and position near the pot’s surface. Draw a flat woodenstick from the farthest edge of the brush towards youso that the color is flicked on to the surface of the pot.Experiment with thinner and thicker consistencies of color, or by holding the brush closer or farther awayfrom the surface to achieve the effect you want.
While the ready-mixed colors are more vis-cous and need thinning for flicking from a toothbrush,they adhere to the surface better than powders mixedwith water. To use the oxides, mix them with water.Using a toothbrush gives an airbrush effect, althoughthe droplets are coarser and more inconsistent than thespray from a gun. For health and safety purposes, usean appropriate mask while flicking and thin water-proof gloves to prevent skin contact. Advice is alwaysreadily available from the manufacturer of your colors.Overlap color on color, merge edges and mix colorstogether before you flick—experiment! After all, if youdon’t like the effect, you can wash everything off andstart again. Don’t worry if color or oxide goes over theglaze because that’s what gives the interesting effects.What you should end up with is a pot with areas of color blending into one another with no sharp edges.Generally speaking, moving in tone from areas of dark color to light gives the best effect.
• July/August 2006
Carefully cut a hole in the top of the sphere. Put your mouth onthe opening and gently blow into the pot to help reform any dis-tortions of the shape. Add a coil to the opening with a roll of clayabout
inch in diameter.
Glazing and Color Blending
To get a blended natural finish, use a selection of prepared underglaze colors, oxides (my choices arevanadium, copper carbonate and red iron) and brush-on glazes that mature at a temperature appropriate tothe clay. After glazing the inside of the pot with a linerglaze, I sometimes paint glaze onto textured area, thensponge off so that the glaze fills the indentations.Because I enjoy the unpredictability of results, I glazeselected areas before adding color to the main body.For the main body of the pot, flick on the color. Thindown ready-mixed color or mix a small quantity of powder color with water. Load a toothbrush with color
is a freelance writer and ceramic artist based in Lincolnshire in the U.K. She sells stoneware potterythrough galleries in the U.K. and has conducted work-shops in a school for young people with learning difficul-ties. She is a regular contributor to
Texture adds to the aesthetic of a piece, disguises the seam andstrengthens some of the deeper fissures. Add texture running fromthe base toward the opening using things like twigs, bark, pebblesor other organic forms, paying special attention to the seam.To flick on glaze, load a toothbrush with thinned-down commer-cial glazes or underglazes. Position the toothbrush near the sur-face and draw a flat wooden stick over the bristles. Experimentwith different colors and thicknesses of glaze.