View Full Version : Glazing thin lines

03-18-2007, 11:19 PM
I've seen some beautiful pottery with thin lines for stems or designs and was wondering how this is done. I use commercial glazes that say it needs 3 coats...is it just a steady hand that can draw the same line over 3 times or is there a trick to this? :)

03-19-2007, 12:07 AM
Could you post a link to an example so we better understand what the look you are wanting to achieve. Without seeing what you are talking about perhaps it is done with underglaze or slip trail. Here take a look on the glazed examples on this page and also click the link for overglaze pens, are either of this two looks what you meant? I've use an underglaze pen sometimes to sign my name to a pot if I've forgotten to carve it in.


03-19-2007, 12:10 AM
underglaze pens/bottles can be used for regular glazes too... at least, ive done it. lol. turns out pretty well.

either that, or an underglaze *pencil*.... or... a very small brush and a very steady hand. lol. of course, you can always cheat and scratch what you don't want off with a ribbon tool...

03-19-2007, 05:22 AM
Hi Clearvision, I just lost my post in cyerspace:crying: so will try again!!
Are you using commercial underglazes and then covering in transparent glaze? As this is what I am familiar with, onto white earthenware bisque.
To get thin lines I either use a liner brush or Gare funwriter bottles which are like the Axner bottles from beautifulfreak's link.
The commercial underglazes usually say 3 coats to achieve an even and opaque finish. I wouldn't recommend doing thin lines with a brush 3 times, just too hard! If you are using an underglaze with a strong pigment once should be fine.
The bottles give out a thicker application than brush(but can still be very thin) and is like 3 coats in one, so therefore opaque, which is great for putting light colours over dark.
The underglaze pencils give a different finish, they are quite soft almost like charcoal and can be a pain to sharpen to a fine point.
Hope this helps

03-19-2007, 11:40 AM
Designs can be done with a one stroke method which shows the brush stroke and looks kinda like water colors. "Ez-strokes" is a commercial brand that accomplished this (is an underglaze). You just do one stroke with those. Then add a clear glaze. The cover coats (also an underglaze) say to have 3 coats for full opaqueness. If you apply the cover coats very thickly on the one stroke, it will for the most part be non translucent.

Mayco's "stroke and coat" is a lot like the ez-strokes where you can use one brush stroke but it is actually a glaze. A person can still put a clear glaze over it but it's not necessary, it will be shiny anyway once fired.

Another option (although time consuming and to me, not as desirable) is to use "Wax resist" around the area that you initially painted on the first stroke, then you can paint the stroke again and won't mess up outside the lines. But... it takes a lot of care to do this, you might as well take the time to carefully go over the stroke again freehand.


03-20-2007, 11:27 AM
Thank you so much! I have seen the underglaze pens, I'll get a few to try them out. I'm going to check out the Gare fun writer bottles as I want to be able to use some of my own glazes (I'll see if they are refillable). I thought the over/underglaze pens left a raised/textured line?

It's great to know there are options! Thanks again for answering my newbie question :)

03-20-2007, 12:08 PM
The Gare bottles come empty and are refillable. If you apply really thickly they can be slightly raised. They also have a product called Bumpy Doodles that have clay in them so that they stay raised, which come in quite a few colours.

03-20-2007, 02:32 PM
Thanks zoep for the info. I think I'll get those.

I wanted them thin and flat (not raised) so do you think the pens would be a better idea?

03-20-2007, 03:05 PM
Hi Tammy, it can get quite confusing to talk about ceramic pens, they don't really exist. The only ones I know about are made by pebeo and can be used only on already glazed ware and can then by fired in a domestic oven. I don't think they are food safe or even that permanent.

The gare fun writers and Axner pens/bottles are just sqeezy bottles that have a nib attached to it, so the harder you squeeze the more comes out. Mayco is another company that does something similar. I prefer the Gare ones, as you fill them with what ever you want and they don't cost that much.
Happy experimenting and you will have to post what you do!!!

03-20-2007, 07:44 PM
I still have a some pens called 'potter's pens' I got them a long time ago from axner but they no longer carry them. They weren't refillable but lasted a long time, I think they were made by the same people that made a product called 'potter's pads'.

They were more like liquid oxides in a pen and would work kind like metallic paint pens but instead of paint it was oxides that would come out, no need to squeeze. I liked them a lot they felt more like a writing instrument in your hand. I liked the potter's pads too...like a stamping pad for rubber stamps but was loaded with oxide instead of ink.

BTW, I suggest Axner a lot but I am not related to them in anyway but as a customer. They are just the company I use cause they have a nice catalog and are in state. I also order from Bennetts in Occoee, Florida but they don't have a website.

03-24-2007, 01:36 AM
Thank you all so much! I went to my local Nasco store and found/bought some refillable bottles with a fine point applicator (about 2.50 a piece) and a marker.

They worked great and made it so easy to create a the thin line...just need to fire them now!

Thanks again!