Stripe Crazy

It’s been a while since my last post. I relocated to Fayetteville Arkansas, rented a new studio and joined a community center to glaze and fire my work. I’m trying to do groupings instead of one offs and this striped group is my first collection. I hand drew the stripes then sprayed a bit of black to add texture. Hope you like it!


Oatmeal & Amber Glazes


I’m really liking this combination of an allover matte oatmeal glaze with sections dipped in a shiny amber. I used this combination in the Chip ‘n Dip Set I featured in an earlier post. I carved a loose wavy pattern in the container shape and dipped the bottom half in amber. For the bowl, I dipped the protruding sides into the amber to make a circular pattern.

Chip ‘n’ Dip Set

I lean towards “Functional Pottery” that is useful and serves a purpose. Creating pieces that people can use every day, especially for the home, can be very fulfilling. I love the idea that it’s not just sitting on a shelf looking pretty (although I like to make those too). I threw this plate and bowl without planning to make it a set. By glazing the pieces similarly I was able to connect the two designs. I used an oatmeal glaze allover and then dipped one side of each piece in an amber glaze.

Underglaze Pencils

Underglaze pencils are a great way to draw fine lines on your pottery. I used underglaze paints for the wide black area, the red rim and the foot. I then scraped a line through the black area with a carving tool and followed the line with a black underglaze pencil. I completed the pattern with some dots between the lines and gave it an allover clear glaze. The pencils come in an assortment of colors and are a bit pricey for a set but you can also buy them individually. Many potters use pencils on the bottom of their pieces to add their signatures.


I got this idea from a Pinterest post. You make a block out of clay, about 1-inch square and carve designs into each side once leather hard. Carving out a design makes a relief (raised) pattern as I did on the ones shown here, once you press them into the clay. You can also carve away areas and leave a relief design which will emboss (or recess) the pattern. I use the stamps as a decorative tool on both hand built and wheel thrown pieces.


I love experimenting with carving tools on leather hard clay. I use several tools to create the pattern on this thrown pot and then glazed it with dinnerware white, which is a glossy glaze. At first glance I didn’t love it. But it’s grown on me and I think the crudeness and slightly transparent glaze give it a vintage look. Tools are available online at any clay site but you can also use dental tools or some wood carving tools.

Under Glaze Bowl


Underglazes are colors you can paint onto either leather hard or bisque fired pieces. The advantage of using under glazes is that the colors can be more vibrant and you have more flexibility in creating patterns or designs. For this slump mold bowl, I masked off each half of the leather hard piece and sprayed two colors with a mouth sprayer. Then, I rolled black under glaze onto some netting fabric and pressed it onto the piece down the center. The black trim was applied loosely with a sponge along the outer edges.