Theme: Surface Decoration

There’s nothing more exciting than working on a clay surface because opportunities abound throughout the whole ceramic process. In this issue about surface decoration, Jeffrey Nichols applies layers of underglaze to bisqueware and sands it down to mimic a weathered painted surface. Elizabeth Priddy expertly uses Chinese brushwork to decorate her work but sandwiches it between layers of glaze to give the painting added depth. Linda Gates decorates her work after bisque with slips and underglazes and again after the glaze firing with the application of decals fired in place. And Annie Chrietzberg tells the story of Lana Wilson, a consummate veteran of the workshop circuit, and her amazing decorating technique that begins within minutes of taking the clay out of the bag clear up until the final firing. This issue also brings you information on brushes, canvas alternatives, underglaze pencils, crayons, pen trailers, and more. For an issue about surface we cover a lot of material in depth.


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Second Childhood
by Linda Gates

English potter Linda Gates experiences her Second Childhood by applying images from the 50s that evoke fond memories of a simpler time. In her step-by-step process, she describes slipcasting a form, image selection, decal production, decal application and a firing protocol.

Finding Your Voice
by Jeffrey Nichols

Master craftsman Jeffrey Nichols talks about Finding Your Voice by developing your techniques and your ideas over a period of time. He demonstrates his accumulated skills by sharing his technique for making a faceted teapot and using his unique decorating technique of layered underglazes. To view his teapot spout technique, check out the video.

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Layers of Information
by Annie Chrietzberg

Annie drops in on Lana Wilson and gets the low-down on the diva’s technique for making exquisitely textured and colored pieces. Bisque stamps, textured materials, rolling, and paddling are repeated throughout the entire process resulting in Layers of Information.

Strokes of Genius
by Elizabeth Priddy

Like a long journey beginning with the first step, mastering Chinese brushwork begins with the first stroke. Elizabeth Priddy has studied this method for years and provides an overview and a project. Using her step-by-step approach, you’ll soon be on your journey in this ancient technique.

In the Mix: E Unum Pluribus
by Kristina Bogdanov

Would you like to have just one glaze in your studio that does it all? Kristina Bogdanov thinks she’s on the trail of such a glaze with Turner’s White — one glaze to make many. A tweak here and there changes qualities at different temperatures and color options are as varied as your imagination.

Tools of the Trade: Canvas Solutions
by Ann Ruel

When you want a smooth surface, you certainly don’t want a canvas texture (unless you’re sculpting a tennis shoe). Ann Ruel explores the pros and cons of alternatives to canvas with a review of several products from pastry mats to SlabMats.

Supply Room
by Michael Harbridge

Who’s going to win the Brush Challenge? Michael Harbridge is the judge in contests of badger vs goat, cheap vs expensive and natural vs synthetic. Ever wonder why materials don’t spread well on the surface? May be your brush is the problem.

Tips from the Pros: Splashy Colors
by Annie Chrietzberg

Lana Wilson accents her wonderfully textured pieces with splashes of color. Annie Chrietzberg reports on the tips from this pro so your next piece can have splashy colors

Instructor’s File: Pencils, Crayons, Pens & Trailers
by Robin Hopper

When it comes to decoration, Robin Hopper pretty much covers it all. His overview of ceramic techniques using Pencils, Crayons, Pen, & Trailers provides many opportunities for the sketchers and drawers to work on the clay surfaceAnd check out the review of Robin’s DVD by Sumi von Dassow in the Off to Shelf section.

Off the Shelf
by Sumi von Dassow

Check out the review of Robin’s DVD, Making Marks: Ceramic Surface Decoration.

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