Friday, March 15, 2013

underglaze wash - surface treatment

underglaze black wash over texture

Since most of my pieces have a stamped and/or textured surface, I thought underglaze wash would be a cool exercise in technique.
Seeing my bisque pitcher covered in black underglaze was kind of freaky.   Goth like.

After the slip dried a bit, it was time to reveal what lies beneath.  I didn't feel the need to use a mask because the underglaze wasn't completely dry and I was using a damp sponge. 

It's important when rinsing the sponge to remove as much water as possible.  Too much water and scrub pressure will remove too much underglaze from the textured recesses and will lessen your ability to control the effect.

black wash tall pitcher

The results are striking, dramatic and daring.   I think it's cool.  I see dark red roses in this pitchers future.

Next, I applied a translucent glaze.

Wheel Thrown Pitcher
by DirtKicker Pottery

All designs, photos and content herein are owned by an ©copyright Cindy Gilliland 2013.


  1. Underglaze is much better than oxides for this job, it's going to look amazing :)

  2. Im excited to see how it turns out!

  3. looking great, I like this technique.

  4. That's what I use in making my bowls! have even gotten picky as to which sponges I prefer. I don't put underglaze on the whole thing-- instead just paint it on the particular areas, but you had a greater surface to put it. neat!

  5. This looks like a great start to some changes in your work.
    Do you wear a mask or feel you need to when removing the under-glaze?

  6. Love how it looked without glaze. Looking forward to the finished piece. I think red roses and black swirls would be fab.

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments and helpful points.

  8. Thanks Cindy... I also just fired my first test pieces (kiln is at 165, almost ready to open) using the wash. I actually waxed over the area and glazed the rest of the piece... can't wait. Your pitcher is beautiful!!

  9. So many steps for such a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing!

  10. do you bisque your pieces first or put underglaze on greenware? i'm new to pottery so need to learn a lot x

    1. Hi Jo, The wash is applied to a bisque pot. This is really a fun technique.