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Chapter 5: S urface Decoration. You are about to discover a vast number of surface decoration techniques and treatments! The techniques you choose for your works are broken into 2 categories: Texture and Color . Texture.

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chapter 5 s urface decoration

Chapter 5: Surface Decoration

You are about to discover a vast number of surface decoration techniques and treatments!

The techniques you choose for your works are broken into 2 categories: Texture and Color

  • Clay surfaces have historically served as a means for artists, to realistically or with abstract design, to:
    • tell a story
    • Display symbols of religious significance
    • Beautify a form
  • You can add texture ANYTIME before a clay piece is fired
  • Stages of Clay:
    • Plastic: soft and flexible
    • Leather-hard: most water has evaporated from the clay, feels cool to the touch.
    • Bone dry: Almost ALL water has evaporated from clay – feels dry and chalky to the touch.
  • IMPRESSING- best done when clay is soft
    • Press with a tool into clay surface and the mark left becomes a low relief of your tool
    • Tool possibilities include: fingernail, button, stamping tool, textured wooden beater, string, rope, burlap, lace, or whatever your imagination leads you to
    • You can make your own stamp designs in little pieces of clay!
  • INCISING AND APPLIQUE- can be done at any time in plastic and leather-hard stage
    • INCISING- cutting into the surface of the clay
    • APPLIQUE- applying one piece of clay to another – pieces can be coils , cut-out pieces of clay, pads, or clay designs that are pressed on the SOFT walls of a rim or a form
  • …continued…. Incising and Appliqué…
    • Add these to the surface of your piece by using a little pressure
    • If surfaces have dried somewhat – you will have to slip and score the pieces for better adhesion
  • PIERCING and BURNISHING- should be done when clay is leather-hard
    • Creates dramatic effects
    • Tools can be knives, hollow cutting tubes, anything that punctures clay
  • BURNISHING – rubbing the surface of the clay smooth with a stone or the back of a spoon
    • Produces a shiny finish
    • Burnish at the leather-hard stage
  • Adding color to your piece opens up enormous creative possibilities
  • COLORED CLAY- mix different colored clays in the same piece
  • INLAYING- fill in impressed or incised marks with soft clay of a contrasting color
  • OXIDES AND CARBONATES- what gives clays, glazes and underglazes their colors are minerals and metals
    • Slip is a mix of extremely fine clay with water
    • Colored slip can be purchased to add to clay by painting or a dropper tool
  • UNDERGLAZE – painting on the surface of greenware (or bonedry clay) before the first fire (bisque fire)
techniques for using color
Techniques for Using Color
    • Vary from rough to smooth grain
    • Give different textures and depth of color when daubed onto surfaces
    • A toothbrush or a bristle brush can be used
    • Paintbrush is good for blocking in areas of color or painting fine, delicate lines
    • Can be used to finish details on top of a background, outline a design, or emphasize a certain aspect of the form
techniques for using color1
Techniques for Using Color
    • Stencils can enclose or outline background shapes or foreground designs
    • Cut out design from a piece of paper, lay the paper on the clay surface, apply color through the opening using one of the previous techniques
    • Masking tape cut into lines or shapes also makes an effective stencil
    • Cut shapes or patterns from damp paper and lay these shapes on clay surface
techniques for using color2
Techniques for Using Color
  • WAX RESIST- use melted wax or white glue thinned with water
    • - paint design on leather hard clay, then when wax is dry wipe away areas around it with a wet sponge. Top layers will melt away in kiln leaving a raised design
    • Paint over waxed area with underglaze, the covered areas will remain clear and the unwaxed area will hold color
    • Apply on bisqueware and it will resist any glaze that is applied
    • Apply wax details OVER a glaze, brush or dip another glaze over it, or carve away areas of waxed area and apply glaze to the exposed surfaces
techniques for using color3
Techniques for Using Color
  • SLIP TRAILING- squeeze a line of slip onto damp clay to produce a raised line
    • Slip trailers can be made from pastry bags, mustard dispensers, rubber syringes
  • SGRAFFITO- scratching designs into colored slip or glaze to reveal the clay body underneath
techniques for using color4
Techniques for Using Color
  • MISHIMA – a pattern or design is incised or carved into the clay, slip is brushed on and then once dry – scraped off the raised areas so only the incised carving has the color
  • TERRA SIGILLATA – exceptionally fine-grained clay suspension in water, similar to colored slip
printing techniques
Printing Techniques
  • Transfer Printing – using etched plates
  • Monoprints- a single print
  • Photo Emulsions
  • Computer Generated decal Transfers – using an image printed to transfer to surface of clay
  • Glaze has the same characteristics as glass when it melts and fuses onto a clay surface
  • All glazes made from 3 basic ingredients: silica, flux and alumina
types of glazes
Types of Glazes
  • Low-Fire: The First Glazes (what we use!)
    • Melt a relatively low temps
  • High-Fire Glazes
    • Used on stoeware and porcelain
    • Must be fired at high temperatures
  • Overglazes and Paints
    • A low temperature glaze that goes OVER original glaze
applying glazes
Applying Glazes
  • Clean pottery – wipe it with a damp sponge or rinse it quickly under the tap - dry
  • Paint wax on (if using)
  • May have to paint several layers – test thickness by scratching glaze with thumbnail. Should be the thickness of a card.
applying glazes1
Applying Glazes
  • Dipping – dipping glaze into large container filled with glaze
  • Pouring- pour glaze inside piece and swirl around, pour out any extra back into glaze container
  • Brushing – use a SOFT paintbrush to apply glaze
    • Brush at least 3 layers onto piece in DIFFERENT directions
    • Do NOT allow glaze to dry out before adding layers
  • Spraying- using a spray gun or an airbrush to apply base glaze