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Travels in Clay....


When travelling in other countries its always interesting to see the skills and techniques of local potters. As someone who’s always struggled to throw pots taller than 6 inches I was amazed to watch this tiny Vietnamese woman throwing a pot nearly as big as her.  Thanks to Michele Martin for these pictures of a lady throwing lady pots.  An interesting techinique which could be scaled down for our studio.

Royal Delft Pottery

The picture below were taken during a recent visit to the Royal Delft factory in Delft, Netherlands.  Its not a big factory but it has a long heritage and is one of the few producers who still hand paint some of their pots.  They have website with a video of a pot being decorated and you can see how expensive the hand painted pots are.  It is well worth a trip around if you go to Delft and the Cafe is great too.

The moulding bay

A large area full of slip moulds. All the Royal Delft pottery is slip cast.

Ware boards

Pots drying ready for the next stage.


Pots being fettled to remove mould marks from casting. T he pots then have another layer of slip to prevent joins showing after firing.

Dutch figures

Biscuit fired ware waiting for decoration

Hand painting

Some of the Royal Delft pottery is hand painted


The pattern to be painted is transferred to the pots with graphite powder pushed through a custom made mask with pin holes


Royal Delft painters train for 5yrs


Brushes are laid out ready to begin painting

Detailed work

The brush tips are trimmed to hold colour but also give a fine line


The painters only use on mix of colour and vary the tone by making it thinner or thicker

Stages of decoration

The transformation from marking out to painted and then fully fired


Areas of the pot are masked to prevent sprayed glaze from causing pots to stick when fired

Bud vase

Tall sectioned vases for tulips are a specialty of dutch pottery

Work in the shop

Finished work is sold in the factory shop with small transfer designs selling for a few pounds and large hand painted work for thousands.

Small pots

The mass produced transfer decorated pots

Big tiles

This is a life sizes copy of 'The Night Watchman'

Using scrap

A fountain decorated with broken pots.

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