In my work I use sgraffito — the centuries-old decorative process of drawing into the surface of the clay. Slip (liquid clay) is applied to the pot when it is still damp, at the leather-hard stage, and allowed to set-up. The slipped pot re-dries, and reaches an ideal point between soft and hard, when I draw and carve designs into the surface of the clay, taking care to consider the form of the piece.
The pot is then bisque fired, and glazed so as to enhance the carved surface. Finally, the pot is returned to the kiln for glaze firing, at which point all my intention and careful tending is replaced by an element of chance. When the kiln is finally cooled and opened, hopefully the flames and atmosphere of the firing will have added its own unique magic to the surface of the pot.