Mod Podge – First Water Etching Examples

Some of my students have finished their mod podge water etched vases, and I was just too excited to wait… So… here are some of our first attempts! I like water etching without any glaze – just the texture.

The students first had to construct his/her vases out of thin cardboard. Then they put the vases together with clay. They applied mod podge to at least two sides (of their potential 4 vase faces). These two designed sides were inversions of each other (mod podge was switched in application).

We applied the mod podge in the leather hard stage, let it dry, then gently used a damp sponge to wipe off the non-resisted parts of the clay. So fun! See the video that inspired it all here!


Water Etching with Mod Podge – A New Obsession

I am always looking for new ideas for ceramics. It is just one of those mediums that inspires experimentation. I have recently signed up for the fantastic newsletter from Ceramics Art Daily and came across this demo on water etching. Since I’m not a big fan of wax or shellack for high school students, I wasn’t so sure if I’d be doing water etching in the near future. But I, was definitely wrong. The folks at Atlanta Clay have done a spectacular job showing off this great technique using Mod Podge. I bought 1 gallon of it at Dick Blick ($30-$40 or so) and I’m pretty sure it will last me all school year too.

Check out this awesome demo. I am incorporating mod podge water etching soon. I’ll for-sure post the results!

-Shalanah Dawson

Kirk Freeman Pottery Website Launch

Picture 7

Very excited to announce the website launch of . Kirk Freeman is a potter and was my ceramics professor (a really excellent and funny one too) at Bethel University. Definitely take a look at his work – it’s stunning.

The design was based off of a free WordPress theme where I altered the CSS and PHP to fit Kirk’s website goals. CMS is the way to go.

– Shalanah Backus

Story-Dream Tile Lesson


I start Ceramics at Waconia High School with this project “Story-Dream Tile” to teach students how to throw slabs, foreground, middleground, background, patterning, relief (subtractive + additive methods), and how to carve in the leatherhard stage. If you wish to see more story-dream tiles please click on the image above.

  1. I first have students write down a story from the summer or in the last couple years (or a dream).
  2. They then brainstorm on objects they may need to look at in order to draw these tiles.
  3. I allow them to go to the computers and print off images if needed.
  4. They draw two thumbnail images (get checked off) and are then allowed to go onto a final design.
  5. I show students how to create a slab, punching holes through design to transfer image onto slab, and add a slab by slipping and scoring.
  6. I also show how to carve in the leather hard stage. A main goal is to have students add as much as they take away – TIP – no needle point carvings (unless texture) but carve away SHAPES or thick lines
  7. Another TIP – Student will want to do beach scenes – they may but they cannot be typical! Encourage them to do a story from the last year to cut down on this or to have them active in the image.

Below are some files that I use to guide the project feel free to use them!

-Shalanah Backus