Block Printing with Underglazes on Bisque Tile

by AMACO brent

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Printing is a very popular art form that is perfect for creating repeating patterns, images and designs. Printmaking techniques can easily be transferred into working with clay with the help of AMACO® Balsa-Foam® and AMACO® Underglazes, along with the many tools you already have in your classroom. This is the second technique in our lesson plan on printing and embossing with Balsa-Foam and underglazes.


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Lightly sketch a design or image onto the Balsa-Foam® block using a soft pencil.

Carve Balsa-Foam

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Carve the design into the Balsa-Foam® along the pencil lines by using wooden or carving tools. Varying the lines depths and widths will help make a more unique and interesting block. Be sure not to carve completely through the Balsa-Foam® block.

Completed Carving

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Apply Underglaze

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Using a sponge stippling tool, apply AMACO® Velvets or LUG Underglazes only to the high points of the decorated side of your Balsa-Foam® block.


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Lightly press the block onto a bisque tile or flat section of a plate or bowl.

Apply additional colors

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Multiple colors could be applied during the same printing.

Reapply underglaze before each printing

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Re-apply colors for additional prints or to create a repeating pattern.


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Once the underglazes are dry, clear glaze may be brushed on before glaze firing.

Paint, if desired

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Additional colors or underglaze highlights may be painted onto the design.



    Printing and Embossing with Clay and Underglazes Download File


    pencil balsa foam Velvet Underglaze AMACO Ceramic Tiles Glaze Brushes Hardwood Modeling Tools