Hand Painted Pottery with Animal and Dog Art by Nan Hamilton Boston MA

How the Zebra Vase was Made

First, I threw tall, moderately full shape of white stoneware on a potter's wheel. The next day when the pot was partially dry, I trimmed the pot to make the foot on the bottom. The pot was bisque fired to cone 08.

I glazed the inside of the pot with a black glaze then I did a rough drawing of the zebra on the pot to see how much space it took. I measured the design and the diameter of the pot to see how many animals would comfortably fit together; I decided on four zebras. Next I drew the zebra shape four times, fitting together the heads over the backs. When that was done, I painted liquid latex in the background areas. The pot was dipped in a white matte glaze and the liquid latex was removed from the pot. In this picture, you can see the white glaze standing out in relief on the pot's surface.

After zebras were drawn in pencil, I began to paint them with underglaze paints. I work in the top area first so I don't smudge the underglazes as my hand rests on the pot. After the underglazes were applied, I painted wax resist over the zebras and waited a day for it to harden. Then I dipped the pot in black glaze to fill in the background areas. I cleaned up any black glaze that stuck to the wax, then cleaned up the edge where the white and black glazes meet with a sharp stainless steel rib. This must be done carefully because if there is a glaze built-up at the meeting edges, the upper glaze will probably run down into the lower glaze. The pot was now ready to fire.

Here's the finished pot. This pot is much more interesting in person as the stripes are flattened by the photo, taking away the depth you see when you hold the pot.

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No unauthorized reproduction. Thank you. Text and Photos Copyright © 2006 Nan Hamilton