Drawing on Ceramic

by Jennifer Lyons
Add permanent drawings to a simple white vase.

Add permanent drawings to a simple white vase.

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

You can add extra character to objects around your home by learning to draw on ceramic. Whether you are an expert ceramicist with access to a kiln, or simply a crafter, there is a ceramic drawing technique to fit your skills. Grab your drawing pad, plan your designs and add them to mugs, plates and vases. If you are brave, you can design tile for your kitchen or bathroom. Give your ceramics away as gifts or save them all for yourself.

Items you will need

  • Bisque ware or glazed ceramic
  • Graphite pencil
  • Underglaze
  • Squeeze bottle with 16 gauge metal nib
  • Paintbrush (optional)
  • Wax
  • Dipping tongs
  • Transparent glaze
  • Kiln
  • Cone 06
  • Dish soap
  • Porcelain ink pens
  • Damp cloth
  • Oven


Step 1

Draw your design with a graphite pencil on a piece of bisque ware. Bisque ware is clay that has been fired in a kiln before the application of underglazes or glazes. Don't worry about erasing mistakes, the graphite will burn away when you fire the bisque ware.

Step 2

Pour an underglaze into a small squeeze bottle with a 16 gauge metal nib. Trace your graphite drawing with the underglaze. You can use multiple colors in separate squeeze bottles. To fill in large areas with color, paint the underglaze on to the bisque ware with the paintbrush. Allow the underglaze to completely dry.

Step 3

Rub warm wax on the bottom of the bisque ware to prevent glaze from adhering to the surface. This will prevent the piece from sticking to the kiln shelf.

Step 4

Hold the bisque ware with dipping tongs and submerge the piece in a clear glaze. Allow the glaze to dry completely.

Step 5

Place the bisque ware inside a kiln. Fire on cone 06, or if you have a pyrometer at 1850 degrees Fahrenheit, for seven hours. Allow the piece to cool and remove from the kiln.

Porcelain Ink Pens

Step 1

Wash a piece of double-fired ceramic with dish soap to remove all surface oils. Double-fired ceramic is bisque ware that has been glazed and fired again.

Step 2

Draw your desired design on the ceramic with Porcelain ink pens. You can purchase them at your local craft store in various colors. To start the ink flowing from the pen, shake vigorously for 20 seconds and press the tip of the pen down. If you make any mistakes you can wipe away the porcelain ink with a damp cloth. Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry.

Step 3

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the ceramic for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. The porcelain ink is permanent and safe in both the microwave and dishwasher.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images