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Pottery/Conflicitng Information - Please Clarify!!


bordallo plates
bordallo plates  
Hi Ti!

I'm writing about two majolica style Bordallo Pinheiro plates in photo (att)- BEIGE and WHITE

I've more of Beige than now disc. White.
Would like ALL Beige "whitewashed" in glaze to match White.
Local DIY pottery studios only handle their own bisqueware;
local potters say it cant be done- research says possible.

What is the EXPERT opinion. I would gladly send them to someone if it could be done- maybe you know someone? I live on the East Coast in a rural/isolated community. Thanks in advance for your opinion!

Be well. Ana.

Dear Ana,

    Thank you for your recent question. I would be very interested in the source you found that claims the Bordallo plates you have can be "whitewashed" to white. As a potter of 25 years in glaze chemistry, there is not a way to re-glaze these pieces to create the same white you have on the white plate.

    Let me explain. Glaze, including the majolica technique using tin wash, fuse all raw glaze materials together when fired. The colorants used in the beige glaze will prevent the new application of white glaze to be contaminated, therefore creating a possibly lighter beige or off white.

    Furthermore, the technique in which majolica is performed is a layered step technique that can not be performed on an already processed technique. The only way to create the white majolica technique on the beige plate would be to remove the glaze in its entirety. This would be impossible.

    I wish I had better news for you, but the laws of chemistry prevents this from happening.

    I am also curious as to why you would want to alter a Bordallo piece, even just for color change. Changing a collectable piece of pottery in any manner renders it uncollectable. My suggestion is to sell the beige plates after you find replacements in white. The value will remain the same for both plate types and you will have the white plates as you desire. this is just my opinion, but since there is no way to alter the beige plates to your need, this is the only alternative I can think of.

    Please let me know where you located the information on changing the color as I would love to know the process if this is something new that I don't know about. If so, I will help you work through the process.

    I look forward to your response.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


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Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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