Ceramic Surface Design: Texture

Adding a simple decorative touch can take your ceramic projects from drab to fab! New Ceramic Surface Design shows you how to create texture with this fun stamping technique.

texture, New Ceramic Surface Design

Creating your own stamp out of clay is an exciting way to add a repeating texture or motif to your surfaces. The first clay stamp I made was of my initials, and I used this stamp to sign my artwork for years. Since making that first stamp, I have explored many uses for stamping on clay. Stamping creates a particular kind of look in the surface of clay. The edges of the stamps are usually a bit loose, and the hand is revealed in subtle imperfections from the stamping process. I love the quirky nature of stamped clay surfaces!

– small piece of clay, preferably porcelain
– pencil
– spear-tipped carving tool or carving tool of choice
– sanding pad (optional)

stamp 1, New Ceramic Surface Design

1.Mold a piece of soft clay to the shape you desire for the stamp outline. In this case, I have made a round stamp, but you may want the stamp to be triangular—experiment! Allow this stamp blank to dry completely to bone dry.

stamp 2, New Ceramic Surface Design

2. Using a pencil, sketch on the surface of the bone-dry stamp blank what you want to carve away. (This will be the negative space in the design.) Keep in mind that what you carve away will be embossed (raised or protruding from the surface) on the clay surface and what you do not carve away will be debossed (pushed into the surface or a depression in the surface). The image or lettering you carve into the stamp blank will be reversed when you stamp it into the clay surface, so if you want to create a stamp with writing, sketch it onto the stamp backward so the stamp will read correctly.

stamp 3, New Ceramic Surface Design

3. Use the spear-tipped carving tool to gently cut into the stamp blank until your image is carved. Carefully test your carving on a piece of soft clay to see your progress. Make adjustments to the image as needed. Use the sanding pad at this point or just before bisque firing to remove any sharp edges or burrs from carving your stamp.

stamp 4, New Ceramic Surface Design

4. Bisque fire your stamp. To use the stamp, simply press it into the surface of damp clay to create a textured surface. Stamp your ceramic surface while the clay is still quite soft and malleable. If you are stamping on a wheel-thrown piece, consider stamping before you trim your piece or as soon as possible after trimming. If you are handbuilding with a stamped surface, stamp the surface with texture before handbuilding. Stamping into the surface of clay requires a lot of pressure at times, so if you are stamping into the surface of a finished piece, it may warp or change the form dramatically.

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New Ceramic Surface Design Cover Page ArtNew Ceramic Surface Design is a fully-illustrated manual covering a wide range of creative surface decoration techniques presented in an approachable and accessible format.

Ceramic artist and expert Molly Hatch guides beginners and more advanced ceramicists through various methods for creating designs on clay. You will be introduced to several different and new approaches for using your own imagery and content on the ceramic surface. Learn techniques including:

-Tape resists
-Rubber stamping
-Line art
-Nature resists
-Found objects
-Shellac resists for textures
-Sticker resists
-Contact paper stencils
-Paper resists
-Sgrafitto for shaped designs

Detailed photography and hand-drawn illustrations document the processes and show beautiful completed samples.
Templates and stencils for all the featured designs are included in the back of the book to use as is, or to tailor to your own tastes.