The beauty of pottery often comes from the patterns on the outside surface. Some of them are crafted with tools, but others use items abundant in nature to create fanciful marks that are overall pleasing to the eye. They may be embellished with colourful glazes to bring them out, but using natural decoration to make a pattern is often done without them. It can be an interesting experiment for students, or it may be a favourite technique for more advanced artists.
Trees are a large part of the world of nature, and they have much to contribute to pottery. Pieces of bark can be used to impress their rugged surface onto a decorative pot. The ridges can be repeated all around it to add an extra dimension of texture. While this is a technique that has been used in many cultures, it is not the only one available today.
The shapes of leaves have long been part of the world of art. Some of them are rounded with indentations, and others are long and narrow. These items are often graceful on trees and bushes, but they can become a part of the art of pottery. Placing them on a wet piece of clay produces an interesting copy of the leaf, and that motif can be used as part of a larger pattern to create an artful look. Several different leaves can be used to add more texture or interest to a piece before it has been fired.
There are a great many different patterns that can be achieved by using items from the natural world. Artists eager to experiment can often go for a short walk to find many different ones in even an urban area. While trees and bushes are often part of the art world, even stones or small pebbles can become part of a finished pottery piece.