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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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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.

se Pyrofoto to transfer high-contrast images to glaze-fired pieces. It was successful with glazes and underglazes, applied over glossy to satin surfaces. The fired result can be muted, as in the example above here, or more vibrant, depending on the amount of colorant added to the glaze.

Image Transfer with Pyrofoto: Another Cool Way to Put Images on Pottery

Posted On August 15, 2011 17 Comments

There are various processes for transferring images to clay, from photocopy transfers, silkscreening and stencils, to laser transfer decals and commercially made decals. Pyrofoto is a product that works with the traditional photography concepts of exposing a surface to light through a negative, then developing, processing, and fixing the image. Our own Jessica Knapp put Pyrofoto to the test, and in today’s post, she tells us all about the process and her results.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Applying Decals to Glazed Pottery and Ceramics

Posted On August 12, 2011 29 Comments

This week, Justin Rothshank was here filming a DVD on applying ceramic decals to pottery. So, I thought I would bust out this decal application video from the archives (which Justin submitted a couple of years ago) to whet your appetite. This video first aired way, way back in the olden days when videos were new to us here at CAD, so please excuse the graininess! The upcoming DVD will be crystal clear and will cover all aspects of making and applying decals to your work.

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Slip and Stick: How to Use Stained Slips and Newsprint to Make Monoprints on Pottery

Posted On August 3, 2011 18 Comments

I love the surfaces of Jason Bige Burnett’s pots. They remind me of the Sunday newspaper cartoon transfers I (and probably a lot of you out there) used to do with Silly Putty as a child. Interestingly enough, Jason uses a transfer technique involving newspaper (but not Silly Putty) to make some of the marks on his surfaces. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September/October 2011 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Jason shares this super fun technique.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Combining Stamped Underglaze Decoration with Shellac Resist to Create Gorgeous Layered Surfaces

Posted On July 1, 2011 35 Comments

A few weeks ago, the lovely and talented Erin Furimsky spent a few days here filming a DVD on layered ceramic surfaces, which will be out in July. I was so excited by the techniques that Erin demonstrated, that it was actually a little bit torturous to be behind the camera. I just wanted to race to the studio and start experimenting! Today I am sharing an excerpt from Erin’s DVD in which she combines a shellac-resist technique with stamped-on underglaze imagery. Have a look and then race to your studio to try it out!

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A Piece of Cake: Clay Applique Decoration on Functional Pottery

Posted On May 30, 2011 9 Comments

Kari Radasch works with her appliqué decoration in a similar way that a baker
works with fondant. She explains this process today and shares her clay
body, slip and glaze recipes. So, sit back, grab yourself a piece of
cake, and read on!

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Fumiya Mukoyama’s Zogan Yusai: Precise Pottery Decoration with Slip Inlay and Glaze Patterning

Posted On May 18, 2011 17 Comments

For a young potter in a region of Japan where Mingei is king, coming up with a unique style can be challenging. But Fumiya Mukoyama did just that with his “Zogan Yusai” technique. Translated, “zogan” means inlaid and “yusai” means coloring with glazes. And as the name implies, Fumiya’s technique consists of slip inlay and colored glazed designs. Today, Fumiya shares this technique step by step.

Meredith Host touches up a screen printed image on a platter.

Pottery Video of the Week: Decorating Ceramic Forms with Screen Prints and Stencils

Posted On May 13, 2011 31 Comments

On Wednesday, we announced that Kansas City potter Meredith Host was the winner of the Peoples Choice Emerging Artist contest. Lucky Meredith gets a $500 gift certificate from the generous folks at Bailey Ceramic Supplies, who sponsored the contest! And lucky for all you faithful readers out there, we filmed Meredith demonstrating at the Potters Council Workshop Surface + Form a couple of months back. Today, we are sharing that video with you.

This fired vessel by Robin Hopper demonstrates the tree or leaf-like patterns that are possible with mocha diffusion.

Pottery Video of the Week: Slipware Decoration – Mocha Diffusion and Slip Dotting Pottery

Posted On April 29, 2011 16 Comments

A while back, we posted an excerpt from Ceramics Monthly, in which Canadian potter Robin Hopper provided an explanation of the technique and a slip recipe that works well with it. Since then, Robin has recorded a new DVD. Today I am sharing an excerpt from that video, in which he demonstrates mocha diffusion and his slip dotting technique. I have also reposted the original article with the slip recipe

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Going Low Tech: A Step by Step Guide to Burnishing Pottery

Posted On April 25, 2011 26 Comments

Burnishing is the technique of polishing clay to a beautiful sheen without the use of glaze. Ancient potters used these techniques to produce their wares before glazes and kilns were developed. Today, modern potters use  burnishing to create works of great beauty. Sumi von Dassow is one of those potters. She has been using low-tech pottery making techniques for more than thirty years. Though the burnishing technique is low tech, there are some secrets to really getting it right. In today’s post, Sumi shares her step-by-step method for burnishing pots.