Question:

How do I decorate my ware?

Cloth/slip textures

Any type of cotton or cloth will burn out during the firing process. For a different effect, you can try soaking cloth or cotton in slip and adding it to your piece for decoration. During the firing process it will fire out leaving just the thin layer of clay that it originally absorbed. Most people think that this only applies to porcelain, but it can be used with ceramic slips as well.

Interesting finish

You can create an interesting finish by mixing a cup of slip with a teaspoon of vinegar and painting it onto greenware.

Over-wetting

If you leave your decal in water too long, too much glue will be removed and it will not fire properly

Slip trailing

There are lots of plastic squeeze bottles on the market today and they can be used in many ways for decorating ceramics. Slip trailing is just one idea.

firing

In firing a lustre/overglaze, the glaze is softened to the point where the overglaze settles onto the softened surface and becomes a part of that surface.
Overfiring an overglaze will cause colours to sink too deeply into the glaze resulting in distortion, fade-out or burn-out.

A different texture

You know those rolls of rubbery stuff you can buy to cover your shelves to cushion glasses and plates? They make great texture when rolled into slabs.

Thickening china paints

It is possible to thicken china paints with castor oil

Airbrushed: Protect a piece

You can protect an airbrushed piece that smears easily by spraying on a light coating of glue before firing. You can then handle piece for placement in kiln without worry.

Christmas decorations

You can make an unusual background for Christmas decorations by dipping a pine or spruce bow in slip, fire it on a tile and spray-glaze it.

Designs

If you want to create an unusual design on a piece, use one of those plastic doilies as a stencil. Simply lay one on a piece and sponge colour through the holes.

Brushes

Most brush-on sealers are water soluable and brushes may be cleaned effectively with water. Be sure to check label.

Sealing gold leaf

You can use clear spray fixative for sealing those pieces you have decorated with gold leaf.

Wetting

Be sure not to wet decals too much as they must maintain enough adhesive for a solid bond with your piece after being soaked and transferred to your piece

description

Technically, ceramic decals employ the use of china paints which are printed in decorative designs on special paper

Design sectioning

If you need to divide a plate or pot into three equal parts, you can use the top part of a lamp shade frame. The ring in the center can be used as a guide.

Wax resist

What can I use if I have no wax or shallac for resist?
In a pinch, use white glue (like Elmer's glue) for resist. It doesn't repel glaze as well as wax, but isn't bad.

Add-ons

To make an add-on, all you have to do is select a flat mold or plaster bat and pour the slip on the flat surface. To make an add –on, work the wet clay in your hands like bread dough, folding from time to time to eliminate air bubbles. A few drops of glycerine or warm water will slow the drying time of a piece of clay you are working with your hands to form an add-on. To attach an add-on to a piece of greenware, use liquid clay or slip. It is best to dampen the greenware surface before applying the add-on. Be sure to apply your add-on solidly to the greenware. Any air pockets left under your add-on will make for and explosion in the kiln later.

Percection

Many highbrow ceramists look down on decals as the easy way out for decorating ceramic pieces but don't pay any attention to them

Removing air

When applying decals, it is important that all the air bubbles are removed from under the decal before it is allowed to dry. If not, a hole will result in that area during firing.

Quality

Decals we use in hobby ceramics are specially formulated for that special purpose. You cannot use five and dime decals to achieve the same results.

Cut a hole

Do you need to cut a hole in a piece of greenware? While it is still wet, use a washer or even the metal lid from any can as a pattern. The cutout will be perfectly round.

Burn-spots

To avoid burn spots on your designs, you must be sure that your decal is completely dry before firing.
Let your decals dry at least 24 hours before firing.

Texture tools

Use your imagination! Almost every household item or kitchen gadget you have will create a different texture when used on greenware. You may try dipping the various tools in slip as well to create designs.

Did you know

Of all the overglaze products, decals are the only one that employ water in your method of application.

Attractive edges on plates

Attractive edges on plates or special designs on vases are possible by sponging colour through plastic or other doilies.

Marbleizing liquid

Marbleizing liquid is a water-based product and the brush should be cleaned in soap and water.

Cutting your Decal

When using decals, you may find that only parts of a decal design are required. You can easily cut them apart with a pair of scissors.

Air-brush(Emergency)

If you need and emergency airbrush, try using a spray bottle, insect sprayer or even your vacuum cleaner.

Ceramics Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions should I take in the studio?

How do I decorate my ware?

How do I apply Lustres?

How do I market my ceramics?

How do I apply glaze?

How do I market my ceramics?

How do I fire porcelain?

How do I cast slip?

How do I fire an electric kiln?

How do I apply glaze?

What are some stoneware glazes?

What Precautions when using dry ingredients?

How do I apply glaze?

How do I apply opaque stains ?

How do I wedge clay?

How do I apply Stains?

What is Lustre?

What should I keep in mind when designing my studio?

How do I make a coil pot

How do I decorate my ware?

How do I make molds?

What is Clay?

How do I apply glaze?

What is a decal?

How do I clean Greenware?

How do I add texture?

How do I centre my clay?

What tools do I need to start potting?

How do I start a business?

How do I best promote myself and my work?

How do I load my kiln?

What are ceramics

Where do I start?

How do I make a simple mold?

How do I fire Decals?

How can I make a mould?

What are some life quotes?

What is underglaze?

What is Porcelain

How do I care for my brushes?

How do I care for my molds?

What is Celadon?

What is the Tea Ceremony?

How do I care for my kiln?

How do I apply one-strokes?

What safety aspect should I keep in mind when working with glazes?

How do I apply Lustres?

What is Overglaze?

What are oxides?

How do I fire Bisque?

Where do I begin?

What should I remember when firing the kiln?

How do I clean brushes?

How do I slump/sag glass?

How do I apply overglazes?

How do I best publicise my business?

How do I make a simple plaster mold?

How do I care for my brushes?

Are stains safe.

How do I fire overglazes/lustres?

What is a reduction firing?

How do I doccument my work?

How do I create fine feature lines?

How and when sholuld I apply underglazes?

How do I make molds?

What is an engobe?

Are they Water or oil base stains?

How do I hold my brush?

How do I store my Materials?

Are any two kilns are exactly alike?

What is mould in clay?

What is a Pyrometric Cone?

Do I need a cone?

how do I throw clay?

Can I use sand to stop glaze running onto shelves

How do I test my glazes?

How do I apply China Paints?

Does greenware need to be dry before loading?

What are some life quotes?

What is the history of the Potter´s Wheel?

How do I fire lustre?

What is a glaze?

How do I fire lustres?

What is The History of the Way of Tea

What is Celadon (Cheong-Ja) - the Stuff of Kings?

How do I dry overglazes?

What is a glaze?

How do I Burnish?

What is an overglaze marbleizer?

Is there a trick toThrowing Porcelain?

Have you some lovely words?

What is Earthenware?

What is a glaze?

What are some stoneware glazes?

How do I paint Eyes?

How do I Recycle Clay

How do I attach wet pieces?

How do I make a teapot?

How do I make a plaster mold

What are some good tools for decoration?

What is Kiln Wash?

How do I glaze my ware?

How do I slipcast ceramics?

What are some life quotes?

how do I dry my ware?

How do I fire my ware?

How do I apply texture to my piece?

What is a Glost firing?

How do I make my own glazes?

What are some change quotes?

How do I store my tools?

What is the history of Raku?

What is Paperclay

What is a crackle glaze?

Do I need kiln wash for bisque?

How do I refire a glazed piece ?

What is reduction?

What must I remember when Raku firing?

How do I add decoration to my ceramics?

How do I care for my elements?

Does over firing produce poor colour in coloured glaze?s

How do I use my brush?

How do I care for my brushes?

How do I recycle clay?

What are some success quotes?

What is a glaze?

How do I clean Greenware?

How do I make coils?

What are some Black Firing Tips and Tricks?

What is the safest way to pack my ceramics?

What are Formulated clays?

How do I do a reduction firing?

automatic kiln sitter, should I trust it?

How do I care for my molds?

What are some tips for draining a mold?

What is a decal?

What safety measures should I take with Raku Firing?

How do I attach a bat to the wheelhead?

What tools do I need for ceramics

What are suggested plate clay weights?

What do I need to get started?

What are observation holes ?

What tools do I need to make a coil pot

How do I fire ceramic bisque ?

How do I recycle batches of clay quickly

How do I care for my molds?

How do I fire my ware?

How do I roll a slab?

How do I fire my kiln?

What is the correct firing time?

How to I prepare and make slabs?

What is Leatherhard ?

What materials are toxic in Ceramics?

How do I fire glaze?

What are slabs?

What is Korean celadon?

How do I fire Raku?

How do I make paperclay?

Can Crackle glazes be used for food?

How do I avoid S cracks in wheel thrown ware

how do I apply glazes?

How do I get the press onside?

How do I open-up the clay?

How do I fire Reds/Yellows?

What is a glaze?

How do I fire Ceramic glaze ?

Can I repair my kiln?

What are the Approx. firing times?

Ho do I avoid pitting and pinholes?

How do I make throwing ribs?

What is Stoneware?

How do I care for my molds?

How do I apply kiln wash?

What is a Stain?

What is a mold?

How do I decorate my ceramics?

How do I remove mold lines?

How do I cut the spare?

What is a ´good teapot´?

How do I Bisque fire in an electric kiln?

How do I keep a kiln log?

How do I paint Eyes?

How do I decorate my ceramics?

How do I apply crackle glazes ?

What is Primary clay?

What are some easy projects?

What is Thermal Shock?

What effects can I achieve with a brush?

What are cones?

How do I Drain small pour holes?

What is Glaze?

What is Raku?

How do I remove a stuck lid?

How do I glaze my ware?

How do I make Egyptian Paste?

How do I apply texture?

What is overglaze/lustre?

Must my kiln be level?

How do I make my own brushes?

What clay should I use?

How do I apply a decal?

How do I clean my greenware?

What is Agate ware?

How do I care for my new Kiln?

How do I make stamps?

How do I load my kiln?

How long do I fire bisque?

How do I promote my work?

can I draw directly onto a piece?

How do I increase my profile?

How do I fire different bodies?

what is porcelain?

How do I make test tiles?

What is Earthenware?

What is the humming in my new kiln?

What should I remember when firing a new kiln?

How do I mend Greenware?

how do I get the best results in glazing?

How do I prevent dirt on my greenware?

How do I accomodate Clay Storage in my studio?

How do I fire Larger pieces ?

How do I prevent sagging during firing?

How do I brush one-strokes?

How do I load my brush for applying underglaze?

How do I mend molds?

Why should I use pottery plaster?

What is the coat coverage ?

How do I prevent glazes from settling ?

How do I fire lace figurines?

What is Albany slip?

How do I create a woodtone effect?

How do I light my Gas Kiln?

What is a pyrometer?

What is a Binder?

What is a glaze?

What are some Doing well Quotes?

What is Slip casting?

What is a Rib?

What is a Bisque?

How do I care for my elements?

How do I fire porcelain?

How do I store my throwing tools?

What is the History of tea?

What is the history of Ceramics?

Why do I get black spots in my glaze?

How do I fire flat pieces?

What is Terra-Sigillata?

What are Pyrometric Cones?

What is Iron Oxide?

How do I load my kiln for a glaze firing?





Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Ceramics Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Sheri Ann Richerson