The Clayer: Surfacing

The Clayer: Surfacing




About the course:


The Clayer, Part One: Surfacing, will teach you techniques to create rich and dynamic surfaces on clay. This e-course will cover various surface applications on clay, which will include; Mishima inlay, mono printing on clay, carving and printing with your own block prints and using those printing blocks to print on clay.



“I also don't know how to thank you enough for this course. It's opened some very big doors for me, doors I didn't even know were there. At times I felt as if someone were tickling me, sometimes to that point where it seems like too much but you don't want them to stop. Thank you for sharing so much of your amazing process with us but also for sharing so much of yourself. I think this has a lot to do with the success of the course. The best workshops I've taken are with people with big, generous personalities. This workshop is the best of the best.”

“This course was absolutely wonderful.  It will take me a LONG time to come near mastering these techniques but they will be fun to work on.  The student work was at SUCH a high level, and the enthusiasm generated infectious.”

A lot of inspiring ideas and some very helpful tips without having to leave home.”


"Thank you, Diana for sharing your talents with us! This was a great class, packed full of wonderful creative ideas I had no idea about, so I feel very blessed. I was also pleasantly surprised after signing up with how much of yourself you gave during the class--I guess I expected just the demo videos--but you gave a ton of time and attention to us, and I totally ate it up. I will sign up for ANY online class you teach!"


" I thoroughly enjoyed your e-course and learned all the surface decoration techniques I have been wanting to learn about. I think taking an online course is better in many ways than attending a workshop. There are no travel expenses, plus you are right there in your studio so you can practice each technique as you learn it rather than observing a bunch of demos and then trying to remember it all once you get back to your studio. Great video demonstrations, Diana, and thanks for the extras such as Wednesday wonders to get the creative juices flowing"


"What a great class! I am going to be learning from your demos and projects for months."


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Is The Clayer: Surfacing right for you?

I've made up this little test to find out your experience with clay.

  • Do you know the difference between low-fire, mid-fire and high-fire clays?
  • Do you know what a cone is?
  • Do you know what underglaze is?
  • Do you know the difference between oxidation and reduction firing?
  • Do you  know how to make a pinch pot?
  • Do you know what glaze is?
  • Do you know the difference between earthenware & stoneware?
  • Do you know what is a slab is and can you make one?
  • Do you know what scoring and slipping are?

If you answer no to any of these questions or you think I am speaking a foreign language, this course may not be for you. However, I do not want to discourage anyone from taking the class if they would like to learn techniques they are interested in. I simply want to make certain all participants are aware that this is an intermediate course.

I will not be explaining the basics of working with clay and will be using terms in which I will assume you know if you are at an intermediate level.  Please be aware of that before you sign up.

About Diana:

Diana fayt 2014

Diana has been working with clay for over 27 years. Her early exploration into ceramics began at a local pottery studio in San Francisco and she hasn't stopped since. Diana went on to receive a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking from California College of the Arts in 1992. After graduating from CCA, Diana taught drawing, printmaking and ceramics to people of all ages and then in 1995 decided to devote herself completely to her studio practice, where she spent the next 16 years developing her signature process, that combines all of her loves: clay, printmaking, painting and drawing which she refers to as "Etching in Clay".

Diana's work has been featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly as well as in numerous other publications such as American Craft, Sunset, InStyle, Domino, Madame Figaro to name a few.  Diana has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. Japan and Europe and currently exhibits her work in galleries and fine boutiques throughout the world.

In 2010, after a long solitary studio practice, Diana decided it was time to return to teaching to share her techniques, discoveries and inspiration with fellow ceramists and artists and has taught workshops at, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Clay Push in Australia,  Santa Fe Clay, Metchosin International Summer School of The Arts, The Hawaii Potters Guild, Mudfire Clayworks, Squam Art Workshops, Sierra Nevada College, Heath Ceramics and online with Creativebug.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1.Do I need to have any experience working with clay to take this course?

If you plan on doing the exercises, then yes. The class is going to be presented with the assumption that the participants will have basic knowledge of ceramics processes. (Please see the questions of the mini test to see if you will be prepared to follow along) I will not be explaining beginning basics in this course.  

However, if you wish to take the course just to learn and are willing to research basic terms and processes on your own you are most welcome to take the course.  There will be no tests or grading.

2. Do I need to have a kiln to take the class?

It is recommended that you have access to a kiln but it is not necessary to take the course. You will learn techniques and receive information on how to fire your pieces but you do not have to fire your work. There will be plenty for you to learn and take back to your studio to work with at any time.

3. I have never worked with clay but would like to learn how. Is this the course for me?

As mentioned above, I will not be teaching beginning techniques in this course and you may find yourself lost without the understanding terms and techniques that I will be referring to. You, of course, are welcome to take the course but I will not be answering questions or providing information for basic ceramic techniques.


4. I am interested in learning about your signature etching technique and how you get the fine lines in your work, will you be teaching it in this course?

I will not be teaching my signature etching technique in this course.

5. I am interested in surface techniques on clay but my studio only allows us to use high fire clays and glazes, can I still take this course?

Yes, you can.  However, I ask that you respect the policies of your studio in regard to what clay and glazes they allow you to bring in and fire.

6. I really want to learn how to draw on clay surfaces. Will you be teaching techniques to do this?

Yes, Mishima technique as well a sgraffito. Both drawing techniques for clay surfaces.

7. I don't think I am good at drawing, will you be teaching methods for transferring images on clay for the drawing-challenged?

Yes, I teach transfer methods that will enable you to transfer images to your pieces.

8. I am interested in photocopy transfer, screen-printing as well as using decals on clay, will these techniques be covered in the class?

These techniques are not offered in this class. Please see FAQ #13 to see what techniques the e-course covers.

9.  I am used to working in two-dimensional formats and working in 3D makes me nervous, will you be explaining how to make that leap?

Yes, I will discuss and demonstrate how to move from 2D to 3D in this course.

10. I am a college student and our school mainly focuses on sculpture/and or throwing but I'd like to learn more about surface design, is this a place where I can learn that?

Absolutely. This course will complement any other ceramics courses you may have or are currently taking.

11. I am shy and nervous about sharing my work with a bunch of people I've never met. Will I feel comfortable doing that in this course?

There will be a private space for you to share your work with others who are also taking this course.  It is encouraged that you share your work and your progress so that everyone can benefit from others experience. This will be a safe, private space for comments and only encouraging feedback will be allowed. No mean or critical remarks will be tolerated.


12. I have some questions that you did not answer. Can I write to you to ask them?
You may email questions that have not been answered here to me

13.What can I expect to get out of this course?

The course will cover these techniques:


  • how to make image transfers templates
  • monoprint on clay surfaces
  • Mishima technique
  • sgraffito
  • carving your own stamps from rubber blocks for your clay surfaces
  • printing with your hand carved stamps
  • layering of images


  • folded footed platter
  • draping over molds


  • How to work with imagery on a three-dimensional piece

14. What will I need, as far as studio equipment, to take the course?

You will need a space to work that is clay friendly. A table surface and basic clay tools. It is optimal that you have access to a kiln but it is not mandatory. You can practice all the techniques and learn from all the demonstrations with or without firing your pieces or use of a kiln.

15. Will I get individual feedback on my work?

I am not able to comment on everything but you will be able to upload images of your works in progress to our private classroom space. I give feedback as much as possible and everyone taking the e-course is encouraged to give one another feedback on their work throughout the e-course.

16. Do I have to check into the course at specific times?

I will be posting demonstrations, videos, assignments, links for inspiration and other goodies Monday through Thursday. You are free to check in when your schedule allows and when it is convenient for you. There is no requirement to sign in at any particular time.

17. What if I don't do my assignments?

Of course, I highly recommend that everyone does the assignments as it will enhance your experience but there will not be any grades given and I will not be pressuring you to do so. This is a self-paced class that you can do in your own time.

18. I have only taken face to face workshops for clay and never seen a ceramics e-course. How will you demonstrate techniques?

I will be providing video demonstrations for each process I teach along with some supplemental written information for the techniques I will be teaching.

19. How long after the e-course ends will I have access to the demonstration videos?

You will have access to the course and the videos for six months after the course ends.

20. I work a community studio that has very strict rules about types of clay we can use and what we are allowed to fire, will I still get something from this course if you use materials that we are not allowed to use in our community studio?

Yes, you most definitely will. You can use this as an opportunity to learn new techniques. However, I ask you to be respectful of your studio's rules and regulations in regard to clays and firing temperatures they allow.  A misunderstanding around this could be a very expensive mistake for the studio and yourself. Please know the rules of your studio and do not bring in projects you have done outside the studio without your studio's pre-approval.

21. I live abroad and would love to take your course but we use celsius temperatures instead of Fahrenheit and cone temperatures.  Will you be presenting the information with that in mind?

Yes, I will provide both Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures so that everyone can take the course

22. What materials and tools will I need for the e-course. Do you provide a materials list?

I do my best to use tools and things that most Clayers already have in their tool boxes. An extensive materials list will be provided once you've registered and paid for the e-course. The materials list will not be shared unless you are registered for the e-course.


23.What kind of clay will you be using during the e-course?

I will be using a mid-fire cream colored smooth (without grogg) stoneware clay body called B-Mix for my demonstrations, however you can use any similar clay or porcelain as long as it fires white to ivory and has no sand or grog in it.

24. When does this course begin and end and how do I pay for it?

The course begins on January 25th to March 3rd, 2016. Registration ends March 3rd, 2016. Please click on the "add to cart" button below to register and pay for the course.

25. What if I pay for the course and do not watch the videos during the course period, will I have unlimited access to the course information and videos for an unlimited time?

You will have unlimited access to the videos and course information for six months after your purchase date.

26. What if I never sign into the class, watch the videos, or do any of the assignments during the time of e-course. Will I able to get a refund?

Refunds cannot be given once you sign up for the e-course as you will be given all the password information giving you access to course that I can not undo.  Please be certain that you are able to take the course before registering for it.  

Thank you!