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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.


Bonus Monday Pottery Video: Screen Printing Colored Slips Onto Newsprint to Make Monoprints on Pottery, Part II

Posted On April 9, 2012 13 Comments

As I promised on Friday, we are showing part two of Jason Bige Burnett’s screen printing/monoprinting video today. Thanks to all of you for waiting patiently all weekend to see i! Happy Monday!


Pottery Video of the Week: Screen Printing Colored Slips Onto Newsprint to Make Monoprints on Pottery

Posted On April 6, 2012 10 Comments

Today’s video is the first installment of a two-part video. In this one, Jason shows us how he screen prints imagery onto newsprint. On Monday, we’ll show the other half in which Jason shows us how he then gets that imagery off of the newsprint and onto the clay.


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

Posted On March 26, 2012 25 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.


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

Posted On February 29, 2012 26 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 1 Comment

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.


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.



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.