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Decorating Techniques

Pottery and ceramics have been decorated in a large variety of ways. The use of glazes, slips, and impressed surface details are only a few of the options available to the pottery and ceramic artist. Explore the world of decorative techniques.
  1. Surface Treatments (4)
  2. Under the Glaze (10)
  3. Glazes (8)
  4. Overglazes (1)

Decorating Basics for Potters
When we think of finished pots, we tend to think first of pots covered in richly colored, shiny glazes. But is that the only possibility? Let’s take a look at the different ways pottery can be decorated.

Uses of Wax Resist in Pottery
Wax resist is used extensively in pottery as a means of controlling glazes and other liquids. It has both practical applications, such as keeping the bottoms of pots glaze-free, and well as decorative applications.

Repeatable Decorations Pottery Project
This pottery project gallery highlights repeatable decorative techniques. Repeatable decorations can be achieved using stencils, paper resists, transfers, and ceramic decals.

How to Decorate Pottery with Colored Wax Resist
Colored wax resists are very useful for decorative techniques. They are especially useful for creating distinct color or glaze fields, including a stained glass effect as demonstrated here. They are also versatile; for example, different colored wax resists can be applied to the same pot.

A Demonstration of Crayon Wax Resist on Pottery
Crayon can be applied to a pot as a wax resist. This method is especially useful when finer lines are desired. Warming the pot first will make the crayon draw much smoother lines on the pottery.

Sponged Wax Resist Decoration Demonstration
Demonstration of one way in which wax resist can be used to create a decorative effect. In this demo, the application tool is a round sponge shape with a flat end, which is mounted on a wooden handle.

Horse Hair Pottery
Horse hair pottery has come to a lot of potters' attention over the recent past. This technique does indeed use hairs from horses (some other animal hair has also been used, with mixed results). Basically, the idea is to burn the hairs on the pot's surface to create lines. As hair is laid upon glowing hot pots straight form the kiln, they sear onto the pot's surface and will leave very localized…

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