypta’s pots are intricately textured with stamps and sprigs and glazed with runny glazes that enhance these textures beautifully. All of this requires careful planning, which begins when the pots are still on the wheel. In today’s post, an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Lindsay explains her glazing process and shares one of her Cone 6 glaze recipes.


PS. Check out the December 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, to learn more about Lindsay’s stacking sets and see more images of her work.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Slipped, Altered, and Soda Fired with Brenda Lichman

Posted On November 24, 2014 4 Comments

For Brenda Lichman, form and surface go hand in hand. She accentuates her soft, simple forms with thick porcelain slip and then further accentuates the volume by pushing out from the inside. The results are forms that almost look like they have been froze mid-motion.


In today’s post, an excerpt from the December 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Brenda explains this process. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


PS. Make sure to check out the December 2014 issue Ceramics Monthly to read Brenda Lichman’s article discussing her functional work. Lichman also shares more information about her soda firing process, including slip and glaze recipes.