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Jar fragment. Earthenware with barbotine molded decoration, 11th century. From Susa, Iran.

Jar fragment. Earthenware with barbotine molded decoration, 11th century. From Susa, Iran.

© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons
Definition:

Barbotine (noun and adjective) is a derivative of the French for "ceramic slip." Barbotime can refer to both decorating techniques and to a specific type of pottery.

There are a couple of techniques which can go by that name, both of which can be (and probably more often are) classify as sprigging. One is piping clay slip onto formed greenware. In this technique, the slip (usually of a contrasting color to the pot's clay body) is used to form a raised design, pattern, or signature. In former times, the piping was done with quills, horns, and similar objects. Today, it is easiest to use a cake decorating nozzle and bag.

The other slip technique that may be referred to as barbotine is a casting method. Colored slips were cast in molds, then the leather-hard cast piece was applied to onto the green pot.

Barbotine, both piped and applied, will result in bas-relief to medium relief decorations. In extreme cases, high-relief decorations were also created.

"Barbotine pottery" and "Barbotine ware" were names given to a particular style of pottery (which used the slip techniques) by French potteries during the 19th century, including Sèvres and the Haviland Company. This style and its name were also copied abroad, including several art potteries in the US.

Common Misspellings: barbatine
Examples:

The barbotine piping technique has been used from ancient times to the present. (adjective).

French Barbotine ware was often extremely elaborate and overly decorated. (adjective)

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