Marbled decoration

Marbled decoration in CERAMICA CH

Complete and intentional marbling of a vessel’s surfaces was only possible if both the undercoat and the decorative slips were very runny (wet-on-wet technique); the latter were added, either simultaneously or one after another, using a brush or slip-trailer and the vessel was then shaken to help the colours to run into each other. Using a slip-trailer with multiple chambers for the different colours made the task considerably easier. Marbled decoration was sometimes further accentuated by adding combed decoration.

The same effect could be achieved by combining (wedging) different coloured clays; the resulting marbled clay could then be used to throw or turn a vessel. This technique was used mainly by the English pottery manufacturers (solid agate) and at Apt/Le Castellet in France (terres mêlées).

Translation Sandy Haemmerle

German: Marmorierung
French: décor marbré, décor coloré en traînées par engobe, décor aux traînées colorées, décor d’engobes mêlés, céramique engobée jaspée, terres mêlées


Blondel 2001
Nicole Blondel, Céramique, vocabulaire technique, Paris 2014, 48, 76, 212, 223