Quick Pottery Decorating tips

Put coffee grounds or sawdust in your decorating slip.
The coffee grounds burn out leaving a brown color behind.
The sawdust leaves a fine texture which can be stained for enhancement.

To show textured surfaces better, brush glaze on so it gets in all the cracks, then wipe off the top surface.

Cotton lace, burlap, cheesecloth or other cotton, absorbent materials can be soaked in slip and added to pieces for interesting textures.
Lift out of slip and hold up so excess can drip off, then lay on leatherhard clay surface, dry slowly and fire.
The fabric will burn out leaving the textured look on the pottery piece.

To remove oxide mistakes or for making a design, use a pencil eraser.
It won’t smear like trying to wash the oxide off.

When applying oxide over dry glaze, the glaze sucks the water out of your brush making it difficult to paint clean lines.
To remedy this, lightly mist the glaze first with water and the oxide will flow smoothly.

A few drops of glycerin, which can be bought from a drugstore, added to engobes, stains, oxides and slips slows drying time and increases workability.

To remove unwanted wax from a piece, refire it or microwave it on high for 5 minutes.

When glazing a thin piece, glaze the inside then wait for it to dry thoroughly before glazing the outside.
Otherwise the clay will become saturated and your piece will either fall apart because it will have absorbed so much water or the glaze won’t absorb and stick to the outside.
It is best to at least let it dry overnight before glazing the outside.

Glaze pinholes often form in areas that have been trimmed, because trimming tends to open holes in the surface.
To prevent this, slightly burnish the trimmed area or rub some slip over the area to fill the holes.

I hope some of these hints have helped you as you create your very own masterpiece.

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