There were seven of us who attended Renate's workshop, last weekend, discovering the delights and magic of putting engobe and slips onto clay. We had each been asked to bring some leather-hard tiles and bowls to practice the techniques of engobe application.
Renate had some simple rules for us to consider as we embarked on our discovery; importantly, consider the viewer and don't limit oneself in how to apply the engobe and work the surface of the pot.
To get the best result for the colour of engobe one wants, use the whitest clay possible. The array of colours Renate uses is clear from the samples of her standard range she brought in to show us. Renate also uses a small range of colours from which she blends to achieve the colour she wants. We then mixed up a colour each, using the white slip Renate had brought and shared these amongst us. We then attacked the tiles and bowls we had brought in with some hesitancy as some of us hadn't attempted this before. A sample of the results is shown below.
Being involved in learning something new generated wonderful discussion and debate. Renate has great skill and knowledge in the application of engobes and to watch her demonstrate and see her range of test tiles was wonderful. I think the range of colours and designs of engobe decorations is only limited by our imaginations.
Thank you, Renate.
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The Secretary and Members - Mt Pleasant Pottery Group.