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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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A Good Scratch: Kathy King Gives Helpful Tips For Using Sgraffito in Your Work

Posted On November 5, 2010 19 Comments

After participating in a workshop of hers many moons ago, I was excited to reunite with Kathy King at the Potters Council Splendid Surfaces Conference and shoot some video of her presenting some tips and techniques for successful sgraffito. Today, lucky readers, I am presenting that video. So have a look, get out some sharp tools, and start scratching! 

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How to Make Your Own Hand-Drawn Screens for Screen Printing on Clay

Posted On October 29, 2010 18 Comments

I can hardly contain my excitement because today, we are announcing our new DVD series! We started this video series with the goal of helping you gain more access to instruction on a wide variety of techniques from top-notch artists. Our first title, Screen Printing on Clay with Paul Andrew Wandless, is now heading off to the replication company! And today, I am happy to present an excerpt from it in which Paul demonstrates how to use screen block and screen filler to make hand-drawn silk screens for printing on clay. Watch the video!

More than meets the eye—the lines on Jeff Campana’s pots go beyond just scratching the surface.

Decorating Through Disassembly: Jeff Campana’s Sliced and Spliced Porcelain Pottery

Posted On September 20, 2010 21 Comments

There are many, many ways to put lines onto posts – carving, fluting, painting, drawing – but, I have to say, I had never seen anyone doing it quite like Jeff Campana. Jeff takes his well-thrown porcelain pots, chops them up into pieces, and then reassembles them. Then to top it all off, he uses glazes that pool in the seams. Today, Jeff shares his technique and how he arrived at such a labor intensive process in the first place.

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Pottery Decorating Video: Five Fun Ways to Decorate Pottery with Slip

Posted On August 20, 2010 19 Comments

In today’s video, Tom Shafer demonstrates five different decorating techniques with colored clay slip. If you’ve grown tired of working only with glazes, these tips are a surefire way to wake up your surfaces.

Brand Remover (front view), 7½ (19 cm) in height, porcelain, raku fired, 2010.

Message on a Bottle: How to Make an Ultra-Thin, Textured Slab Built Vase

Posted On August 18, 2010 28 Comments

Today, Frank James Fisher takes us through the process of creating a stamp-textured bottle form out of very thin porcelain slabs. He not only gives insight into effectively using stamps, but he also gives some great tips for success with super thin slabs.

Detail of Peter Karner plate (see below)

The Irresistible Surface: Layering Glazes and Trapping Carbon to Create Loosely Geometric Repeating Patterns

Posted On August 11, 2010 13 Comments

Peter Karner developed his surface decoration through years of trial and error and he continues to try new things so that his surfaces continue to evolve. In today’s post, Peter explains how intuition combined with experimentation helped him perfect his beautiful glaze surfaces. Plus he details how he uses wax resist and layers of five different glazes to develop his gorgeous glaze patterning.

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Pottery Decorating Video: What a Stretch! How to Use Sodium Silicate to Create Crackled Texture on Pottery Surfaces

Posted On August 6, 2010 25 Comments

In today’s video, potters Don Ellis and Randy Brodnax demonstrate a couple of variations on the same technique in tandem. The technique involves using sodium silicate and a heat gun to quickly harden the outside surface of a freshly thrown pot. Then the pot can be stretched from the inside, creating a lovely cracked texture on the surface.

Sally and Alisdair MacDonell, Face Brooches, 2008. Nine awaiting glaze application and nine fired, finished with cobalt or copper oxide and a matt white stoneware glaze, 30 x 40 mm (11⁄4 x 11⁄2 in.). Photo: Dan Bosworth.

How to Make and Use a Plaster Press Mold to Make Ceramic Jewelry

Posted On July 5, 2010 31 Comments

In today’s post, Allistair and Sally MacDonnell show us how easy it is to make plaster press molds to make a series of brooches. Plus they explain how they use stamps to texture each slab before molding it into the shape they want.

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Pottery Decorating Video: Inexpensive Homemade Pottery Tool Makes Even Decoration a Cinch

Posted On June 11, 2010 22 Comments

On Monday of this week, I shared a great tip for a measuring device called a Dividing Web. This tool is quite handy for making precise repeated decoration all the way around a pot. So I thought I would follow up with a video of another great tool for dividing round pots up into equal segments. You’ll especially find this one convenient if you are a coffee drinker or enjoy a cocktail every now and again. Watch the video!

Hector Gallegos Jr., a Mata Ortiz potter, adds some sgraffito detail to a vase.

Ceramic Stimulus: How Pottery Changed One Rural Town

Posted On May 28, 2010 36 Comments

The Mata Ortiz pottery tradition was started about 40 years ago by one self-taught man – Juan Quezada – and it brought a dying town back to life. Today, I thought I would share a little taste of this compelling story. With the news we hear daily about the various economic crises around the world, I figured we could all use a happy story!