Asian Crackled Koi


Products Used

  • MB-11327 Koi FIsh
  • UG-1 Kngs Blue
  • UG-2 Sea Blue
  • FN-019 Dark Blue
  • CC-101 Transparent
  • SS-335 Rich Blue
Decorating Accessories
  • CB-110 #10/0 Liner
  • CB-202 #2 Detail LLiner
  • CB-604 - #4 Soft Fan
  • BT-910 - Synthetic Sponges
Additional Materials
  • Paper Towel
  • Blue Masking Tape
  • Small Cup
Project Info


  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque.  Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Cover the hole in the bottom of the fish with the Blue Masking Tape.  You may also want apply tape around the mouth to ease the clean up of any glaze that may drip after pouring the inside. There is a possibility that any glaze residue could stain the outside and leave a shadow in the transparent glaze after the firing.
  3. Place some FN-019 Dark Blue into a small cup and add a little bit of water to slightly dilute it (about 3 parts glaze and 1 part water).  It should be the consistency of a coffee cream.  Pour this into the fish and roll around to completely coat the interior of the fish.  Drain out the excess glaze and keep fish inverted until it has lost its shine. Wipe off any glaze from the outside using a damp sponge. Allow to dry.
  4. Using a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply 3 coats of UG-2 Sea Blue to the scale portions of the fish.   Allow to Dry.
  5. Using a BT-901 Sponge moistened with water to antique the fish scales. Rinse the sponge often to keep the “white” portions of the fish scales crisp and clean. When you are antiquing the color from the fish, keep the color slightly darker or heavier than you think you will like it as it will lighten slightly after the firing.  Allow to dry.
  6. Using a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply 3 coats of UG-1 Kings Blue over the fins of the Koi Fish.  Paint a bit over and around the whiskers of the fish.   As in Step 5, antique the fins and whiskers of the fish.  Allow to dry.
  7. Using a CB-202 #2 Detail Liner, apply 1 thin coat of UG-2 Sea Blue to the iris portion of the fish. Detail the pupil and “eyeliner” portion of the Koi with UG-1 Kings Blue by applying 2-3 coats. Using a CB-110 #10/0 Liner loaded with UG-1 Kings Blue outline and detail the scales on the body of the fish.   Allow to dry.
  8. Fire the piece to shelf cone 04.   To properly set and mature the Underglaze color. Not firing the color to Shelf Cone 04 can lead the color to be less than the proper color saturation. Applying glaze over unfired color can lead to smearing of the color especially if no care is used to apply the top glaze.   The CC-101 Transparent Crackle glaze may not perform ideally if not fired to Shelf Cone 06 as well.
  9. Using a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply 3 coats of CC-101 Transparent Crackle to the entire outside of the fish.  Allow to dry.
  10. Stilt and fire the piece to Shelf Cone 06.
  11. When removing the piece from the kiln, use a paper towel to handle the piece.  Any oils or lotions on your hands may affect the crackle from accepting the stain over the glaze and to show up the crackle pattern later on.    Let the piece sit for a few days to develop the crackle pattern to the fullest before antiquing the glaze.   Drape a paper towel over it to keep any volatized oils from landing on the ware.   When handling the piece, use a paper towel until the piece has been antiqued with the Softees Acrylic.
  12. For the crackle pattern to be noticeable or accented one needs to antique the piece with a permanent color of some kind.
  13. In a plastic cup thin some SS-335 Rich Blue to an inky consistency. Holding the piece with a paper towel, apply 1 good coat of the thinned Rich Blue to the entire piece.  Wipe off the drying color with a separate paper towel. The crackle pattern should be evident now that the stain has permeated the cracks in the glaze. Note: If you would prefer black crackle pattern to the ware, you may  substitute SS-138 Flat Black.