This is a brief overview of some of the processes I use to decorate my work. I make everything out of a mid-range porcelain which then gets glazed with a clear satin matte. For more in-depth explanations, please check out my Instagram. I have several videos and time lapses of me working, as well as a few instructional videos on my IGTV.
Mishima is a Korean slip inlay method that originated around 1000 AD. Although modern technology and products have altered the way some people employ this technique the general principal remains the same, providing crisp clear lines and a stunning amount of detail.
To begin, I lay out a design in pencil on my un-fired greenware when it is sturdy enough for me to handle. I then engrave the design I made with an x-acto or scalpel which allows for fine thin lines. once the design is carved, I coat the entire piece in a thin black slip, making sure to fill all the grooves. When the slip is no longer tacky I use a clean damp sponge to remove the coat of slip to reveal the now black lines. After its first firing the image can be painted or left a lone to remain black and white.
Slip trailing is one of the earliest known ways of decorating pottery, used by prehistoric cultures over 7,000 years ago. While its origin will probably never be fully discovered, what we think of in modern ceramics as "slip-trailing" began in England somewhere around 1600 AD.
Slip is basically watered down clay, how watered down and weather or not you add chemicals to it make it flow more smoothly is a personal preference. My slip is my porcelain throwing body thinned down with water until resembles runny sour cream. It's then squeezed out of a bottle through a 22 or 18 gauge tube to follow a design that I have pre-sketched onto the vessel. once the overall design is on, I let the slip set up and use a damp paint brush and several carving tools to sculpt, smooth and refine my images.
Painting on pottery is, well, as old as it gets. I am often drawn to painting in the Spring as the light starts to change and I spend more time outside, especially in the garden. Color on ceramics can be a challenge. You are never quite sure if the colors you have painstakingly put on your work will look the same once it's been fired. Like all my work, I usually draw plants. The thing that really is exclusive to painting in my work is emotion. Color is such an integral part of our lives and provokes so much feeling, whether you realize that it's doing it or not. Green for envy, yellow for cowardice, red for anger are just a few, not very nuanced, examples of how color theory functions in our culture. My painted pots are my emotions speaking and not my brain. It is an interesting challenge for an analytical person, and one I don't always feel up to, but I do find find that they speak to people more than any other technique I use.