Did you know that there are a variety of printmaking techniques that apply to ceramics? My favorite method is using slip and underglaze to attach illustrative styles to clay bodies, particularly slab-built pieces! Also known as Slip and Stick, here is how to successfully achieve this printmaking technique.
First, you need good old newspaper or parchment paper, which is used to transfer our drawn image onto the clay body. I would draw on intricate designs using any colored underglaze. I recommend drawing your image on the newspaper using a squeeze bottle with the thinnest pin tip. Next, once the underglaze drawing is dry, apply two coats of white slip, enough to the point where the slip is an even, wet surface, and then wait until the slip dries leather hard (using a heating tool can speed up this process).
Finally, attach the slip side of the newspaper to your clay body. Press the newsprint down with light pressure and press outward from the center (ensure there are no air pockets!). After a minute or two, the slip will start to look completely dry- this is the perfect timing to slowly peel away the newsprint and reveal the transfer of your design onto the clay body. This is a friendly reminder that this transfer process does take a couple of trials before it looks 100% perfect, so experiment away!
My first few tries were imperfect, but I created some successful monoprints earlier this year using black underglaze, white slip, newspaper, and greenware tiles! I hope you can try this method one day, especially if you, like me, love to combine illustration and ceramics disciplines. (Check out my pieces below!)
An article by Jason B. Burnett is an excellent reference for those who need a visual reference of this method! https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/article/Slip-and-Stick-How-to-Use-Stained-Slips-and-Newsprint-to-Make-Monoprints-on-Pottery