Creating a Patina with Slip Trailed and Layered Underglaze Decoration

Layer and sand your underglaze decoration to create a patina on your surface!

Underglaze Decoration

There are a ton of fun underglaze decoration techniques out there. And the technique in today’s video is another fine example, and one I hadn’t seen before filming Erin Furimsky’s Layered Surfaces DVD. So, I thought it would be a good underglaze decoration technique to share.

In this technique, after slip trailing some patterns on a piece and letting it dry, Erin paints a couple of layers of different colored pottery underglazes on top. After everything dries to bone dry, she sands and scrapes away at the layers creating an effect similar in appearance to layered and peeling paint. And it is gorgeous. If you’ve never tried this underglaze decoration technique before, you’ll definitely want to put it on your list of things to try! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.


This clip was excerpted from Layered Surfaceswhich is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

Getting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes

Dive into the world of ceramic glazes, underglazes, and stains when you download this freebieGetting the Most out of Ceramic Glazes and Underglazes.

More Underglaze Decoration Techniques to Try!

Underglaze Definition: Underglazes, or engobes, are colored slips formulated to have low drying shrinkage, allowing application to leather hard, bone-dry, or bisque-fired surfaces before glazing.

Underglaze DecorationUnderglaze is such a wonderful and versatile material to have in the ceramic studio. From the sgraffito technique to an underglaze watercolor painting technique, to using stencils on pottery to mask off certain areas or patterns (as Erin did on the cup she was decorating in this video), the sky is the limit for underglaze decoration. And what’s great about underglazes is that they can be used on greenware or bisqueware. If you have any interest in making your own underglaze from scratch, check out this post in the archives on how to make underglaze!

The image shown here shows the fired result of this technique with a clear glaze coat over the top.

To learn more about Erin Furimsky or see images of her work, please visit

**First published in 2011
  • Sheila L.

    PLEASE, show the finished piece on these videos. Seeing it pulls the process together in the viewer’s mind. Without it, the video is far less effective. Every time I see one of these videos it seems there are lots of requests to see the finished piece…even a glimpse of it, but nothing changes.

  • Debi D.

    As usual, you did not show the finished piece. I’m not sure why you always do that. It certainly does NOT make one want to buy the book. It angers me every time!

  • Marlies B.

    Thanks for posting this, I love the technique and the results look great!
    I have started to use underglazes but have some issues… My ug burn out, I think I use the wrong glaze on top. Could you possible give me a glazerecipe for ^6 that does work?

  • Rosemary B.

    It would be great if we could see the final results of all the demos. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize the final product.

    Thank you for always having such informative videos.

  • Shimona K.

    The difficulty with seeing only the finished tile is that the cup had another detail on it–a flower pattern that was partially covered by the slip overlay. It would have been valuable to see the whole finished product, because the tile only had the circles, dots, and underglaze.

  • Debbie H.

    Bath Potters Supplies have ‘precision slip trailers’ which are very similar to the ones Erin uses.

  • Linda W.

    Hi I live in England and I can’t find the slip trailers Erin uses over here only rubber bulbs which are too stiff for me,does anyone know where I can buy them? I am a hobby potter but love using slip and would like to try these techniques.Any help would be much appreciated.
    This is a FANTASTIC site for me to learn new methods.
    Thanks very much to everyone involved.

  • Janie, would you share your colored slip recipe?
    I have tried this on a vase. Looks so great! will be buying the DVD!

  • Sara N.

    this was an excelent clip! I just finished some cups and I’m going down to the studio to try this technique right now!! thank you!!

  • Janie V.

    I purchased the DVD and it was definitely worth the money! There is so much on the 2 discs, I don’t know if I will EVER get finished trying all of it! I have a good ‘recipe’ for colored slips, let me know if you want it.

  • Lynne N.

    I enjoyed this video, and especially liked the tip about sanding first and then following up with the rib. I am another who would have liked to see the finished cup (it wasn’t clear that the photo was of a finished test tile.) I also am wondering if the slips were commercially prepared or if Erin colours her own. Great technique,thanks for sharing.

  • Masha B.

    Dear Erin and Jennifer! Do you make your underglaze or it comes as commercial mix? Here in Russia we get only powdered version. Is it a glycerin that makes the underglaze so oily looking and allows to put one layer on top of the other?

  • Maria B.

    Thats a great way to get depth of colours in lower firings. Thanks so much for sharing this,

  • I love how she did this, but I am wondering how you get green and yellow slip? I’m just a beginner, to be honest and I know what slip is, but I have never seen this color. Is there a color additive in this? Thanks for the great video. I’d really love to try this sometime.

  • thank you again CAD for your generous sharing of techniques and inspiration. Many artists hold their methods close to their chest and its wonderful to see here such a library of ideas! I love Erins surface finishs so much 🙂

  • Shirley D.

    I too would love to see the finished cup. I was so looking forward to it and felt let down with just the tile demo.

  • Charlotte B.

    Is there a dust issue from the sanding and scraping or is the slip and underglaze damp enough to keep the dust from becoming airborne?

  • Patti C.

    I appreciated the detail of the finished tile, but it is a common feeling I have after these videos…I would like to see the finished piece, not just something else that is sort of similiar. I realize that not all of the pieces we see demonstrated will come out as hoped,(I know my percentage of pieces that turn out well can be pretty low at times) but it would be something to try to include when possible.
    Loved the idea of this technique and will try it!

  • I always, always want to see the piece finished, not something “like” it. It should be a standard requirement for even having your video shown on CAD. After firing, edit a photo of the finished piece in at the end. Having said that, nice technique – thanks for sharing!

  • Did you put the clear matte on after scraping and then did Only 1 firing?
    Or a second firing with the clear glaze?

    Thank you the technique is great!

  • Nikki L.

    I hope I can buy the DVD in Holland! I like youre work very much..
    My compliments for you!
    Greetings Nikki

  • Janet T.

    Layers, layers, how many layers needed ? Yes, think. Invent – try ideas –what is needed ? sometimes the answers come out of the most wierd places ! I love it !!!

  • Gail L.

    Not everyone is able to hear. As I have a severe hearing loss and am unable to understand her comments, I would like to know if she bisqued the item first or is working on leather hard clay

  • Lloyd P.

    I liked the technique shown very much. Could you use this technique at higher temps, say stoneware? Thanks for sharing.

  • H.


    I posted a detail photo of the finished glazed and fired surface above. It is from the test tile that Erin made for the DVD. She used the exact process demonstrated above to get this look. It was shown briefly in the clip above and more on the actual DVD. Hope that helps.

    Jennifer Harnetty

  • Lana K.

    The technique was very intriguing, but

    it would have been very helpful to have seen the finished, fired cup.

  • I love the idea of layering. You painted the underglazes while the piece was leather hard, did you do the scraping while leather hard or did you bisque first? Also, what did you use for overglaze for the final firing and at what temperature? Also, what type of underglaze did you use? Thanks so much for sharing and I love your work.

  • Penny O.

    Thanks Erin; that has spurred some very interesting ideas using variations of your technique.
    Thnaks for sharing!

  • Vadie B.

    i loved watching the technique..but it would have been nice to see a picture of the finished product.

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