Well I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep away from my needle and thread for long! I always find myself thinking of new ways to add a feeling of fabric to my ceramics. I’ve been inspired by the henna designs that I’ve been looking at while developing my sgraffito designs and I thought I’d have a go at recreating them with needle and thread.

fullsizeoutput_857Using hand embroidery techniques I created these patterns with the idea of turning them into stamps to impress in the clay.







The stamps need to be pressed firmly into the clay for the stitch design to be created as a relief pattern. This leaves a block shape from the edges of the stamps. This slab was an initial experiment with my stamps and I chose to smooth the edges down. I actually quite like this effect though, it gives the design an almost patchwork quilt look.





I thought I’d take this slab a little further by making it into a shallow dish. I laid the slab into a plaster mould to create the shape.






img_3416I couldn’t resist adding a bit more decoration to this dish. I’ve been thinking about the idea of layering decoration. It’s almost like layers of fabric…textures, patterns and colours coming through in different areas. So I added areas of black slip and dabbled with the sgraffito designs again, as well as some painted patterns.

And here’s the finished piece. Its very much an experimental piece. I’m pleased with the movement of the black slip designs. I wanted to break the harsh line that I created with I first painted the slip on. The stamps have an interesting effect but need to be worked onto a flat surface which has its limitations…something for me to contemplate!

This idea of layered fabric is really sticking in my head so look out for more layered decoration in future designs in this series!