Big Ceramic Store Blog

Super Cool Design Technique - Mocha Diffusion

I’m always on the lookout for new ideas when it comes to decorating my pots. Just the other day, I came across a technique called “Mocha Diffusion,” and couldn’t wait to give it a try! It’s probably the coolest technique I’ve discovered so far this year!

Have you ever seen pieces decorated with this technique? Or better yet, have you ever even heard of Mocha Diffusion? I didn’t realize that I’d seen the technique before however; once I saw the technique being done, and the results, I realized I’ve seen it many times while browsing pottery pieces for sale.

Put your apron on, grab a cup of coffee, and follow me to the studio… you’re gonna love this one!

So, where do we begin?

  • Well, the first thing we need to do is create a piece to apply the technique on. Keep in mind, you will be dripping the “Mocha Tea” solution onto the form you create and want it to run, so plan ahead when you crate it.
  • Allow the piece to dry to the “leather hard” stage, then do any clean-up or trimming it may need.
    • Note-the Mocha Tea will need to sit overnight, so if you cover your piece lightly with plastic, you can slow down the drying process so it’s ready when the tea is.

Okay, let’s mix up the slip and mocha tea solutions…

For the slip - you can make your own, or purchase it premixed (make sure it fires to the same cone as your clay.) I prefer to make my own from the same clay body of my pieces so I know they will mesh well. Here's how I do it;

  1. Take bone dry clay, use a rolling pin or dowel rod, and break the pieces up to the size of quarter or smaller
  2. Place the clay in a small bucket
  3. Fill the bucket with water, covering the clay, and an additional 2”
  4. Let the bucket set overnight
  5. Mix the clay/water with a paint stick
  6. Now, using a mixing wand on a drill, mix until it is creamy smooth and the consistency of heavy cream
  7. Sieve if necessary


Mocha Tea –

  1. ¼ cup acid
    • You can use tobacco juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and many other products, recipes can be found all over the internet
  2. 1 teaspoon oxide or carbonate
    • For this bowl, I used chromium oxide, however; carbonates work a little better


Now -  the fun part!!!

  1. Apply the slip mixture to your piece, by pouring or brushing, making sure it is evenly coated
  2. While the slip is still wet, drip the mocha tea on and watch it do it’s thing!

    • The acid eats through the slip leaving a trail for the oxide, which in turn, creates a beautiful pattern.

Okay... I realize my first attempt at this technique isn't exactly what I was hoping for. No worries though... I'll keep trying. It's time to work on mastering the acid/chemical ratios.

Give it a try, then send us some pictures at

5 thoughts on “Super Cool Design Technique - Mocha Diffusion”

  • Clay Blog Review: August 2016 - Pottery Making Info |

    […] Big Ceramic Store: Super Cool Design Technique – Mocha Diffusion […]

  • Kimera Copeland | #

    I wish you would link to Pinterest so we could pin ideas.

  • LORRI | #

    can you show us your finished project including your firing temperature?


close X

An error occured

close X