Engraving Handmade Pottery

Has anyone ever engraved handmade pottery? I’ve just gotten into making pottery, and I’m wondering (hoping) if it would be possible to laser engrave it.

Would it work to engrave after it’s been fired but before glazing? Or after a complete glazing and last fire?

Any advice appreciated - thanks!

I suggest you try the search function…lots of posts about pottery. You’ll even see your own post second one down in the list!


I searched before posting, and mine is only the second question about pottery, and the plaster one didn’t give (any) the answers I was looking for.

Unless it’s a flat piece, how are you going to even fit it in the Glowforge? Even if you take the tray out, you only have 2" you can do, which would leave out most bowls, jugs, etc., you might make.

The second problem with bowls is the depth of the bowl itself. The glowforge can only focus 0.5" deep so your bowls can only be up to half an inch deep. More of a plate at that point.

Unless you get tricky…


Pottery isn’t just mugs and bowls. You can make flat hand built sculptures, little ring dishes, plates, ornaments, anything you can dream of!

I’m just wondering if anyone has ever tried to laser engrave handmade pottery before or after glazing.


She’s not wrong:


The thing about discourse is that search is really picky. I have some search tips that can be useful, check out #12:


I think the general consensus (in this post) on fired clay was no, BUT if the ingredients in your clay are safe to laser, give it a shot.

People have had success with etching on ceramic tiles, such that it burns away the glaze. I don’t know what kind of glaze is on there, though, and how thin it would need to be. Seems like a fun thing to play with.

I’ve been enjoying using patterned stamps to make pendants, so yeah, it would be fun to be able to etch those.

You might like to see this, too. One of the women at my maker space (who now own her own pottery studio) engraves bats on her laser that she uses to add decorative touches to her pottery. https://www.potterymill.com/flexi-bats