Tutorial: Etch Your Sketch

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The walls and shelves of our store are filled with hand painted creations. Year after year, we add to the collection, learning and discovering new ways to bring our ideas to life. So often, our lovely customers walk through our doors, see something they love, and say “I wish I could paint like that.” Well, you can! And we are going to help you with tutorials that cover our most often used design techniques. From stamps and stencils to contact paper and paint pens, we are going to divulge our secrets and help you become the artist you truly are. First up is…

E T C H I N G

Etching is probably the best trick to have in your treasure chest of painting techniques. Each of our artists uses etching because it’s easy, but looks lovely and polished. So what is etching? Etching is scraping off paint to leave a clean, white design on your pottery. It is especially helpful for writing or stenciling when using a dark background color, such as navy blue, brown, or black. Let’s get started.

1: Find the piece of pottery you want to paint, clean it with a damp sponge, and the paint the surface with one solid coat of white paint. This will protect the surface of your pottery from getting stained by the main color.

2: Give your pottery a quick blow dry, then paint it 4 solid coats of the color of your choice. Use the blow dryer in between coats to ensure the coats of paint are nice and even.

3: Choose the design you want to etch onto your pottery. Whether it’s a quote, a stencil, or something adorable you found on Pinterest, use a pencil to sketch your design onto the paint surface. (The pencil will burn off and disappear in the kiln, but for now it will serve as a guide for you to etch.)

4: Pick up your etching tool and get to work! We use toothpicks, because they give you super fine lines and are easy to handle. Carefully follow your pencil lines with the tip of the toothpick and scratch away at the paint until you get to the ceramic surface, which will reveal a clean, white line. Continue etching until uncover your design! When you’re finished, use a dry paintbrush to brush away any loose paint shavings and leave the surface smooth and ready to be glazed.

BONUS: etching is great for cleaning up lines when paint ends up in a place you didn’t want it. Just blow it dry and scratch it off.

And there you have it! Four quick tips to etching your designs. Pretty simple, right? Head into the store and give it a go. And we are always there to help out in a pinch and answer any questions you have. See you soon!