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The 6 steps of creating functional & decorative stoneware pottery
ThrowingApplying Surface DecorationTrimmingBisque FiringGlazingFinal Firing

2. Surface Decoration

The majority of the work that I’m currently producing is decorated with impressed letter press text (the little metal letters that book printers used to use back when the good ol’ printing press was the method of choice). The text is applied letter-by-letter while the clay is still somewhat soft in order to avoid cracking.

The step is pretty basic (and time consuming) - it starts with selecting a message or theme for the piece as well as a font that fits the piece’s space limitations. Once those choices have been made, it’s time to crank up the tunes and get lost in the process of pushing each individual letter into the piece.

I’ve come to enjoy this step of the process almost more than any other -- it slows down what is normally an extremely over-active brain, provides me with an unrivaled calm, and often times serves as a time to connect with God through creative conversation (aka, “prayer”).

The time commitment is typically a significant one -- anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more depending upon the size of the piece and length of the message.


Letterpress text

A small sampling of letterpress text that is used to impress letters into the surface of the piece.

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