Pots of the day: painting and carving

painted and carved pots 1

painted and carved pots 2

These are some of my first attempts at painting designs onto the greenware, and then carving around them.  The sheep and yarn designs are my attempt to copy the design of an amazing clay artist who sells who beautiful pieces at fiber shows around the country.

painted and carved pots 3

painted and carved pots 4

painted and carved pots 6

For some of the designs, I have carved rubber stamps to first imprint the image on the clay, but lately I’ve started just sketching the image on freehand, very lightly with a pencil.  Then, using small paintbrushes, I apply three coats of the various colors.  Once they’re completely dry – and once the pot has progressed through the leather hard stage and is getting dry, as well – I use small carving tools to cut the edges of the designs clean.

painted and carved pots 7

painted and carved pots 8

painted and carved pots 9

After the greenware goes through a bisque fire, I either brush or dip transparent glaze over the entire piece, and then glaze fire it.  Sometimes I paint a color on the inside at the greenware stage, and sometimes I use either color or transparent glaze on the inside at the bisque stage.  I struggled at first with applying the glaze too heavily to the exterior, so that it was obscuring the carving lines, but I wanted to make sure that some glaze got into the carved lines; I think that dipping, instead of brushwork, makes it easier to get the right amount and texture of glaze to adhere to the various surfaces of the bisque piece.

I think that this is probably my favorite way to design and finish my work, at least right now – I’m working on adding other design motifs to practice with, as well.

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