Extruded Slab Building - Part 2

By: Megan Baig
Dec. 8, 2021

Hello again! I've been busy working on my large pitcher. It started off as a vessel, then it was a vase, then I decided to add a handle and spout so now its a pitcher. Today, I started decorating it. I looked through some photos to get some inspiration - in the clay world, there's an infinite amount of possibilities when it comes to adding surface design to a piece, and every style can be mixed with a number of others. Its easy, and tempting, to want to add a bit of everything, but you don't want the piece to be too busy. In this case, I decide to add a little bit of texture with a serrated rib, then paint the sides with a white slip, which would then be the 'canvas', so to speak, for my design.

The next step, and one of my favorites, was to start painting! I have a dozen different Speedball and Amaco underglazes and, using a basic small flat brush, I started adding some flowers. I had both sides prepped with the white slip, and while both sides would have a similar design, they wouldn't be exactly the same.

Once these dried a bit (I didn't want them too dry because it would have made the next step harder) I traced around the outside of each flower and added stems with a soft rubber tipped wipe out tool. This is similar to the sgraffito method but the clay underneath wasn't exactly carved out.. its more like the clay slip was wiped away. Similar methods though. So after I had the stems drawn in, I added some leaves and outlined those as well. Below you can see the pitcher in its more or less finished form. I might add more later if it looks like it could work, but for now I'm super happy with it. Now I just have to let it dry slowly, keeping the handle and spout covered more than the rest of it to ensure even drying. The clay body will be a light brown speckled color when its done, and I find myself leaning towards Amaco's Honey Flux glaze to finish it, with a clear gloss over the flowers. Either way, I'm excited its gotten this far, and I can't wait to get it in the kiln! I still think (hope!) it'll fit. :)

Thanks for reading!