I n l a y i n g :

Inlaying, also known as sangam or mishima, is a traditional Korean surface decorating technique that involves “inlaying” a colored slip into incised lines on leather hard clay.  I use this slip decoration technique to create an intricate lace background in my work.  A piece of lace is pressed onto a slab of clay with a roller, then is peeled away.  With this textured slab of clay, I handbuild a vase like below.  I then usually slip the surface with a contrasting colored slip.  For example, for my dark claybody, I use a white slip.  Finally, the slipped surface is gently scraped away with a metal rib to reveal the pattern underneath.  This is best done when the applied slip is at the leather hard stage.  More I scrap, more I reveal the pattern underneath and smoother the surface will be.

Texture created with a piece of lace

Lace texture inlaid with white slip

S g r i f f i t o :

Sgriffito, “to scratch” in Italian, is another slip decoration technique I often use.  Sgriffito is done by applying layers of colored slips or colors to leather hard clay.  Then, using a pin tool, I incise through the applied layers to reveal the contrasting clay underneath.  This is a simple, immediate technique I use to create the flower motif patterns on the plate and the texture on the mugs as shown.

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C a r v i n g :

Carving is also a reductive slip decoration technique done similarly to sgriffito, instead with a carving tool.  So the marks are usually wider than thin scratches or lines.  As shown on my cake stand, I prefer to leave carving marks to show process and three dimensionality.

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P a p e r  R e s i s t :

This is a decorating method of applying slip over paper pattern and then removing paper to reveal negative patterns on clay.  For softer patterns, I shred or cut out shapes.  Newspapers are the best in my experience.  I lay repetitive paper shapes on leather hard clay and use a damp sponge to press them onto the surface.  When the paper shapes become moist, they will relax and adhere to the damp clay surface.  Then I apply a contrasting slip or color.  Once the applied layer of slip or color becomes dull, I peel away the paper shapes.  For polka dots, I use round paper stickers of varying sizes.




L i n e  D r a w i n g :

Done at the bisque stage, I draw with underglaze pencils, available in black, blue and green.  This way of drawing reminds of drawing with a pencil in my childhood and I enjoy the loose line quality that this technique renders.  In my work, I often draw in stitch marks to fill the negative space as in quilt stitches.

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