Engobe

DEFINITION

A colored slip used in decorating ceramics. They have several distinctive attributes, but are also excellent alternatives to glazes because they are less expensive and less time consuming. Engobes are typically made by mixing water with a claybody in use, then mixing in one or more colorants (e.g. oxides) ? in a proportion of dry ingredients to water that is about 1:2 by volume. They are best applied in a consistency like cream to leatherhard greenware, or a little thinner when applied to bisque. Colored slips stay put ? they won't run or blur as many glazes do. Textures made in colored slip will remain as they're formed, instead of smoothing out as do those made with glazes. They can be applied with a brush, a slip-trailing bottle, or by dipping or spraying. Another method for using engobes in making a design is called sgraffito: coat unfired clay with engobe, and then scratch away at parts of it to reveal the clay surface underneath.(pr. en-gohb)

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