Pots of the day: underglaze paints and carving

Leaf bowls 1

I first carved very rudimentary leaf shapes out of rubber stamping material, and used an ink pad and the stamps to imprint the images on the greenware bowls.  This simply gave me the size and shape of the leaf designs, which I then “filled in” with three brush-coats of underglaze in various colors.

Leaf bowls 2

After the underglaze dried, I used carving tools to create clear outline shapes around the painted leaves.  In some spots, I carved the leaf shape first, and then either left it unpainted, or used underglaze in a squeeze bottle to pipe the paint into the carved outline.

Leaf bowls 3

After the bisque firing, I used Georgie’s transparent glaze (either dipped or three brush-coats) on both the inside and outside of the bowls, and then glaze fired them.

Leaf bowls 4

I learned that it’s better to wait until the greenware is much farther along in the leather-hard stage than when I do the trimming before carving, because otherwise the lines aren’t as crisp and you leave a lot of small pieces of clay that have to be brushed out later on.  These projects showed me that not only do my wheel throwing skills need a lot of work, but all of my other artistry skills – design, painting, carving – need to improve as well!

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