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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.


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.


Layer by Layer: Building Narrative Pottery Surfaces With Intricate Stencils, Slips, and Sgraffito

Posted On November 19, 2014 0 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from the May/June 2012 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Kip O’Krongly demonstrates how she uses those stencils, along with slips and sgraffito to make powerful pots that explore our relationship with our food system.


Lisa Orr Shares a Really Creative Way to Use Trailing Slip

Posted On November 17, 2014 6 Comments

Slip trailing is a fabulous technique for creating both visual and tactile decoration on pottery and ceramic sculpture. Most of the time, this technique involves trailing a design in slip onto a pot. In addition to slip trailing in the traditional way, Lisa Orr makes sweet little swirly patterns on cloth, lets them stiffen up, and then uses them to make fancy handles for the teeny tiny salt scoopers on her salt centerpieces.


In this excerpt from her new video, Lisa shares this process. I love everything about this technique, including the very idea of having a salt centerpiece as opposed to a salt shaker.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Cardboard Stencils and Colored Slips Add Imagery and Texture to Slabs

Posted On November 12, 2014 9 Comments

I love using stencils in my work. I’ve tried lots of different materials as stencils, but I had never thought to use cardboard. Karmien Bowman uses cardboard for stencils to create lively imagery as well as dimensionality on her slab built pottery. In today’s post, an excerpt from From a Slab of Clay, Daryl Baird explains Karmien’s process. Having dozens of clay tools is by no means a prerequisite for slab work. But, don’t be surprised as you work on your initial projects that you start looking at the utensils in your kitchen drawers or at the hand tools in your garage and find yourself thinking, “I wonder how those would work on clay?” If so, good for you!


Screen Printing and Stenciling Underglaze Designs on Curvy Pots

Posted On November 7, 2014 10 Comments

Today’s video clip didn’t quite fit onto the new Meredith Host DVD because we ran out of space. But I just couldn’t bear having it languish on the cutting room floor, so I decided to share it with you all today. As we all know, transferring two-dimensional designs onto a three-dimensional surface can be challenging – especially if that surface is curvy. In this clip, Meredith shows how she approaches screen printed and stenciled decoration on one of her curvy mugs. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.