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Pottery Pens, Pencils and Writers

Easy, controlled fine details, squiggles and writing


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Fine Lines, Writing, Outlining

Below are 11 different techniques for writing or adding words on pottery.

Ceramic Pens & Writers

Writer bottles allow for easy controlled applications and are ideal for adding fine details.  Our empty writer bottles make a great painting or decorating accessories.  The empty writer bottles come with a screw top, writer nib lid (& lid cap) plus there is an additional metal nib for extra fine applications.  These reusable plastic squeeze writer bottles allow for easy controlled applications and are ideal for adding fine details, squiggles and writing.

Simply fill with a colour or product of your choice. Add a few drops of water to improve flow. Can be filled with underglaze or glaze colour to make a great ceramic pen.

  • CLWRITER MEDIUM - 2oz. empty writer bottle with writer lid, cap and metal nib and pin (refillable).
  • CLDA DG50-1OZ - Empty Fine Liner 1oz bottle with writer lid, cap and metal nib and pin (refillable).
  • CLDAS211 - Empty writer bottles 2 floz bottle with writer lid and cap (refillable).  No pin or metal nib is supplied with this product.
  • CLSPPNIB - Metal nib for fine detail (place on top of writer cap for CLDAS211)

We like to fill our empty bottles with Duncan Black EZ One Stroke.  The underglaze does not bleed or spread during application.

Duncan French Dimensions

Duncan French Dimensions are high-pile glazes for raised design effects, such as dots, stripes, squiggles and outlines, over and under non-moving glazes and over each other. They are a low fire product used for decorative accents.  Non-toxic and dinnerware safe.  French Dimensions are similar to the many raised slip based products on the market.  However they are a glaze based product with a high grade colour intensity.  Duncan French Dimensions can be applied to either greenware or bisque.

Duncan French Dimensions are packed in a 1.25 ounce bottle designed for ease of application. The bottle has a fine-writer tip built into the bottle. Click here to view range and colours of Duncan Ceramics French Dimensions.

Fine Liner Brush Writing

Use a fine liner brushes to hand-paint or hand-write names, words and messages on pottery.  Use Duncan E-Z Stroke® Underglazes (an intense pigment translucent underglaze in a range of colours that are perfect for HIGH DEFINITION work like:  writing,  fine outlining and detailed designs).  The image on the attached plate was applied using a fine liner brush and Black E-Z Stroke®. 

This product tends not "spread" or "bleed" during application.  It is perfect for glaze prints of baby footprints and handprints as the lifelines are much more apparent.  Either apply: directly on to greenware or bisque; or layer over most underglazes (allowing the basecoat to show through).

Safe for use on food containers or tableware when (1) applied to full coverage or (2) when a non-toxic food-safe clear glaze is applied. Suitable for use with CLDN GL001 Duncan Clear Glazes or CLCG006 Hobby Colorobbia Clear Glazes. Some colours may require firing prior to clear glaze application. Firing range cone 06 to cone 6.  Available in 1oz squeeze bottle sizes (US size).  Click here for Duncan Ceramics EZ One Stroke Underglazes.

Underglaze Pencils

Our underglaze pencils provide colour for shading, fine line drawing, or identification. Colours are lead free and can be used under a glaze, or on their own. Great for writing on the bottom of pieces because the colours will not stick like glaze. Maximum firing temperature is Cone 10 for Blue, Black, and Green; Cone 5 for Brown and Yellow; and Cone 05 for Rose.

Caution — Blue contains soluble cobalt which bears the ACMI CL Caution Label. Follow directions for handling Blue with care. Always wash hands thoroughly after use. All other underglaze pencils are rated AP Non-Toxic

Click here for ceramic underglaze colour pencils.

Alphabet Stencils On Bisque

Create neat writing using our range of alphabet stamps.  Simply sponge underglaze through stencil designs on pottery (or apply by finger painting/dabbing).

Click here to find out more about stencilling on bisque, earthenware pottery.

Sticker Relief Writing On Bisque

Apply self adhesive alphabet stickers on your pottery design. 

Band or brush underglaze colour over the top and then once dry, gently remove the stickers.  Check out this tutorial that shows how to make your own wet paper stencils (also know as the wet paper transfer pottery painting technique.  Various video tutorials are available online.

Alphabet Rubber Stamps On Pottery

Stamp text on bisque pottery using alphabet stamps and Duncan EZ One Stroke Pottery Underglaze. 

Click here to find out more about rubber stamping on bisque pottery using underglaze.

Spectrum Raised Accents/Piping Paste

These slip-based decorating colours were designed to create embossed or raised designs on greenware or bisque. Lines drawn with an R.A.C. will remain raised even when fired as high as Cone 10! Testing is recommended for colour changes at high temperatures. Spectrum's R.A.C. Series is A.P. Non-Toxic and Dinnerware Safe.

Click here to view the range and colours of Spectrum Raised Accents

Writing on Signature Plates

If you want to create your own personalised or customised, bespoke, one-off SIGNATURE PLATE, then the simplest way of writing on the pottery is to provide a ceramic pen.  The Wedding Signature Plate shown on the right was created by hand-painting the main design in the centre.  This was decorated using Duncan Ceramic Concepts underglazes.  The squiggles on the wedding cake were created using Duncan French Dimensions (white).  The plate was then fired in the kiln to cone 06 (1020°c).  Once fired, the signatures and messages were added using an onglaze pen from Pebeo.  We have several brands of ceramic/china pens including a range from DecoArt.

Click here to download a pdf to use for signature plate instructions (for use by contributors or guests).

Underglaze Carving/Sgraffito Writing (sometimes called Sgraffiti, scraffito or scratching)

Sgraffito means “to scratch”.  Why not adapt the traditional pottery technique to scratch layers of contrasting underglazes or glazes to create graphics, images or writing on ceramics. The surface layer is incised to reveal a ground of contrasting colour.

To achieve this result:

  • Cover your bisque item with one or two light (and thinned coats) of white underglaze - we used Duncan Concepts white
  • Once dry, apply or band a top coat of underglaze colour - we used Duncan Concepts Delf blue
  • Once dry, use a cocktail stick or sgraffito tool to scratch a design, write a message, add a name or date etc. 
  • Lightly brush off excess/loose underglaze particles (scratchings).
  • Note:  always sgraffito before the paint has fully dried, if you do not you risk chipping the paint as you scratch through. If the paint has fully dried use a spritzer/spray bottle to dampen the underglaze.

Create Your Own Pottery Decals

Decals are also known as pottery transfers.  Click here to find out more about applying pottery decals

Decals can be used as a low-fire decorating technique to enhance pottery designs or shapes.  The transfers are applied post glazing (e.g. on top of fired glaze) or between glass layers.  Decals are mostly used on pottery, earthenware, ceramics, stoneware, china etc but they are also applied to glass – either between layers or on top.  To order your own pottery decals, create your artwork or send photographs to: Digital Ceramics.