Cuerda Seca and Mocha Diffusion Ceramics Decoration Workshop
ceramics workshop cuerda seca and mocha diffusion

Cuerda Seca & Mocha Diffusion Online Workshop

In this online workshop I walk you through a bit of background, the ingredients and techniques for two very different clay decoration techniques: Cuerda Seca (also known as dry cord) and Mocha Diffusion.

Inca Visions Decorative Plate

The Cuerda Seca (“dry cord” in English) technique was first used in central Asia in the 14th century. The water-soluble glazes are separated on the surface by thin lines of oil and pigment. This allows you to create intricate designs without the glazes running together. This decoration technique was commonly used for tiles and in decorative pieces.

ceramics workshop mocha diffusion decoration technique

Mocha Diffusion is a chemical reaction between an alkali clay body and an acidic component that results in stunning, organic designs that are reminiscent of dendrite formations, or the roots from plants and trees. With very little set-up and time you can get achieve outstanding designs.

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6 thoughts on “Cuerda Seca & Mocha Diffusion Online Workshop”

  1. Sunitha Chakravarthi

    Hi Amelia, watched your workshop on Cuerda Seca technique. Loved it. Have a question the glazed you used for the filling are they underglaze colours or coloured glazed. Do we have to dip them in transparent glaze for firing in the kiln.

    1. Amelia Johannsen

      Hi Sunitha, I know we already talked on Instagram, but I wanted to add my answer here as well in case more viewers had the same question! I used regular glazes (not underglazes) with this technique and I do not use a transparent coat on top.

  2. David Blackwell

    Hello Amelia,
    I grew up in the Portland area..across the Columbia River in Vancouver. Just retired to Taos New Mexico. Did pottery in high school and college. Now am setting up a little pottery studio in our home and am joining a community close to the house. I am eating up the internet with videos on all different styles both throwing and hand built. This video was inspiring and exciting, Thank you for making it and posting it! I look forward to following you and learning and enjoying your work!

    1. Amelia Johannsen

      Thanks for your comment David! I’m always thrilled to hear when my posts have helped or inspired someone. I wish you the very best of luck with your new studio in Taos – it’s such a beautiful and inspiring part of the world, especially for pottery. I’d love to revisit New Mexico one day. All the best, Amelia

  3. Brown Véronique

    Hi Amelia.

    Thank you very much for sharing this decoration technique with us. I was writing down the recipe and looking for the ingredients from my suppliers when several questions popped up! What kind of frit do you use in your mix? You mentionned Cobalt but is it Cobalt carbonate, Cobalt oxyde or cobalt sulfate? And finally is this safe to use for kitchenware? Thank you.

    1. Amelia Johannsen

      Hi Véronique, You’re very welcome—I’m glad you enjoyed it! In my experience with ceramics as with cooking, many ingredients are interchangeable. Use the recipe as a guide for amounts, but feel free to experiment with the ingredients. I used cobalt oxide, but if you have another cobalt on hand, I’d say give it a try! You can also try using different pigments. I used a transparent glaze in powder form as my frit. The cuerda seca technique should not be used for kitchenware, decorative pieces only. Good luck!

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