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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.


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 17 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.

China Painting on Tile

Pottery Video of the Week: Fun with China Paint on Ceramic Tile

Posted On April 1, 2011 20 Comments

In today’s pottery video, an excerpt from the forthcoming DVD New Directions in China Painting, Paul Lewing demonstrates a technique for creating a bamboo painting with a sumi brush.

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Pottery Video of the Week: Using Porcelain Ceramic Substrates as a Canvas

Posted On March 25, 2011 33 Comments

Today I’m sharing a clip from Robin Hopper’s new DVD Inspiration and Interpretation, in which he demonstrates a couple of painting techniques on this porcelain substrates (an industry cast off). Enjoy and have a nice weekend! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Fong Choo cuts into a porcelain teapot with a wiggly wire.

Pottery Video of the Week: A Potter Uses Texture and Flowing Glazes to Make Teapots with Splendid Surfaces

Posted On February 11, 2011 49 Comments

A few months back, I attended the Potters Council Splendid Surfaces
Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, and got some fabulous footage of
some great artists demonstrating their techniques. Today I am
going to share one with you, faithful readers. It features potter Fong
Choo sharing some of his texture and glazing techniques for his tiny
teapots. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Prunus Triptych, three sheets of untreated  substrate with bronze-black pigment brushwork, fired to cone 10  in reduction. Chrome/lead orange glaze applied with a fine trailer and refired to cone 010.

Ceramic Substrates as Canvas: A High-Tech Ceramic Material Gets Artsy

Posted On January 19, 2011 20 Comments

In today’s post, Robin Hopper presents a possible solution for those who want to paint, but would like to incorporate marks that can only be made by the magic of the kiln. Robin has been experimenting with painting on substrates, high-tech, porcelain-like, super-thin, pre-fired sheets of mostly alumina that were developed for use in the automotive, electronic, avionics, medical, and military fields. Working with cast-offs from industry, Robin has found that the material is affordable and has been giving him terrific results. Plus, he is making something beautiful from would-be landfill fodder.

4. Carefully sponge off excess grout after it has set up.

Between the Lines: Grouting Tiles, Mosaics, and Tile Installations for a Visually Pleasing Effect

Posted On December 22, 2010 12 Comments

Grout does not just have to be a practical element in tile work. With a wide range of premixed grout colors available, it can also be used to aesthetically enhance a single tile or an entire tile mural. By strengthening the weight of a line or adding a weathered patina, grout can really become an integral part of the decorative process. Today, Laura Reutter demonstrates how grout can be used in this way. She also gives some great advice for press molding and drying tiles without warping.

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Rene Murray’s Slab Inlay Technique: A Fun and Spontaneous Ceramic Decorating Technique

Posted On December 17, 2010 48 Comments

In today’s video, Rene Murray, a presenter at the upcoming Potters Council Conference Surface + Form, demonstrates her twist on inlaying contrasting clay bodies into one another for graphical surface decoration. One of the things I really liked in Rene’s video was the idea of laying down an picture plain of color before laying down imagery. I just really loved the irregular edges of the plain of color and how it set off the picture. I also loved her spontaneity – something I struggle with in the studio. Hope you like it too! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Andrew Gilliatt’s work combines colored porcelain slip, brightly colored glazes, resist patterns, and simple decals to create pots that convey the fun he has working in the studio.

Layers of Color: Using Different Colors of Casting Slip, Resist Patterns and Decals to Create Graphical Pottery Surfaces

Posted On December 8, 2010 15 Comments

Today, Andrew Gilliatt explains how he arrives at his super fun surfaces by adding color in stages with colored casting slip, glaze, and decals. Plus, he shares his casting slip and a couple of glaze recipes!

Paul Wandless Screenprinting

Surface Decoration Video: Exploring Options for Layering Screen Printed Images on Clay

Posted On December 3, 2010 22 Comments

This past summer, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with Paul Andrew Wandless to film an instructional DVD on screenprinting on clay. In any video production, there are inevitably parts that get left on the cutting room floor. But lucky for us, they don’t have to be lost forever because we can share them on Ceramic Arts Daily – which is what I will do today. In this clip, Paul demonstrates how screens and stencils can be layered to add more impact to an image.