Just thought I’d share some photos of my further experiments with engobes. The method that I’m using here is a combination of paper stencils, combined with wax resist. I’m intentionally leaving some areas of plain clay because I want an interaction with the mat finish of the clay and the satin finish of the engobe. Although I’m happy with the final design, I don’t think I left enough of the clay.
I started by cutting out random swirl forms from newspaper. I place the forms flat on a table top when done in some assemblage of what I’d like them to be on the finished pot. This doesn’t always work once I move them to the curved surface of the pot and I end up moving them around to fit anyway. I’m having a hard time getting the stencils to actually stick on the pot. I don’t want the pot too wet because I don’t want to make the engobe muddy when applied. I ended up wetting the stencils to apply them – kind of like wallpaper – but they tear easily this way. If anyone out there does this and would like to share their ideas, I’d like to hear them!
A mazerine blue stained engobe is then applied to the entire pot. Once the engobe is dry (it does not take very long), I carefully take a needle tool and pry the edge of the stencils off the clay and remove them. I have had some engobe that runs through the stencil edges in spots that I need to clean up but maybe because it’s too thin. I have it as a cream consistency at the moment. It seems to thin out as it sits.
I then applied wax resist to all blue areas, overlapping the brown swirls just a bit to get an outline of the form. Then applying a contrasting green stained engobe, carving through certain areas (which will remain clay) for emphasis.
The next victim…err pot…will be a teapot. For that one, I plan on using just one color engobe and striking a better balance with the blackness of the raw clay. Stay tuned!