These rich earth colors and subdued tones are created from either natural clays or a mixture or clays and other ceramic raw materials and can be applied using a variety of methods.
Engobes may be brushed, poured, or trailed thinly on wet or dry greenware. Sometimes they are used to cover an inferior body, but generally are applied as decoration to contrast with the color of the clay piece. Slip painting, slip trailing, and Sgraffito are especially good decorating methods for engobes. For best results when slip painting, use short brush strokes. The designs should be compressed with direct strokes of the brush which is heavily loaded with the engobe. More elaborate designs may be made by the slip trailing method. Try decorating with the AMACO® Slip Trailer to produce thin and thick line designs. When the Sgraffito process is used, designs are scratched into a layer of engobe so the color of the clay shows through.
Tableware producers must test all finished ware to establish dinnerware status, due to possible variations in firing temperature and contamination.