decoration is effected on the previously enamelled biscuit.
In the best craft shops it is exclusively carried by hand
without using any approximate and rushed techniques, such
as spraying and printing. The colour is applied onto the untreated
enamel and perfectly adheres to the enamelled surface while
baking, because when the enamel melts, the colour sticks to
The colour preparation is very ancient. It was accomplished
by milling the colours in a mortar with a pestle adding water
until a paste is obtained. This is diluted with water and
filtered through a very fine silk sieve.
When applying the colours, it is necessary not to exceed with
the colour; they may be applied by overlapping layers, from
the lightest to the darkest, the technique is similar to watercolour
except that it is not possible to correct mistakes or make
The decoration is made the on raw enamel by using a simple
pencil or else aniline or red lead colours diluted in water.
These substances will burn during baking without leaving any
traces. The dusting technique is widespread in several craft
shops producing extremely elaborated works.
This consists of a manifold paper with a drawing traced with
a series of needle holes one after the other. The dusting
is laid on the surface to be decorated and is slightly plugged
with a cloth, which is made of a silk stocking or a normal
piece of loosely spun cotton material filled with coal.
Through the holes realized with the dusting technique, the
coal will stick to the enamel surface faithfully reproducing
the traces and the proportions of the drawing.
Majolica painting has always been considered as being the
most difficult and complex pictorial technique among the various
arts and crafts because the colours and the tones used do
not correspond to the colour appearing after baking, and moreover,
they can be mixed together to obtain combined shades without
knowing for certain the final result. Unlike other techniques,
the decoration presents some disadvantages. Indeed, the surfaces
to be decorated are spherical rather than flat and due to
the friability of the enamel, it is difficult to apply colours
with the adequate intensity on this type of dry and dusty