Mishima on leather hard pottery

When I first started experimenting with letters on my pots, (this is embarrassing) I was using macaroni letters. Can you imagine how long it took me to hunt down each letter? I finally broke down and bought some metal letter stamps on ebay and over 7 years later, they are still with me! I also did all of my inlay work when the pots were bisque. Usually, the results were fine, but sometimes I couldn't get all of the traces of black underglaze off of the pot.

About a year ago, I read an article by Molly Hatch explaining how she does her mishima work. I decided to try working with leather hard clay instead of bisque. My first few attempts were frustrating because the clay was covering the black underglaze when I washed it away. Over time, I discovered that using a natural sponge and rinsing it off under running water between each swipe has the best results. Here's a step-by-step of how I use mishima on my pots.

1.) I do the mishima after I have trimmed and the pot is on the dryer end of leather hard. I use stencils that I created from old calendar pages and folders. I add some details free-hand also. I use a wooden skewer because the point is not too sharp and they are cheap!

2.) After waiting a few minutes, I brush the crumbs away with a foundation brush.

3.) I use black amaco underglaze that I have thinned a bit with water.

4.) After the underglaze has dried, I use a damp natural sponge to wipe away the excess underglaze. I rinse the sponge off after every swipe under a faucet. This is what the pot looks like after one swipe.

5.) Ready to bisque!


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