Shirley Anderson came to visit the 8-week pottery class hosted in my home studio. And I was beyond excited to try out this new-to-me technique. It turned out to be such an adventure and really fun. Shirley is a master storyteller and her visit would have been worth it just for the entertainment it was an extra bonus that she also showed us how to use Mocha Diffusion.
Mocha Diffusion does sound like a delicious coffee but it's even more exciting than that. The process is a little-known technique that was developed in the southwest of England, primarily used to create beautiful decorative patterns.
At it's core, mocha diffusion is a chemical reaction from alkali and acid. One is used for the base, the other for decoration. When you add a drop of your 'mocha tea' it bleeds out from the point of contact creating veins similar looking to a tree or, if you're more of a romantic, like frost creeping across glass.
If you want to know more about mocha diffusion read this great article by Pottery Making Illustrated, which dives deeper into the techniques, history and the end product.
The whole process was so much fun and gave me lots of insight on being a complete newbie again. I'd never done it before and it quickly became about learning an entirely different technique.
It's been a while since I challenged myself in pottery and it's hard coming to terms with not getting close to perfect technique straight away.
I always dipped my item too deep! So it was a messy experience for me!
My students, on the other hand, were far more adept.
Offering pottery classes to adults and kids in Athens, Brockville, and Kingston, ON.