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Surface decoration test on mug

February 19, 2017

The first mug out of a set of eight that I've thrown on the wheel and am using to try out patterns and different surface decorations. This one is a bit different from the other mugs.

I used a Superwhite clay, which in previous tests has proven not to come out white but a grey buff colour. The first stage of decoration was using a shellac resist technique on greenware to create a textured pattern around the bottom of the mug.

 

After bisque firing I used black and white underglazes and a black design liner. I gently rubbed back the black underglaze to accentuate the texture of the resist pattern. The white lines have been scratched into the black and grey areas.

 

I retired the mug in a bisque firing to set the underglazes before glazing it with a transparent stoneware glaze and firing it to 1270ºc.

 

I like the painterly quality of this type of decoration. It is not quite as tight as some of the other decorations techniques I've tried. There is an interplay between my painted surface, the historical marks and texture in the clay from throwing and turning and the scratch marks created by using a fairly coarse paper to remove some of the underglaze.

 

I was worried whether I could combine the pattern created by the shellac resist with paints but I think it works, maybe because the colour of the clay comes through everywhere and unifies the design elements.

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