TEST AND TRIALS: SPONGING

I have a range of shapes and patterns but my ceramics are always developing and I’m trialling a new design and a new method – sponging. The method of sponging designs under the glaze to white pottery is long established – Emma Bridgewater does it well – but I’m not aware of anyone who’s done it on glaze, maiolica style. Sponging has a nice texture you can’t get any other way, it repeats regular shapes, but with pleasing variation, it’s quick and – I admit it – I like playing around with new ideas.

This (left) is the kit. Dense sponge, a knife, a blowlamp to heat the knife, which cuts when hot, tile to mix the colour, palette knife to grind it smooth, brush to mix. The foam makes noxious fumes when burnt so I will be wearing a mask next time.

The first results are pleasing, and it has potential, though there’s a long way to go. Watch this space.

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