You Can Do a Lot With Lines and Dots

Wondering how to decorate your pottery with slip? Make a ton of bowls and experiment! I’ve been decorating small terra cotta bowls with slip and commercial underglaze. I have a lot of bowls to screw up, but my hand is getting steadier and steadier. That’s what practice will do.

I got the needle-tipped squeeze bottles from Amazon. I used to store them with straight pins in the tip. I don’t recommend it. The tips clog and the pins rust. Instead, remove and clean the tips when you are finished and store the bottles with the sealing caps that come with the set. I can’t believe how much easier this makes them to use.

I used some donuts I cut with my Silhouette Portrait 3 in this bowl. Dots and lines followed.

I used a Mayco Designer Liner for the black outline in the above bowl. I will cover these bowls with clear glaze after they come out of the bisque fire. It’s low fire pottery, so they will be fired at Cone 04. Now I just have to come up with ideas for the rest of the bowls!

Let’s Get Dirty (In the Pottery Studio)

Pottery is my first love.  It comes before polymer, before metal smithing, before lamp working, before everything. From the time I was a little kid, I knew that as soon as I tried it I would love it.

 

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I didn’t have pottery classes of any kind in school.  Well, I did get to go to a paint your own pottery shop with my Girl Scout troop and paint a candle holder for my mother and a fish dish that could be an ash tray or hold change for my father.  Except my mother didn’t burn candles and my father kept his coins in a change purse.  But I had fun.  I still have the candle holder somewhere.

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In fact, I didn’t get to take a pottery class until I had graduated from college.  I was working for the summer in Atlantic City managing some rooming houses who had a rather exotic clientele.   I found out that there was a class at the local Community College.  I convinced a friend that “he really wanted to take a pottery class.”   I didn’t have wheels and needed a way to get there.  Surprisingly,  he acquiesced. 

The first time I sat down at a wheel, I smacked a ball of clay on the wheel head, turned the wheel on and watched in horror as the ball of clay shot across the room and bounced off a table.  Everyone froze.    After that, I was more careful.  Much more careful.

And you would think that now that I am retired and have all the time in the world to write blog posts, that I would not leave them until the last minute. “But no,” she said.  Because I am spending most of my time in the pottery studio.  I have not made any pottery in 25 years and I have a whole new group of victims  friends upon whom to bestow my clay creations.

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I am trying some new things; I have never made glazed beads before or used a bead tree and I am having fun with that.

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I am throwing pots and then altering the forms.  And I am trying different surface treatments including screen printing using underglazes.

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Making a decent print and transferring it to the clay is challenging and there are several methods of doing it.  If I get interesting results, I will post them.

 

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And I do tend to get grimy in the studio.   Not as grimy as the guy in the scraps bucket, but pretty close!