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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.


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.

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 30 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.

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!