Saturday, May 8, 2010

Drawing on pottery

I have always loved drawing. As a small child I drew on anything that was standing still and continued drawing throughout my life. Most of my drawings have never been seen by others, it is an exercise in personal enjoyment.

If I think of it that way it is strange that I have done so little drawing on my pottery pieces. Lately I have been considering that and have begun to do more drawing on pottery. Right now I am putting the designs on the pots first by drawing with pencil directly on the pot, then using a very small brush to cover the graphite lines with bright under glazes.

When the painted drawing is completed it is covered with transparent glaze and fired. The positive aspects of the transparent glaze I use is there is room for temperature variation in the firing.

This tree design is a slightly different technique. For this bowl I used an under glaze pencil to draw the design, the under glaze pencil marks stayed and I added touches of under glaze for the color of the leaves and color in the trunk and lawn.

A variation on the use of under glaze is using the maiolica technique. For these designs I cover a pot with a maiolica glaze, draw the design on the powdery maiolica glaze then cover the graphite lines with over glaze using a tiny brush for the color.

I use the Roy-Hesselbreth recipe for maiolica, so these are in the mid-range temperatures, rather than the traditional low-fire maiolica. Variations in temperature for this glaze are not an option, with this glaze it is cone six or nothing. The aspect I like with maiolica is the background color that is the result.