In this series of entries, I am sharing some of the discoveries I am making as I try to add texture to my pots.

Some techniques I have been experimenting with are:

  • Slip trailing
  • Carving
  • Brush strokes
  • Tape and wax resist

Casserole in lime fiesta with black underglaze stripes

Technical – Again, this has been the easiest of the logistics to resolve.  We have use tape resist on greenware and bisqueware.  Masking tape sticks great to bisqueware.  But for greenware, it is easier to use strips of newspaper.  Wet the newspaper, then apply like tape and underglaze exposed areas.  (This is how the small casserole was glazed.)

Method – There are so many methods… If I apply underglaze on greenware, I can wipe it off if I make a mistake.  After the bisque-fire, the underglaze won’t smudge if I dip the pot in glaze.  But if I want to use 2 glazes to make a stripe pattern, I apply masking tape to the bisqueware, paint the exposed areas with a glaze, remove the tape, paint the remaining areas with a second glaze.

Chip and dip platter - striped

Glaze response – Understanding the properties each glaze exhibits has been key (this is a prevalent truth).  Some of the glazes look great if they overlap so making ‘clean’ stripes isn’t necessary.  (I am avoiding glaze combinations that need a ‘clean’ stripe because they are too unforgiving for hand application.)   Also, if I underglaze a portion of the pot in black underglaze and bisque-fire it, I can paint lines using clear glaze.  The contrast between the raw matte underglaze and glossy clear makes a subtle stripe pattern.

Design – All that the factors I identified with slip and carving are true with tape-resist – what patterns, how do the patterns relate to the rest of the pot, how to designate a space on the pot.  In addition, applying tape or newspaper is restricted by pot curves – the curvier a pot, the more gaps there will be in the tape and newspaper.  Gaps permit glazes to be applied in areas you don’t intend for them to be. Design continues to be the most challenging consideration.