Big Ceramic Store Blog

String and Underglaze for Unique Patterns

Every now and again something simple catches my eye and gives me an idea. For example, the other day I was in the studio stringing some coasters together when I saw the string sitting next to an underglaze bottle.

As simple as this sounds... I loved the way the string was just a bit curly, organic, and messy... and it gave me an idea for designing a few pieces.

Here's what I came up with...

I already had an extra slab rolled for a previous project so I cleaned up the edges, grabbed a handful of string, and went to work.


The first thing I did was lay a piece of string on the clay, then I rolled over it with a dowel rod to impress it into the clay



Next, I painted the surface with a chocolate brown underglaze covering string and all


If you notice, I don't mind a bit of streaking in the underglaze, I personally like the way it looks.

The next thing I did was lightly lay another piece of string on the surface and paint a bit of blue underglaze over it.


The final painting step was to add another string and one more color. I chose a light yellow


Once the underglaze had a chance to dry a bit, I pulled all the strings off, leaving a unique pattern with various colors in the impression areas


Ok... now what to do with the slab? Well, how about turning it into a serving dish of sorts? Maybe for fruit or snacks?

In order to protect the surface you just painted, place a piece of clear plastic wrap over it and smooth out all the wrinkles.


I used a plaster drape mold and placed the clay (glaze side down) over it to shape my bowl.


Once it was draped, I accentuated the folds in the clay and evened out the placement on the mold


For the foot, roll a coil of clay and place it in the center of the bottom by scoring and slipping both pieces


Paint the underside of the bowl with underglaze and let the entire piece dry to leather hard before flipping it over and setting it aside for the drying process.





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  • Clay Blog Review: August 2017 - Pottery Making Info |

    […] Big Ceramic Store: String and Underglaze for Unique Patterns […]


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