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Block Printing with Underglazes on Bisque Tile


Printing is a very popular art form that is perfect for creating repeating patterns, images and designs. Printmaking techniques can easily be transferred into working with clay with the help of AMACO® Balsa-Foam® and AMACO® Underglazes, along with the many tools you already have in your classroom. This is the second technique in our lesson plan on printing and embossing with Balsa-Foam and underglazes.


  1. Pencil
  2. Balsa Foam
  3. Velvet Underglaze
  4. AMACO Ceramic Tiles
  5. Glaze Brushes
  6. Hardwood Modeling Tools


Lightly sketch a design or image onto the Balsa-Foam® block using a soft pencil.

Carve Balsa-Foam

Carve the design into the Balsa-Foam® along the pencil lines by using wooden or carving tools. Varying the lines depths and widths will help make a more unique and interesting block. Be sure not to carve completely through the Balsa-Foam® block.

Completed Carving

Apply Underglaze

Using a sponge stippling tool, apply AMACO® Velvets or LUG Underglazes only to the high points of the decorated side of your Balsa-Foam® block.


Lightly press the block onto a bisque tile or flat section of a plate or bowl.

Apply Additional Colors

Multiple colors could be applied during the same printing.

Reapply Underglaze Before Each Printing

Re-apply colors for additional prints or to create a repeating pattern.


Once the underglazes are dry, clear glaze may be brushed on before glaze firing.

Paint, If Desired

Additional colors or underglaze highlights may be painted onto the design.