Tag Archives: black and white

Ceramics in black and white


Black on white or vice versa has been used effectively with Eastern calligraphy in art to draw more attention to the the form of the strokes. As the letters quite often consist of simple strokes, the combination is stark and appealing. Early Greek pottery also featured a strong emphasis on using black figures over a lighter background. giving a silhouette effect.

Monochromatic imagery commands a different perception, especially if you’re working without any shades in between. With black and white, the greater contrast makes a bolder statement, creates more depth and mystique, and makes the patterns and designs more dramatic. This can be compelling or conversely over-intensify the appearance. Black and white always produces textures that appear to have more depth and crisper lines by virtue of the wider dynamic range and greater contrast. The added resolution and detail that is possible adds a hyper-realism to the subject, this is evident in B & W photography.

Due to not having the option of using colour film in the beginning, both photography and movies progressed the genre of black and white to a captivating level. Since the late 1960’s, few mainstream films have been shot entirely in black-and-white. In photography it also is less favored then in earlier eras, even though colour digital files can be converted to black and white relatively easily. I think that black and white ceramic arts are being more explored now then in the past. Pottery has always had a range of several colours to work with and never really went through a stage where black and white was used exclusively. With decorative ceramics, it is harder to utilize the shades of grey as easily as in the photo medium, so monochromatic combinations are more common in purely black and white decorative styles.




Kathy Victorino - black and white geometric zig zag potKathy Victorino – black and white geometric ceramic vessel




Black and white modern bar stool

Black and white modernist bar stool



Sally Hook black and white vase with sun and male face motifs

Black and white vase – Sally Hook




Art Deco vase, decorated with spherical, geometric black graphics.

Molded earthenware Art Deco vase, decorated with spherical, geometrized black graphics.

Signed  Fructuoso –    1930’s




Vintage Arabia ceramic Zebra, 1963 Finland

Vintage Arabia Zebra, 1963 Finland Black and White Pottery – Domestikate




Populate or Perish - Ceramic sculpture by Pru Morrison white kangaroos on a black background

‘Populate or Perish’ – Pru Morrison




Square Tumbler with Buzzard - Adam Posnak

Square Tumbler with Buzzard – Adam Posnak



Handbuilt Tripod Ceramic Vessel by Carol Eddy

Handbuilt Tripod Ceramic Vessel with colored engobes and stains

Carol Eddy



Acoma Sgraffito Pottery Jar - R Garciawith deer and bird motifs with abstract patterns

Acoma Sgraffito Pottery Jar –  R Garcia



Junko Kitamura - Black and white ceramic bowl

Junko Kitamura – Black/white bowl



maria_acosta_black_creme pottery

Maria Acosta

Maria is known for her flawless painting and unique figures on the bottom of her pots. She is a fixture in the Central barrio of Mata Ortiz with her many varied designs .




Dorothy Torivio - Black on White geometric olla vessel

Dorothy Torivio  – Black-on-White




Sally Hook twin handled vase

Sally Hook — twin handled black and white vase



Black and White decanters - Scheier

Black and White decanters  – Scheier



Laura Carrlin Ceramics - London, UK

Laura Carrlin Ceramics – London



Sew Zinski abstract contemporary ceramic bowl

Sew Zinski ceramic bowl



Sarvas black & white abstract black and white wavy design pottery vessel

Savvas Pottery



Marianne Starck for Michael Andersen (Denmark) sgraffito jug / vase with deer motifs. Circa 1960

Marianne Starck for Michael Andersen (Denmark) sgraffito vase. Circa 1960



Nkhensani Nkosi - " Tea Time Moments " teapot with cup and saucer

Nkhensani Nkosi –  ” Tea Time Moments “


Rowena Gilbert bowls

Rowena Gilbert



Miry Clay stoneware pottery tray

Miry Clay Pottery



Hubert Ceramics cubist teapot

Hubert Ceramics cubist slab teapot



Chulucanas Pottery - three B and W vessels

Chulucanas Pottery



Jan Richardson square vase with four legs - Spring

Jan Richardson – ‘Spring’ –square vase



Black n white Raku geometric vase - Terry Ha

Black n white Raku vase – Terry Ha




PlaceTime-Staffordshire teapot

Staffordshire Tea Pot



Black and white ceramic vessels with incised surface

Mermaid Bowl Dark blue sgrafitto on white byTessa Morgan

Mermaid Bowl Dark blue sgrafitto on white – Tessa Morgan

Tessa’s signature work consists of a white clay body decorated in dark blue slip which is then dipped in a clear glaze.



Black and white surafce textured vessel

Black and white surafce textured vessel

Dries Holten mid century modernist vase

Dutch Vase – mid-century – Dries Holten



Julia Janeway sgraffito magpie plate, black and white bird on mustard yellow background

Julia Janeway magpie dish



Gordon-baldwin-bowl fine ceramic walls

Gordon Baldwin Bowl

( Andrew Muir )



Atomic 1950's Sgraffito patterned dish by Lord David Queensberry

Atomic 1950’s Sgraffito patterned dish by Lord David Queensberry for Crown Staffordshire China 1955



Acoma pottery canteen vessel with sgraffito decoration - R.Garcia

Acoma pottery canteen vessel with sgraffito decoration – R.Garcia



Seraphin Soudbiinine Stylized Fish In The Shape Of A LyreSeraphin Soudbiinine Stylized Fish In The Shape Of A Lyre

National Ceramics Museum Sevres – France



Mid Century Modernist Pitcher Carstens " Hawaii " - 1957

Mid Century Pitcher Carstens ” Hawaii “  – 1957



Japanese Contemporary Vase - Kondô YutakaJapanese Vase – Kondô Yutaka



Black and White paisley toilet bowl

Paisley Throne in black and white



Keith Campbell black and white lidded vessel

Keith Campbell

Black and white plate by Jjanna Rebecca Lucario Acoma

Jjanna  Rebecca Lucario Acoma – black and white plate



Contemporary Swirl Bowl - DiVanityDesigns

Swirl Bowl –  DiVanityDesigns

Update 10 june 2014

Wolfworks Studios abstract vase

Wolfworks Studios abstract vase, black and white

Wolfworks Studios black and white baluster vase with naked person motif

Wolfworks Studios abstract vase

Yoshiro Ikeda contemporary Japanese pottery lidded vessel

Yoshiro Ikeda contemporary Japanese pottery

Black and white face close up - Diane Huminic-pinterest

Black and white face close up  – Diane Huminic-pinterest

Black and White face paint - piccsy

Black and White face paint – via piccsy

Jun Kaneko Dango, 2001 Hand built glazed ceramic--83h-x-30w-x-16

Jun Kaneko Dango, 2001 Hand built glazed ceramic sculpture

83 inch height  x 30 x 16

magpie figurine by Anita Reay

Anita Reay magpie sculpture


moodie girl-print-motif cearmic vessel - Pauline- Doyle

Moody Girl ceramic bottle – Pauline Doyle

Using terra-cotta clay, I spray over the red clay with a white slip. After the slip drys a bit, I scratch back through the slip to see  the clay and produce a design on the form. Here you see two faces. Later, I shade with underglaze or coloured slip. This ancient process is known as sgraffito. – Pauline Doyle



PS Porcelain cup face motif female

PS Porcelain cup



Stig Lindberg dish for Gustavsberg with illustration in black on white of a girl hanging clothes

Stig Lindberg dish for Gustavsberg

Jun Kaneko,-Dango,

Jun Kaneko, Black and White Dango,



Black and white squiggle bowl by Mark Dally

Large black and white squiggle bowl by Mark Dally

Chris Theiss A Change Of Direction

Chris Theiss – ‘A Change Of  Direction’ –  a teapot of challenging perspectives.

Whiteware, vitreous slip, sgraffito – Height 16 inches




Harris-Deller--geometrically spiral decorated vessel

Harris Deller

Cinema Gallery




Laurie-Goldstein-~-Teapot in black and white stripes

Laurie Goldstein





‘Patchwork Bottle Form’ by Ryan Thomas




Pierre-Boncampain--vase-vénus-fond-bleu - Squatting nude female motif

Pierre Boncampain — vase vénus fond bleu





Sarah-Farrelly-wildboar scuplpture in black and white

‘Wildboar’ Sarah Farrelly


Ursula-Commandeur abstract ceramic art

Ursula Commandeur


Gordon-Baldwin-abstract-black and white ceramic cup

Gordon Baldwin-1996



black and whit lidded vessel Alistair Danhieux

Alistair Danhieux pottery, France




Corrine-Chino fine detail hand painted Acoma Pueblo pottery

 Fine line hand painted Acoma Pueblo pottery – Corrine Chino

angular-sgraffito cup-Christopher-Theiss

“Staged Kitchen Cup” – Angular sgraffito cup — Christopher Theiss




‘Celestial Matter’ by Ronnie Phillips

The Appalachian Center for Craft


Mid Century ceramic black and white pourer and salt and pepper shakers
Mid Century Ellis ceramic black and white pourer and salt and pepper shakers


Ans Vink-paper-mache-clay-paverol-figures

Ans Vink paper mache clay paverol figures






Tim Christensen – fine drawings on porcelain pottery


The detailed sgraffito pottery of Tim Christensen :


Tim works exclusively  with black and white drawings on porcelain pottery with the motive of conveying a message for the times. Christensen claims his work reflects his environment, and the rhythmic, meditative movements of throwing the clay, shaping the vessels, sanding and carving them, give him time to become even closer to the woods, the sea and the night sky.

Tim’s story :  ” I have been making black and white pieces since 2003. I am getting better as I get deeper into this technique of sgraffito. My work is narrative, specifically illustrated, sometimes spiritual, often funny, and understandable. “


  ” I make pots about the times in which we live, and the challenges of living in a time in which we are divorced from the natural world around us. I make my work to be appreciated by those who know a lot or a little about porcelain or art, and make it with the hopes that some of these pots will survive longer than me or the culture in which we live, and will still be as pertinent and relevant then as now. ”   Sgraffito porcelain 'Hardwork' - Tim Christensen  Abstract wave form ceramic vessel with etched sea life surface

‘Hardwork’ – Tim Christensen

  ” I live in an off-grid cabin near the ocean in Roque Bluffs, Maine. My studio is the woods when the weather is fair, and in the cabin when it isn’t. ”       Ovoid black and white porcelain vessel - 'Squidcircus'  - Tim Christensen

‘Squidcircus’  – Tim Christensen


  ” To me, more important than the immediate political or social issues of the day is the greater struggle of humans to find a way to fit back in to the natural pattern of life on earth. This is the defining struggle of our time, and I feel compelled to illustrate this on my pottery. ”     Swimming octopus plate by Tim Christensen



  ” I make my forms on a kick wheel nestled in a hollow in the woods, draw where I please, usually in front of a small camp fire, and fire the work in a gas fired kiln, to which I have attached a bread oven. This arrangement allows me to be in very close contact with all of the natural rhythms coursing around us all. The ocean is about 300 yards away, and I often pack up my tools and a few pieces and draw on a very small island named “Despair”. “When I’m drawing, I portray things I’m really interested in, I feel like they are a photograph of my thoughts. Almost like an illustration of my dreams.  If  I can pull my conscious mind out of the process, I find greater insights than I would ever be able to put into words.”     Porcelain sgraffito of a herd of moose by Tim Christensen

‘Herd’  – Tim Christensen

    Porcelain vase with dragonflies in flight - Tim Christensen

‘Lotus’ – Tim Christensen

  “Across a channel is the island “Hope”. Seals, a family of eagles, my girlfriend Jenna, and our two dogs are constant companions whether I am working on our land or at the water. ”     Ovoid porcelain vessel with sgraffito art - Kingfisher bird diving

‘I saw a kingfisher’  – Tim Christensen



Creating porcelain sgraffito art - Tim Christensen

Scratching through the surface on a piece of porcelain



Making a sgraffito vessel on the veranda - Tim Christensen

Sgraffito work on the porch with Tim Christensen




swordfish+and+mackarel+11 inch ovoid vase high -Tim Christensen

‘Swordfish and Mackarel’ – Tim Christensen

11 inches height



winter+clam+digger+8+in+high Tim Christensen sgraffito art

‘Winter Clam Digger’ – Tim Christensen

Height 8 inches

Tim Christensen sitting outdoors scratching the surface of an ovoid vessel

Tim Christensen

Tim uses the sgraffito method to draw pictures on his porcelain vessels. Each vessel is made with layers of contrasting clay colors and he carefully carves a drawing into the top layer, revealing some of the layer beneath.


Tim Christensen Porcelain lidded box-  Woodswalk - A man walking his dog in the woods with a flock of overhead birds

‘Woodswalk’ – Tim Christensen




merganser-Tim-Christensen  sgraffito figurine of a duck

‘Merganser’ -Tim Christensen




octopod+sculpture by Tim-Christensen in black and white porcelain sgraffito

‘Ocotpod’ – Tim Christensen




sea+wall+tile+11+inch+high  Sgraffito ceramic wall panel with sealife  - Tim Christensen

‘Sea Wall Tile’ – Tim Christensen

11 inches height




wrens+and+grass+10 inches high Black and white sgraffito vase by tim-christensen

‘Wrens and Grass’  – Tim Christensen



More on Tim Chistensen here.