Add Depth to Carved Surfaces with Wax Resist and Underglaze

Wax Resist: Pottery’s Swiss Army Knife

There are so many things you can do with wax resist in ceramics. Of course, its most practical use is keeping glaze off the bottoms of pots so they don’t become forever fused to the kiln shelf when fired. But it has numerous decorative applications as well, such as helping to create delicate lines on pots through an inlay technique. And wax resist is just the tip of the iceberg. Just about anything that repels water can be used as a resist. In this post from the CAN archives, Russell Fouts experimented with everything from lipstick to chocolate!

In today’s video clip, an excerpt from his new video Forming, Finishing, & Firing: an Approach to the Wood Kiln, Donovan Palmquist shares how he uses wax resist and underglaze to add even more depth to his carved, wood fired surfaces. My favorite part about Donovan’s take on wax resist ceramics, is that he leaves the little bubbles of underglaze that bead up on the wax surface, adding little dots to the decoration! — Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Five Great Decorating Techniques

Make surfaces that stand out when you download this freebie, Five Great Decorating Techniques.

This clip was excerpted from Forming, Finishing, & Firing: an Approach to the Wood Kiln, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

To learn more about Donovan Palmquist or to see more images of his work, please visit

Do you have interesting ways of using wax resist? If so, post them in the comments below!

**First published in 2016

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