Did you know there are plenty of sure-fire ways to keep your piece looking good? Simple
strategies for all skill levels can help elevate your piece and keep the design looking attractive and neat.
Bisque pottery is pottery that has already been fired once and holds a solid shape – that is the type
of pottery you will find in a PYOP shop. Once glazed by the artist, bisque pottery is fired again so the
glaze can melt to a permanent, shiny surface. The temperature the piece reaches in the kiln is between
2300-3600 degrees, depending on the type of firing.
Because of this, graphite completely burns off in the kiln. So, feel free to sketch out your plans!
Sketching out ideas before glazing allows for a better understanding of the surface you’re working with
and time to envision how you will begin painting. But, don’t use the eraser! It is best to smudge any
mistakes with your finger, (the smudges will burn off anyways), because the oils of the eraser can actually
make that area of the pottery resistant to glaze.
Once beginning to glaze, there are many methods that can be employed to help a piece along.
Sponges can be used to create distinct shapes or to layer colors for a seamless ombre effect. Tape can be
stuck onto bare pottery, painted over, and removed to reveal a design in the negative space. Stencils can
be traced with a pencil and then filled in with color. Glazes can be diluted with a bit of water and poured
over the piece to create an organic flow of colors. Paint splatter can always be a great finishing touch as
well! Many studios keep toothbrushes on hand for easy paint splattering, as the bristles lend themselves
well to releasing the paint without getting it everywhere. You can paint black paint over layers of dry
colored paint and then scratch away from the black while it is still wet, revealing the color underneath –
this is called sgraffito and is shown in the image above.So, know there are always strategies to make your vision become a reality! Your local studio will
have their own favorite techniques as well. Find your local studio with our studio locator here.