Pottery Decorating Video: Using Fiber, Slip and Soft Clay to Make Beautiful Marks on Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture

We’ve got more Robin Hopper love for you today Ceramic Arts Daily readers! We always get such a good response to his tips so I decided I would throw in a Robin Hopper video for you today. This one is excerpted from his DVD Making Marks: Ceramic Surface Decoration, a video adaptation of his popular book of the same name.

In this clip, Robin goes over a couple of surface decoration techniques; one involving clay slip and fiber, and the other involving soft clay. As usual, Robin provides an excellent, clear explanation of these nifty little techniques and should inspire you to go directly to your studio at the first opportunity! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

This clip was excerpted from Robin Hopper’s two-disc DVD Making Marks: Ceramic Surface Decoration. This impressive DVD covers scores of techniques you can use in every phase of the ceramic process from initial forming through post-firing treatments.

  • I loved the clip. I’ve read other comments here. I too have an electric kiln and its really not a problem burning off paper and other materials, it does the elements no harm whatsoever. What you should never put into an electric kiln is salt as this is corrosive and would destroy the elements.

  • Keyla F.

    Hello!!! I would like to ask something and about the surface deco… it is possible to do this with the hole piece? i mean add this texture with extra clay to all the body? if not, why? im working with some figures that have a lot of texture but in porzella pappier mache, and i would loce to try with clay… thank you so much!!!

  • Nancy B.

    I also use Electric Kiln and wondering if this would harm the kiln? Also what temp do you fire, using these different methods?

  • Catherine C.

    Um, I have been firing paperclay for years, dipping synthetic and cotton teddy bears, beanies, lace etc into paperslip and burning off with no detrimental effects to my elements. I have found the surrounding atmosphere corrosive, however, and am careful to ventilate and not inhale. Maybe I have just been lucky, and I do have thick elements, so maybe that helps.

  • Kara M.

    I have also used it with good results with natural fibers like cotton in an electric kiln, but not often. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but now I’m wondering if anyone has more information on the damage it can do to the elements, etc. mostly because I’m in the process of purchasing a new electric kiln. Thanks!

  • Neala B.

    Thank you for sharing this clip. What an amazing number of greatly talented people there are contributing to CAD. I would love to attend one the workshops but South Africa is a tad too far away 🙂

  • Subscriber T.

    I used this technique with cotton textiles and electric kiln and didn’t had problems

  • Alexis J.

    The video, as usual, is up to CAD’s high standards and Robin’s mentoring is excellent. Both would have taken higher had we seen photos of the finished product. Also, if an accurate reader comment, a warning would have been appropriate and should have been mentioned of not duplicating this in an electric kiln.

  • I only have an electric kiln. Will the fiber burning off effect or harm the thermocouple or the kiln components?

    The work looks wonderful and would greatly enhance any work that the fiber or lace is applied to. Thank you for any advice anyone could give me. I have these dvds and the information Robin Hopper shares in incredible. I can watch them over and over and always learn something new.

    Thank yiu for posting this piece, it has given me new ideas!

  • [email protected] [.

    One thing you might mention, that some beginning potters may not know, is that with the exception of modeling, these techniques ONLY work in a gas or wood fired kilns. Do not use these techniques in an ox (electric) kiln as it will destroy your elements. The technique is quite beautiful and unique.

  • Charmain D.

    Great video – can hardly wait to experiment with the fabrics. Appreciate your sharing these informative ideas with us all. Thanks! C.D.

  • Teddie I.

    Very informative. I attented a workshop by Robin Hopper some years ago
    learned a lot. Thanks for your site. T.I.

  • Beverly W.

    Thanks for the great clip. Robin Hopper is a Master Teacher as well as a Master Potter, and unfailingly generous in sharing what he knows.

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