Fish Cutout/Candle Holder

Designer: William Pulse



  1. Order the piece to be kept wet from the caster. Place the piece in a plastic bag until ready to work on. Ideally, it would be best to work on the piece about 1-2 hours after being removed from the mold.
  2. Using the sharp pencil or Stylist to trace the various sizes of circles on the fish body allowing about a ¼” spacing between circles. Place the larger circles towards the top and reducing the size and number of large circles towards the tail. Some of the circles may be only portions depending on where they are located next to the head, fin or tail. Try not to place the same sized circle next to one another for a better design. The smallest circle (3/8”) is a good filler for the spacing of other circles.
  3. Use the Clean-up Tool to lightly remove the seams from the ware. You don’t need to completely clean the seams at this time. Place the piece on a banding wheel or Lazy Susan for the cutout work.
  4. Using a Scalpel or Fret Tool to cut through the ware along the incised circles. It is best to start from the top and work your way down the body of the ware when cutting out the circles.
  5. When all of the circles have been cut out, drape the plastic bag over the ware to slow the drying process.
  6. After a day or two, completely remove the bag off the ware to finish drying.
  7. Use the Clean-up Tool to remove any sharp edges from the cutouts on the fish. Be careful as to how you clean and carve your circles. Continue to dress down seams and cutouts on the ware with Green Grit cloth. Lightly sponge off the piece to remove any dust on the ware.
  8. Fire to Shelf Cone 03-04. Use a damp sponge to wipe down the piece before glazing.
  9. Apply 2 coats of FN-001 to the entire ware inside and out using CB-602 Soft Fan and CB-604 Soft Fan. Make sure all of the cutout areas have glaze on them.
  10. It may be beneficial to add a drop or two of food coloring to the glaze before applying the second coat to ensure that all areas have been covered.
  11. Place Blue Masking Tape on the inside of the mouth area to where it sticks up above the mouth lips creating a “dam” to keep the color from flowing back inside of the fish.
  12. In three plastic cups mix SC-16 Cotton Tail, SC-12 Moody Blue and SC-32 Bluebeard separately with water in equal parts. You will need about 4 oz. of the white mixture and about 2 oz. of each of the blue colors. During this step, you will need to have all your colors mixed and ready for use. The process will go quickly. Start at the top of the fish and pour the SC-16 Cottontail mixture over the outside and around the mouth.
  13. Once the color has been applied around the fish’s mouth, pour some SC-12 Moody Blue mixture over the wet color. When that has been done, then apply a smaller amount of SC-32 Bluebeard mixture over the Moody Blue areas.
  14. As the color is “weeping” down the ware, spritz with the alcohol. Spritzing with the alcohol will make the color halo or break up slightly as it dries.
  15. As long as the underlying white color is wet you can apply more of the blue colors to further enhance or add color to what has been achieved.
  16. Repeat this process on the fin and lower tail section at the bottom of the piece.
  17. Let dry.
  18. Apply 1 coat of S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing over the entire piece using CB-604 Soft Fan.
  19. Stilt and Fire the piece to Shelf Cone 05-06.



  • CD-1425 Fish Vase   (Wet Greenware cast at least ¼” thick— Place wet greenware in a plastic bag until doing cut out work.)


  • FN-001 White
  • SC-16 Cottontail
  • SC-32 Bluebeard
  • S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing

Decorating Accessories

  • CB-604 Soft Fan
  • CB-602 Soft Fan

Miscellaneous Accessories

  • Scalpel for Fret Tool
  • Plastic (Dry Cleaning) Bag (large enough to cover piece)
  • Clean-up tool
  • Green Grit Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Cardboard circle shapes in various sizes:  3/8”, ½”, 5/8”, 7/8”, 1- 1/8”.
  • Pencil with sharp point or stylist
  • Banding wheel or Lazy Susan
  • Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
  • Optional: red food. coloring