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Paper Resist for Underglazing

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A post shared by Polly Fern (@pollyfern) on

In this video, we see Polly Fern from PollyFern showing how paper resists works.

Polly is an illustrator, ceramicist, and canary keeper in the Uk whose work focuses on characters and animals with colorful underglazes and designs.

What is Paper Resist?

Paper resist is the technique where strips of moist paper are adhered to the surface of the clay and used to resist slip or glaze.

You start by drawing your design on a piece of newspaper or paper and then cutting it out. Once it is cut out you will lay the paper on the form and gently press a damp sponge to the surface. This will wet the clay and the paper and allow them to temporarily stick together. Once the paper is attached to the clay then you can brush an underglaze or glaze over the paper gently and allow it to dry. Once the underglaze or glaze is dry enough to the point where your fingerprints will not damage the surface it is time to peel the paper off the forms.

As Polly is displaying in her video you must go slowly and gently to ensure that the paper does not rip off too early or mar the paper resist design. If you are having a hard time getting any of the edges to lift up then try using a needle tool to lift up the edge of the paper gently without damaging the surface.

To see more of Polly’s work find her on Instagram @pollyfern.


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