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Old 01-14-2014, 02:13 PM
 
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Back in the dark ages, when art was really taught in elementary and high school, we had sessions of using fine-tip pens and India ink for drawing. Today, I started wondering why India ink. Doing a search, I have learned that India ink was/is used for many things.

One Wiki article shows a beautiful scene done with India ink in 1939. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_ink


With all the uses listed, one thing that is not mentioned is pottery. Has anyone ever used India ink to draw fine lines or shadings on pottery? I would be interested to know.

Thank you.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:54 PM
 
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The Sgraffito technique is most often used for achieving fine lines in pottery. Haven't heard of india ink used in pottery. The nibs would not hold up to the abuse, don't know if you can fire india ink.

Sgraffito
1. Decoration produced on pottery or ceramic by scratching through a surface of plaster or glazing to reveal a different color underneath.
2. Ware decorated in this manner
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:11 PM
 
Location: USA
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Seems to me India ink could be used to decorate a pot that has been fired. I have several pieces that are unglazed. Sometime I decorate them with acrylic colors.

When I was in school, drawing with India ink was common. Nowadays I'm surprised how many drawings are done with markers. Unheard of years ago. Back then, permanency was considered, whereas now, not so much. I know several artists who produce work without regard for its lasting quality. Maybe Albert Pinkham Ryder had the right idea after all; however, I don't really think so. He surely knew some of the material he used would not hold up.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
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Ink is a fun medium to work with, but I like watercolor paints over oils or acrylics so of course I would like ink.

Ink is likely not mentioned because other things are used for the effects that you are considering.

If you are wanting to draw or paint an image on a ceramic piece, then you would want to use either underglazes or you can get glaze pencils.

Now, the southwest native people used pigment and not glaze. Lucy Lewis used carbon (charcoal) for her black pigment, and if still made in the traditional way, India ink is basically the same thing....soot.
She/they applied the pigment with the tip of a leaf.
You would want to be sure that your piece is very dry if it is greenware, but you run the risk of distortion. Better to apply on bisqueware and use a rigger brush instead of the nibs.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:28 AM
 
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Thank you all. Interesting comments. The question stemmed from our reminiscing about old art classes. We suddenly remembered India ink. I always knew it as black but I stumbled on one web page that has it in colors.

Sgraffito - scratching through one layer of color to reveal a color you've put beneath it. Do I have that right? Meaning you can draw your design onto the vessel after both colors are on. I think I've read about that.

My friend thought you probably could not fire a piece with India ink because of its ingredients. The water would evaporate and the soot would disappear. That made sense to me. It is a permanent ink if I'm not mistaken but there is the heat of the kiln to consider. Maybe my friend could experiment with it. She's the potter. She's getting quite good at it.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:53 PM
 
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Some potters use India ink for a black filling after firing a crackle glaze.
Sgraffito is scratching a design revealing the clay, slip or underglaze color underneath (during the leather hard stage).
Mishima is another design where you carve or scratch in a design into a leather hard form and then fill it in with
a color slip or underglaze.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baileyvpotter View Post
Some potters use India ink for a black filling after firing a crackle glaze.
Sgraffito is scratching a design revealing the clay, slip or underglaze color underneath (during the leather hard stage).
Mishima is another design where you carve or scratch in a design into a leather hard form and then fill it in with
a color slip or underglaze.
I'm not sure what crackle glaze is but it is filling that brought on our search. My friend had made an outline by carving a line into the greenware and coloring it. The glaze atop it caused it to run. I know nothing about pottery and I don't know what she used. I got to wondering if something permanent like India ink would leave color there. She didn't think so and she knows more about pottery than I, for sure. Anyway, that took me back to "old times" and India ink.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
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Typically, greenware should not be glazed. A colored slip is what is used to decorate greenware.
I would have carved into the greenware, fired the piece and then glazed it.

I don't see why black India ink would not work. If its still made with soot or other carbon, then it is not goin to go anywhere, even in the kiln, soot is created by fire after all. Maybe research what the Romans used for thier black? I believe it was slip, but maybe not.
Have your friend do some test tiles. Try on tiles that are bisque, as well as green. Clear glaze one but not the other - so two bisque, one glaze one no glaze, this will show if it runs with glaze on top. You will want to prop the tile up so it is in position to represent a mug or vase.

Water in the ink is irrelevant since clay is only soft because of its water content. One does not want to fire a piece that is not totally dry or the residual water could cause the piece to explode.

Now colored ink would be a different story, and most likely, if used would change color, probably to black. But that depends on what is used for the pigment. Cobalt is the only thing I can think of that might keep its color since cobalt is used to make blue glazes.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OwlKaMyst View Post
Typically, greenware should not be glazed. A colored slip is what is used to decorate greenware.
I would have carved into the greenware, fired the piece and then glazed it.

I don't see why black India ink would not work. If its still made with soot or other carbon, then it is not goin to go anywhere, even in the kiln, soot is created by fire after all. Maybe research what the Romans used for thier black? I believe it was slip, but maybe not.
Have your friend do some test tiles. Try on tiles that are bisque, as well as green. Clear glaze one but not the other - so two bisque, one glaze one no glaze, this will show if it runs with glaze on top. You will want to prop the tile up so it is in position to represent a mug or vase.

Water in the ink is irrelevant since clay is only soft because of its water content. One does not want to fire a piece that is not totally dry or the residual water could cause the piece to explode.

Now colored ink would be a different story, and most likely, if used would change color, probably to black. But that depends on what is used for the pigment. Cobalt is the only thing I can think of that might keep its color since cobalt is used to make blue glazes.
Thank you. I shall talk with her about this tomorrow. Time to go away now.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:47 PM
 
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Here is a link about the stages of clay which may help explain when to carve, fire, glaze....
Note: if scratching or carving greenware you should wear a mask because of the dust which contains
silica and over repeated exposure gets trapped in the lungs.


http://www.newton.k12.in.us/art/3d/i...repWedging.pdf
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