Pottery is one of the most traditional arts of transforming clay into objects of varied shapes. Decorating pottery is a way where you can portray your creativity and decorate those clay objects by adding bright colours, textures, designs and shine to it. A clay object can be decorated after firing or before firing according to your desire. Here you will know some of the famous, fantastic and unique methods by which you can design your pottery beautifully.
Glazing as a medium of protection and decoration
When it comes to decorating a pottery, glazing is considered as the most efficient form of decoration. If you provide glaze to your pottery, it not only enhances the decoration but also protects your object. A glaze is a form of applying a smooth coat over your object that will help you avoid any liquid to permeate. There are a wide variety of glazes available that you can use to decorate your pots or vessels. Varnishes offer beautiful colours and textures that will make an ordinary cup look gorgeous.
On-glaze and in-glaze decorations
When an already glazed surface is painted to make the object look more attractive, the form of decoration is known as an on-glaze method of decoration. The overglaze decoration is done with the help of a particular kind of firing. The temperature is shallow in case of overglaze firing allows the glaze to experiment with almost every imaginable colour. The colours applied during on-glaze decoration blend with the glazed surface which makes the decoration long lasting. On the contrary, in- glaze form of decoration is a method in which before a clay object is shiny, paint is applied to it. Then with a high temperature, the item is glazed which provides it with a limited range of colour.
Decorating the surface before and then providing it with a coat of glass gives the surface a uniform shine at the time of production. The glaze covers almost all the parts of the surface which makes the decoration stay for a very long time. Some great potters like Michele Hastings and Cindy Gilliland of Dirt Kicker Pottery have used the technique to create some outstanding pieces of art like Whimsical Flower Pig and to design the clay objects with craved lines.
Decoration using slips and engobes
When it comes to slips and engobes for decorating your pottery, it has unlimited uses. A slip is a mixture of liquid clay and some other small particles in water. Slip is mainly used for moulding. Slip is also used for mixing the raw components of the mud so that when it is used to form the final object, it provides a uniform surface to the product. The Mishima technique is a typical Korean slip-inlay art which uses a variety of colours and different patterns to decorate pottery.
In North, America slip is commonly known as engobe. Engobes produce a matte finish to the objects, unlike the smooth glazes. Engobes are exceptionally matte in texture because of the presence of terra sigillata in it, but you can polish the surface to enhance the shine of the object. Engobes and slips are usually used for wet greenware decorating purposes. You will get a better idea when you look at some of the brilliant images which the famous potter Gary has provided showing the application of coloured slips on his decorated pots.
Pattern and texture decorations
Besides adding colours and glazes to decorate your pottery, you can also add textures and pattern to show off the creativity that you have. Clay, as you know is impressionable. You can carve your pot using paper or use some homemade moulds and variety of tools to create beautiful patterns and textures on the inside or outside of your clay pot. Block printing is another method through which you can make brilliant impressions on your object. You can draw the design that you want on a paper and then transfer it to the face of the block.
Marbling is another favourite way by which you can give your pottery an attractive look. Marbling is when you combine two different kinds of clay to create an extraordinary design on the clay surface. The colours of the two separate sheets of clay bring out a beautiful pattern on your pot. That will make your plan look precise and clean.