Saturday, 20 February 2016


Hello Potters and Friends,

I was going to entitle this post 'I Can't Resist Wax Resist' but, you know, I managed to resist.... No seriously, I have been using this technique a lot recently and I am loving it. This is how it started;

'Hare over the Moon'

I saw the fantastic work of stained glass artist Tamsin Abbott (below) and I wanted to create something of that style on my pots. I finally settled on the wax resist idea.

Autumn Bonfire

A bottle of wax resist can be bought at all pottery suppliers and is applied to bisque ware with a brush. Most potters use it to coat the bottom of pots to resist glaze while dipping. But I've gone a bit crazy with it and will soon be ordering a new bottle!

My Method
So what I've been doing is painting my design onto greenware with an underglaze — bisque fire it — paint over the design with wax — let it dry — dip the pot in the glaze and the design should remain unglazed. If some little drops of glaze should stick to the wax then you might be able to just blow them off or soak them up with a dry brush.

It's almost impossible to take wax off bisque ware, as it soaks in immediately so be very, very careful. Where it touches is where it stays!

So here are some examples from my last kiln opening.

'Blue Hare'

I used one of my grandson's crayons to dot the cups, then painted over the red flower with wax.

'Thistle Dish'

No underglaze colour on this one. Just a quick squiggle with the wax brush, then dipped in Tenmoku. 

'Red Leaf Bowl'

Love this one. I painted on a red glaze. Then, when bone dry I carefully waxed it, being careful not to disturb the powdery glaze. Then I continued with a black glaze. And couldn't resist (sorry) a couple of dots.

Work in progress — the early stages......

Painting on greenware before firing.

Oh hell, I might have gone a bit too fancy with this one!  I told myself to keep the designs simple.  It'll probably take me a whole morning to wax it. 

That's more like it. 

So give it a try and have fun with it.

Cheers !