This is just a quick tutorial on how to make a “Faux Bois” (fake wood) texture on a slab.
It is my impression that Faux Bois is all the rage and if Martha Stewart has Faux Bois wrapping paper, clearly, to be able to make a dish or box using it, it’s a GOOD THING™
It is also a good thing to do all the steps and do them in the right order.
Paint some slip on there or even underglaze in a fairly thick coat. I’m using chartreuse to make it particularly hard to see in my photos.
Take sheets of newspaper to “dry” the slip. Just lay the newspaper on there and watch as the moisture begins to show through the paper. When you pull up the first sheet, you may end up pulling off some of the slip-
just set that piece aside and keep drying with successive pieces of newspaper until there is no moisture being absorbed by the paper.
Here, I’m rubbing the paper down to aid in the moisture absorption.
At this point, if you wish, you can try to re-apply the peeled up slip. If you can get it to stick down to your now dryish surface, you may have to dry off the new bits with one more sheet of newspaper.
You are wondering why we need to “dry” the slip? We are going to stretch the slab under it. If the slip is wet, it will just stretch nicely with the slab and we won’t get any of the cool effects we’re trying for.
When your surface is not tacky or shiny, take a sharp tool like a needle tool and draw in the wood pattern. Basically you draw a few knotholes and then draw vertical lines that bend around them when they encounter the curve of the knothole. Take a look at some wood grains or Faux Bois wrapping paper for reference.
Don’t go too deep! You only want to pierce that dried slip layer. Also, draw it smaller and closer together because this pattern is going to
e x p a n d .
Next, begin to throw out a slab. This is a little tricky as you shouldn’t hold the slab on top and you can’t flip it over, you have to throw it with the slip side facing up the whole time.- my action shot of this did not turn out.
I’ve found that if it has really sharp edges, once it is all the way thrown out, you can go over it gently with a rolling pin but I would avoid that if you can.
Obviously you are going to need a transparent type glaze on it like clear or a celadone or even a shino depending on how dark your slip or underglaze is.