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Creating 'Pyjama Stripes' by masking

Once I've created forms that I am pleased with and bisque-fired them, it is onto the decorating stage. I spend a bit of time looking at the shape and waiting for it to speak to me in terms of the best way to decorate the surface.

There's something fresh, simple and effortless about stripes on ceramics. At the moment I'm really into them and using them in my pyjama stripes series. I've been experimenting using trim tape to mask out lines and paint in underglaze colours. The technique definitely works best on pieces fired to bisque stage, but it can be a little fiddly and the underglaze tends to bleed into the slightest gap, so inevitably some time is spent 'fettling' and cleaning up the stripes to give neat lines. Quite intricate patterns can be built up this way, if you are happy to devote the time to it! And it is such a joy to peel back the tape and reveal the final surface.

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