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Pottery Video of the Week: Inlaying Colored Clay Decoration into Handbuilt Vessels

Posted By Mitch Lyons On September 20, 2013 @ 7:25 am In Ceramic Decorating Techniques,Daily,Features,Video | 6 Comments

Wheel throwing isn’t the only way to make seamless cylindrical forms on the wheel. Mitch Lyons uses a technique he calls the broomstick method. What’s great about this method is that you can roll your cylinders over pieces of colored clay to inlay various designs.

 

In today’s video clip, Lyons demonstrates how he makes colored clays and inlays figurative colored clay motifs into his broomstick vases. I have also included a step-by-step recap of the technique below. Happy Friday! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 

 

 

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First, scoop some powdered oxides or stains into the well of a small pinch pot. Always wear a mask when working with dry raw materials as they are harmful when inhaled.
Next, add some organic painter’s pigment into the mix. This step is optional. Lyons adds this to get a better idea of how the black iron oxide will look when it is fired.
Mix the oxide and pigment together to make a paste. If you do not use the painter’s pigment, just mix a little water with the oxide or stain.

 

For anyone who thinks working on the wheel is essential in pottery making, Mitch Lyons proves otherwise. In his DVD, Handbuilding with Mitch Lyons, he demonstrates how to make seamless cylinders using a “broomstick” — a series of dowels and tubes (up to several inches in diameter).

Learn more about Handbuilding with Mitch Lyons.

 


Wearing gloves – again to protect yourself from harmful materials – wedge the colorants into the clay until it is mixed in completely and the clay is evenly colored (unless, of course, you want a marbleized look – there are so many options with clay!).
Roll small coils and use them to create the design you wish to inlay.
Spritz your design with a little water and then, using the broomstick method, roll a cylinder over it to pick it up.

 

To learn more about Mitch Lyons, visit www.mitchlyons.com.

 


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