One of the things many people I've worked with have been concerned about is the permanence of stains once they are applied to a piece. This is true. Once stain has been applied (or dripped) onto bisqueware, there is little you can really do to clean it off completely. This is because the stain does soak down into the porous bisqueware.
There is an answer, however! Preliminary drawings can easily be done on bisqueware using a regular graphite pencil. The pencil drawing will allow you to plot out the image and will then fire out. (Graphite is a form of carbon, and burns off.)
Tips for Drawing on Bisqueware:
- Use a mechanical pencil. They keep a consistently thin line without having to stop and sharpen them.
- Don't be afraid to erase. Most bisqued surfaces allow you to erase fairly easily. Just either blow the eraser fragments off, or if need be use a soft brush to very gently brush them away.
- Tilt your surface to avoid elongating the image while you draw. In the photo you can see how I have the plate propped up on layers of foam. The foam not only cushions the bisqueware, but also helps keep it from sliding down.
- Double-check your drawing before you begin applying any stains. I suggest standing up, going away for a few minutes, then looking at the drawing fresh. Now is the time to correct any mistakes or to fine-tune the design.