Ceramic underglazes porcelain

  • CLEAR ENGOBE - The magical transparent engobe technique

How do you use engobes in pottery? How do you use colored slips? Is colored slip the same as underglaze

CLEAR ENGOBE, often used in pottery and ceramic art, is essentially a special chemical compound that has been formulated to have a translucent or transparent quality after firing. Unlike colored engobes or underglazes that are used to add color beneath a glaze, clear engobe serves different purposes, such as:

Improving Surface Texture: It can smooth out or alter the texture of the clay body, making it more suitable for certain types of glazes or decorative techniques.

Adjusting Color: Although "clear," it can slightly modify the color of the clay body, enhancing or muting it depending on the ingredients used in the engobe.

Enhancing Glaze Fit: It can help in preventing glaze defects by adjusting the expansion coefficient of the clay body's surface, making it more compatible with certain glazes.

Adding Strength: When applied to greenware (unfired pottery), it can add some strength to delicate parts before the first (bisque) firing.

How to Apply Clear Engobe

1. Prepare the Pottery

Ensure your pottery piece is leather-hard, which is the ideal stage for applying engobe. At this stage, the clay is dry enough to hold its shape but moist enough to absorb the engobe. If applying to bisque ware, ensure the surface is clean and free from dust.

2. Mix the Clear Engobe

Prepare your clear engobe according to your recipe. Most clear engobes will be a mixture of a clay body similar to your base clay, silica, and a flux to help it melt slightly and adhere to the surface during firing. The mixture should have the consistency of heavy cream. Sieve the engobe to remove any lumps for a smooth application.

3. Apply the Engobe

You can apply clear engobe in various ways, including brushing, pouring, dipping, or spraying. The method depends on the effect you're aiming for and the piece's size and shape.

Brushing: Use a soft brush to apply the engobe evenly. Several coats may be necessary to achieve the desired thickness, allowing each layer to dry slightly before applying the next.

Dipping: Dip the entire piece or parts of it into the engobe. This method is efficient for covering large areas evenly.

Pouring: Pour the engobe over the piece, which is useful for creating specific patterns or covering large, flat areas.

Spraying: Use a spray gun or airbrush for an even coat, especially over intricate designs or textures. This method requires specific equipment and a bit of practice to achieve uniform coverage.

4. Drying and Bisque Firing

After applying the engobe, let the piece dry completely. The drying time will vary based on the thickness of the application and the humidity in your workspace. Once dry, the piece can be bisque fired according to your clay body's specifications. This initial firing turns the pottery and engobe into a durable, porous state, ready for glazing.

5. Glazing and Final Firing

Apply your chosen glaze(s) over the engobe if desired. Since the clear engobe is designed to interact well with glazes, it should enhance the overall finish and fit of the glaze. After glazing, the piece undergoes its final firing to maturity, solidifying the engobe, clay, and glaze into a unified, finished product.

Experimentation with clear engobe recipes and application techniques is key, as different clay bodies and firing temperatures can significantly affect the outcome.

Product Highlights:

  • Translucent Finish: Achieve a subtle, refined finish with our premium clear engobe. Designed for the discerning ceramist, it promises a delicate sheen that enhances the natural beauty of your pottery without overpowering it.
  • Surface Perfection: Ideal for smoothing out imperfections or adding a layer of depth, our clear engobe acts as the perfect canvas for your glazing creativity. Transform your piece’s surface into a flawless backdrop, ready for any decorative endeavor.
  • Glaze Compatibility: Elevate your glazing game with an engobe that ensures a seamless interaction between your clay body and glazes. Say goodbye to crazing, crawling, or peeling, and hello to harmonious, vibrant finishes.
  • Versatile Application: Whether you're brushing, dipping, pouring, or spraying, our engobe is formulated for easy application across a range of techniques. Perfect for artists who cherish precision and flexibility in their craft.
  • Strength Enhancement: Applied to leather-hard or bisque ware, this clear engobe not only beautifies but fortifies. Delicate parts gain added resilience, ensuring your art withstands the test of time and firing.

Quantity: 40 g. (1.41 oz.)
Packaging: Plastic bottle, sealed and labeled
Safety: Non-toxic, lead-free, and formulated for safe use in educational settings 


APseal RDinnerware Safe

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CLEAR ENGOBE - The magical transparent engobe technique

  • Brand: Degussa
  • Availability: 998
  • 2.59€


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Tags: engobes