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In this video, Paul Wisotzky demonstrates how to make sponge stamps on a laser cutter, and how to use them on both greenware and bisque-fired pots! If you don't have access to a laser cutter, Paul shares a low-tech way to get started with sponge stamps! 

High-Tech Stamping

More and more, ceramic artists are finding ways to put new technologies to use in the ceramics studio and the ceramic art world is more exciting than ever because of it! During a residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Paul Wisotzky discovered that he could use a laser cutter to create sponge stamps of any design he could come up with on the computer, and it changed the direction of his work.

In the FabLab

Paul begins the video in the FabLab* at Haystack Mountain School of Craft. Here he walks you through creating a simple design in Adobe Illustrator, and then sending it to the cutter. In this helpful demonstration, Paul shares all the details you need to make successful cuts. 

*If you don't have access to a FabLab, there are many university FabLabs and other organizations that will rent this equipment, or take your design and create the stamps for you. A google search for "FabLab equipment rental near me" will help you find options.

Using Sponge Stamps

In the second half of the video, Paul demonstrates all the ways he uses sponge stamps on his work. From stamping patterns on greenware with underglaze to creating depth by stamping with wax resist and layering glazes, you'll be inspired with a plethora of ideas. 

Low-Tech Options

If you don't have access to a laser cutter, never fear! Paul also demonstrates how he got started with sponge stamps in the first place: by creating them with a soldering iron. This method is a great way to whet your appetite for the technique before investing more time and money into making stamps with a laser cutter.

Total runtime: 1:15:52

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About the Author

Paul Wisotzky

Paul Wisotzky is a studio potter and educator from Truro, Massachusetts. He makes functional pottery intended for everyday use out of porcelain and stoneware. He fires his work in soda, salt, or reduction atmospheres. In 2019, Paul was awarded an Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts where he developed a technique to digitally design sponge stamps and then fabricate them using a laser engraver/cutter. This process was featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine. Paul uses the stamps to decorate his work in simple and complex patterns layering glazes and slips in a variety of methods. Paul has also been a Winter Resident at the Penland School of Craft. He is an experienced educator sharing his love for studio pottery in classes and workshops. He currently teaches regularly at the Harvard University Ceramics Program and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. To learn more about Paul, please visit www.blueberrylanepottery.com.
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