Porcelain Art: A Step by Step Overview Part 3

And here’s a bit on how using a pattern to put on text differs from stamping. I did a porcelain teacup here that I got at the Bargain Box for 25 cents. I got a saucer that went with it nicely, also for 25 cents. Since they didn’t match originally and the saucer has a few chips in it, I just did these for me. (That was strange!) Here’s a bit about the process:

First, you print out a font you like. Then you use graphite paper to transfer the font to the china. You trace over the font using a stylus to get a rough copy.

Then you mix up your paint. It needs to be the right consistency, with the nib tip pulling readily through it.

Then you carefully trace over the graphite pattern, dipping every few strokes into the “ink” mixture. It feels really old fashioned, a real Jane Austin moment.

And here’s the teacup, still partially finished. I didn’t end up taking pictures of it fired, but it turned out really nice. I did some ribbons twining around one part of the rim on the saucer, too. It was really pretty.

So that’s a glimpse into my china painting world! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it. It’s a slow art but one that is special and improves with practice (of course!). It has brought me a lot of joy over the years I’ve been doing it.

Porcelain Art: A Step by Step Overview Part 2

Ok, here is how the stamping works. I start out using a set of rubber stamps that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas a few years ago. Little did I know how much I would use them!

First you start out by selecting what letters you’re going to use.

Then you dip the letters into the thinned paint. You can test on the tile palette before stamping on the piece you’re going to fire, but the beauty of china painting is that you can wipe it right off if you make a mistake. That is the bane of it too, though, with rubber stamps and oil-based paint. It’s very easy to slip and I often have to wipe off letters that smudge.

Next, you stamp onto your actual porcelain piece (or ceramic, in this case.) It comes out looking like this.

It’s actually not much to go on, and if you left the lightest parts as is they’d probably fire too light in the kiln. It’s more like a rough draft stage.

So then you mix a different batch of paint in the same color, using a different oil. This one is thicker than the stamping mixture. You dip a metal nib pen in it and trace over your lines.

This is what it looks like.

And here it is, all finished but still wet.

So that’s it! It’s a fun way of doing a project, but isn’t necessarily faster than other lettering.

In part 3, I’ll show you how calligraphy looks, which is a slightly different process.

Sprinklings of Birthday Happiness

29 has been most delightful thus far. I have so enjoyed the many blessings that have been sent . . . free restaurant birthday club treats, the Christmas gift from Dearest of a night at the Henderson Inn B&B, a surprise birthday party from my friends, and a get-together tonight with the family. Wow! Amazing. There’s been a lot of sorrow this year so far but on Feb. 20 I was reminded of the many joys I have as well. Tears don’t last forever, and the relationships behind the many gifts you’ll see below have helped me to weather the storm. God has overwhelmingly blessed me with very loving family and friends. I know birthdays are not about presents but somehow this year the many cards and gifts I received just really meant a lot. Especially the cards given me by family and friends—each one was carefully chosen to communicate care and love. You can really tell.

On to the presents (aka sprinklings of birthday happiness).

The candle and book are from my friend Shannon. The hours we’ve spent over tea together has built a lovely friendship. She knows me well!

The paper and gift tags are from my sister Emily. She knows how much I like to wrap gifts and gave me some luxury supplies. She went to a store in Brooklyn that we’d visited together in July and that she remembered how much I liked. That is what means the most to me.

Oh,  this is the good stuff—real beauty counter makeup! This hugely generous gift from my parents is going to supply many of my beauty wants/needs until next year. Wow, wow, wow. I am so happy. I just like opening my makeup now to look at the shiny new containers! I was needing a new jumpstart with beauty supplies so bad.

Ok, this was an impulse purchase at the thrift store check-out. I normally don’t buy myself bday gifts but this was $7.99 and in super shape—even still smelled like new leather. Plus, my old wallet had a rip in it. To justify myself even further, I looked it up online when I got home and found it selling for $45. So, yeah, that’s exciting. But mostly I just love the colors and pattern.

And this grey clay bowl I found at another thrift store for $1.50. I was thrilled. The lines as so perfect, so simple and clean. It’s heavy and feels really nice to hold it. I’m glad it was too big to fit in my kiln to paint and sell. This one is staying here. And see how lovely the paper from Em looks under it?

Ah! This one is from my sister Melody. I am really excited now, because my wishlist on iTunes that I keep adding to and am too cheap to buy can actually be purchased and new music become part of me. (She knows how much I listen to my favorites over and over again. Although, I’m not as bad as our sister Amy. She’ll sit somewhere and memorize lyrics—in foreign languages too—so she can sing along. This is somewhat in contrast to our sister Emily, who just sings whatever she thinks comes next.) Anyway, I know just what I’m going to get with this gift card. 🙂

My Dearest not ONLY took me to the B&B but also surprised me with this awesome glue gun! He knows me best—knows how much I value good tools to reach for in a burst of creative energy. Thanks, Dearest, for all the crafting success in the future due to this ultimate glue gun. (It even comes with four tips and hi- and lo-temp capacity. Who knew glue guns could get that fancy!)

This necklace my brother David bought for me on Etsy. It’s so lovely. I’ve often admired this style on different blog posts I’ve seen, but I don’t really enjoy buying jewelry for myself. This is so pretty and will go with so many outfits. I’m wearing it now, in fact.

And this awesome funky necklace my sister Amy got for me. I LOVE it! The mixed media look of the felted pendant and the different metals in the chain is perfect. I’ve been wanting to get into this style for a while but am somewhat timid when it comes to long necklaces. I count to Amy to be that style Jedi Master when I need her. I’m not sure, she probably made this necklace. If she didn’t, she sure could have.

And that sums up my sprinklings of birthday happiness so far!

Porcelain Art: A Step by Step Overview Part 1

I’m going to do a few posts on what it looks like to have all your china painting supplies spread out and projects in progress. Hopefully it gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse on what goes on in a porcelain artist’s studio (aka my kitchen table) and the process involved for producing stamping and calligraphy pieces. It’s such a lovely art and it is really dying out. That is part of the reason I’m motivated to take china painting and “resurrect” it using new techniques, such as stamping or by doing text only. Makes for a lovely and unique take on traditional china painting.

Here is where I start. I get out my folder with all my fonts, price sticker pages to help me remember how much I paid for stuff, and idea lists.

Then I need to get my paint to the right consistency. I thin it tiny drop by tiny drop with pen oil and mix it with my palette knife until the nib pen can  dip into the paint puddle and easily draw a line.

The pen oil.

Thinning the paint.

Next post I’ll show you how the stamping works.

Recent Shop Goodies

I’ve painted galore in January and have finally posted the last newly painted items to Etsy tonight. Whew. Listing the painted stuff is fun, but it gets to be a longish job and one that I tend to put off. I’d rather dream up new designs or paint. 🙂 But here, for your viewing (and buying) pleasure are a few of the new pieces in The Ring and the Lion, as well as Unwhite Art Etsy shops.

Back to Blogging

I’m back to blogging for a bit after having my blog invaded by WordPress’s horrible ads. They want me to upgrade for $100 to get rid of them, so I’ll probably be moving to a new platform soon. But for now, I do miss blogging, and I’ll put up the posts I’ve been meaning to publish for the last few months.

Candied Oranges

Winter is the time for citrus, at least here in Florida, and it’s fun to try new things with all the oranges I have in my fridge. The Feb issue of Martha Stewart Living had a great recipe for candied orange slices dipped in chocolate—similar to this recipe.

If you like simple recipes (two ingredients!) and eating something that looks akin to a stained glass window slice—all pretty and sparkly—then you should try it too. Besides, with chocolate and orange, it’s really hard to go wrong!