Clay Artists Register Maker’s Marks

You know you’re serious about your pottery when you begin to think about a maker’s mark for your pots, clay sculptures and other works. It’s fun to put together your initials with a symbol, or to choose a mark from ancient alphabets, or to design something that seems to exemplify your ceramic art.

I’ve read that a lot of contemporary ceramic artists have drifted toward signing their work with an underglaze pen or pencil. They feel that gives the piece more the feeling of a signed work of art, and that’s fine.

But ceramic maker’s marks are a traditional part of the crafting of clay art of functional clay pieces. So design something you like, that represents you and your clay art. Then, if you want to solidify your design instead of drawing it on the pot each time, there are a couple of ways to acquire a pottery studio tool to do that.

Many artists form a soft clay stamper and carve their design into the end of it. Then they bisque the stamp and use it over and over. If you do that, you can stamp that bisqued stamp into fresh clay and have an innie and an outie.

maker's mark
Tools4Clay custom stamp


You might want to have a stamp professionally made via laser cutting. A good tool for branding you clay work. I know a lot of clay workers who like to work with a company called Tools 4 Clay (I think they’re out of Wisconsin) who produce stock designs as well as custom work. I’ve found their prices to be reasonable and their stamps to be a great value.


By the way, if you want to register your maker’s mark for ever and ever, have a look at The Marks Project and find their Submit Your Work page under the menu tab of the same name. The registry is free. There are no guarantees attached to registering your maker’s mark. For example, their searchable database doesn’t check duplicates. They don’t endorse work quality, etc. But they are trying to compile a record of maker’s mark from 1946 to the present.

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