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The glazed porcelain may then be decorated with overglaze painting and fired again to bond the paint with the glaze.

Decorations may be applied by brush or by stenciling, transfer printing, lithography and screen printing.

In sharp contrast to the archaeological usage, in which the term terra sigillata refers to a whole class of pottery, in contemporary ceramic art, 'terra sigillata' describes only a watery refined slip used to facilitate the burnishing of raw clay surfaces and used to promote carbon smoke effects, in both primitive low temperature firing techniques and unglazed alternative western-style Raku firing techniques.

Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as "art pottery".In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.A coating of white or coloured slip, known as an engobe, can be applied to the article to improve its appearance, to give a smoother surface to a rough body, mask an inferior colour or for decorative effect.Slips or engobes can also be applied by painting techniques, in isolation or in several layers and colours.There is a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures, and often ceramic objects are all the artistic evidence left from vanished cultures, like that of the Nok in Africa over 2,000 years ago.

Cultures especially noted for ceramics include the Chinese, Cretan, Greek, Persian, Mayan, Japanese, and Korean cultures, as well as the modern Western cultures.The body of the object may be hard-paste porcelain, developed in China in the 7th or 8th century, or soft-paste porcelain (often bone china), developed in 18th-century Europe.The broader term ceramic painting includes painted decoration on lead-glazed earthenware such as creamware or tin-glazed pottery such as maiolica or faience.Sgraffito involves scratching through a layer of coloured slip to reveal a different colour or the base body underneath.Several layers of slip and/or sgraffito can be done while the pot is still in an unfired state.Studio pottery is represented by potters all over the world.