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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.


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

Posted On March 28, 2012 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.

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2-D to 3-D: Using Image Transfer and Mishima Techniques to Make Drawings on Pottery

Posted On March 26, 2012 23 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from the November/December 2009 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Molly Hatch explains how she uses image transfer and Mishima techniques to create her drawings in clay. Plus she shares her slip and engobe recipes.

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The Perfect Cure for Cabin Fever: A Potter Shares a Cool Technique for Making Texture Stamps with Natural Objects

Posted On February 29, 2012 25 Comments

Woodstock, New York, ceramic artist Meg Oliver make simple plaster texture stamps out of found objects. To make the stamps she uses to create texture on her pottery, Meg usually takes a nice walk in the woods and picks up objects that will make interesting marks in clay . Then, she uses pinch pots and plaster to transform them into fun, free-form stamps. I thought this would be a great project for spring!

After a piece has been carved and bisque fired, inlay slip is applied and allowed to dry before it is removed with a metal rib. This allows Lee to preserve the precision of the carving.

Laying it on Thick: Decorating with Slip Inlay on Bisqueware

Posted On January 18, 2012 0 Comments

I have found another variation on Mishima that I just had to share today. In this post, ceramic artist Steven Young Lee explains the Mishima variation that works best for his work. Instead of working with leather hard clay, Lee lays a thick coating of slip onto bisqueware and then scrapes it off with a metal rib. 

Marco Lewis scores his pots with the tip of his modified slip trailer before making slip dots.

Spiny Texture: A Former Fisherman Recaptures the Beauty of the Sea in his Pottery

Posted On January 16, 2012 0 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from our newly updated free download Five Great Pottery Decorating Techniques: A How-to Guide for Decorating Ceramics with Slip Transfers, Chinese Brush Techniques, Ceramic Slip, Sgraffito, and More, he describes the tools and techniques he uses to re-create one of Mother Nature’s most distinctive textures.

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

Posted On November 23, 2011 48 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.

The simple lines and dots on these mugs were made with a slip trailer.

Slip Trailing for Beginners: A Primer on a Great Ceramics Decorating Technique

Posted On November 7, 2011 29 Comments

When many potters or ceramic artists think of slip, they think of it as the “glue” that is used to attach one piece of clay to another. But slip is one of those ceramic items that has many different functions – from slipping and scoring, to slip casting forms to decorating, slip is an essential tool for the pottery studio.

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Terra Sigillata 101: How to Make, Apply, and Troubleshoot Terra Sig

Posted On October 5, 2011 15 Comments

Terra sigillata means ‘sealed earth’ and comes from the name of a type of Roman pottery mass-produced around the first century AD. But the Romans copied the Greek technique used in their famous black and red pottery for hundreds of years before that. Here is a complete guide to making and applying terra sigillata, recipes, and troubleshooting.

 

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

Posted On August 30, 2011 26 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..

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Volumetric Image Transfer: Using Newspaper and Screenprinted Slip to Make Gorgeous Patterned Surfaces

Posted On August 24, 2011 11 Comments

Forrest Lesch-Middleton was interested in all-over pattern on his pottery forms, so he tried screenprinting his patterns onto a flat surface (newsprint) and then transferring the design to a straight-sided cylinder. After that he shapes the pots into the volumetric shapes he wants from the inside out. Works like a charm! In today’s post, Forrest gives a detailed description of his process.