How to Make a Clay Paper Resist
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How to Make a Clay Paper Resist

Difficulty Intermediate
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1 hr +


Clay is such a versatile material, and there’s much more to using it than simply making plain pots. Graphic Clay teaches you all about the various surface processes you can use to spice up your pottery, from letterpress and printmaking, to drawing and painting. Professional clay artists take you through the techniques they use and you’ll learn all about staining sculptural work, glazing, brush application, screen-printing patterns on pottery and slip, drawing, bisque, decal and stencils.

Here, author Jason Bige Burnett shares one of his projects from the book with you:

I often use newsprint, stickers, and Tyvek HomeWrap paper cutouts when decorating layers of slip and underglaze to make a clay paper resist. You can use strips of newsprint, organize sticker patterns on the surface, or cut Tyvek into pieces to achieve a “papel picado” look or some other sharp graphic foundation.

Image and content courtesy of Graphic Clay by Jason Bige Burnett, published by Lark (£14.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com).

You will need

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How to make

Step 1 

Cut a piece of newsprint; then cut a few simple shapes out of this piece, such as squares or stars. Take care to cut out the shapes in a way that leaves the rest of the paper intact.

Step 2

On the first tile, lay the paper shapes in any pattern you’d like. On the other tile, apply the paper with the shapes cut out of it. Lightly press on all pieces of the newsprint so that the edges are flush with the clay.

Step 3

Brush one or two coats of AP slip in the color of your choice over both tiles, then let dry for a couple of minutes. You can speed this along with a hair dryer if you’d like.

Top Tip! By carefully cutting out the negative space with a craft knife I can then use the sheet with negative space as a stencil and the newsprint cutouts as slip resist. I use the tip of a craft knife to help peel back and lift off newsprint cutouts. 

Step 4

Peel the paper off both tiles. If you have trouble removing the paper, use a needle tool or craft knife to gently lift an edge and start peeling from there. If your slip is thick, your designs will be a bit raised from the surface, which will give them a nice feel on the finished piece.

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