Engobe Decoration

guys. I have a leather-hard bowl
that I’ve trimmed and it’s still
leather-hard. I’ve gone ahead
and created
horizontal bands and also
an array. These are the radiating lines
that come out from the center
both the outside and the inside. I just used
diluted food coloring and the reason why I did
is that the food coloring
helps me create like a grid or consistent
mapped out surface of the piece so that then I can apply decoration
of some sort. And the decoration
will be much more uniform. And the piece
will look a lot more consistent
throughout the decoration. The food coloring
will burn out so there’ll be no trace of it
whatsoever. So I think that’s
one of the wonderful things about it. So, one of the other things
that I did was these outside lines
that go from the foot to the rim. I made sure that the lines
on the inside here line up. So, if there’s a type of decoration
I want to go from the inside
and continue out it’s going to work
just fine. All
right. So,
engobe is basically a watery mixture
of clay and other ceramic ingredients
with colorant to impart color
to the material. And it’s applied
on top of your, the clay
surface. The engobes are formulated
to be applied at certain stages
of the drying. Some engobes
are formulated for dry work
verus leather-hard work. Some are formulated
for bisqueware, so make sure you follow the directions
for the engobe. Also
read the, the label on the container
regarding the color. These raw materials
might be one color, like this is a dark gray
right now, but it’s going to fire
to be a black. The brown engobe that we have
in the studio in the raw state
it’s this bright
red, like an iron red
and it’s going to fire to be a brown. All right
so, I’ll do
a simple clover pattern. I’m not sure
if you can see that. I’m just staying
within the parameters
that I’ve painted
with the engobe. Or, I’m sorry,
with the food coloring. Okay. And I think it’s
good to step back and assess the decorations,
see if it’s working
for you and I’m not really all
that thrilled with it. So let’s see
if I can make
some changes to make it much more
interesting for me. It’s just, the decoration
looked like chicken scratch. It
just didn’t
have any resonance
for me. So, let’s see
what we can do. I’m just filling in
the little dots so that
they’re, they’re
connected. And, so that they’re
a little bit more pronounced. I’ll do a little bit more
and then I’ll show you what I have. Well, I think you
can see that the decoration
is a little bit, makes a little bit more sense,
has a little bit more presence. Okay
so, it’s going to take some time
to complete this, but you get
the gist of it.

About the Author: Earl Hamill

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