tutorial

Like It. Love It. Paint It!

We have a lot of pieces in the store that we love. Our employees work hard to create amazing works of art for your inspiration. One of the most popular pieces--for our employees and our customers--is this amazing bird and branches platter! Perfect for any occasion, whether it's serving a lovely holiday dish or hanging on your wall, this is a one of a kind, show-stopping piece of art.

And we are going to show you how to make it!

This design is great because it is simple to create but looks polished and gorgeous when it's finished.

Step 1: Choose Your Pottery

Select the piece of pottery you want to paint and clean it off with water and a sponge. When choosing your pottery, we recommend going with a plate or platter for beginners. Flat pieces are easier to paint more intricate designs on when you're first starting out!

Step 2: Design

Sketch out your design with pencil. This is where you get to decide how simple or intricate the design is. If you want more branches and leaves and fewer birds, you can make that happen. And don't worry about messing up with the pencil! All pencil marks are going to disappear when we fire your pottery in the kiln.

Not confident in your drawing skills? Not to worry. You can always trace or stencil the design onto your plate/platter using our plate and stencils as a guide. All it takes is tracing paper and a sharpie. We can walk you through the rest!

Step 3: Paint

There are two options when it comes to painting your design.

A. You can use our standard black paint and do 4 coats, using our special paint pens for the finer branch details.

Or, B: You can use our employee-preferred one-coat black paint and a fine tip brush. The best part about the one-coat black is that you only have to go over the pencil with one coat of paint instead of 4. Plus, the lines will look much more clean and crisp. (This is what was used in the images above.)

Worried about not being able to keep your hand steady? Not a problem! With this design and the roughness of the branches, the less straight the line, the more realistic it will be. Follow the outline of the branches, leaves, and bird first, then fill them in.

After you've finished creating you're amazing plate or platter, we'll glaze and fire it for you! Just come back five days later for pick up. Don't finish it in one sitting? Just let an employee know that you need to come back later to finish it up and we'll take care of that for you.

Call us today 360-705-2103 to make a reservation!

When you arrive, let us know you want to make the black and white bird platter and we'll get you all set up with instructions and the right supplies.

Chevron Everything

It comes as a surprise to many people that we almost always paint all new pottery for our (often elaborate) window displays. Since we change our windows four times a year, you can imagine the amount of creative energy it can take!

To make the process go more smoothly, we employ many of the time-saving techniques (also known as cheater tricks) that we love to share with you, our customers.

The theme for the window we're working on right now is "Painted Weddings," and it's going to be filled with all of the wonderful things that can be painted for a wedding. This includes everything from centerpieces and sign-in platters to gifts for your wedding party.

One of the designs we're using throughout the window is something that has been super popular with our customers lately--chevron! So in the spirit of always sharing our cheater tricks, here is a tutorial I put together while painting the stunning (if I do say so myself) ombre chevron champagne flute pictured above.

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Step 1:

Using a No. 2 pencil and a ruler, I drew a grid all the way around the flute. To get the spacing even, it helps to look down on it from the top and mark off 8 sections, just like you're cutting a pizza.

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Step 2:

Using the intersections on the grid to line up the corners, I put masking tape on the flute in a chevron pattern. After all the tape was on, I used a small rotary cutter (exacto knives work too) to cut off the torn off edges of the tape and make the points of my chevrons nice and sharp. Behind the goblet, the two square vases show what the tape looks like before the razor blade. Putting a sharp knife to the ceramic scores it a little bit, but I've found that the glaze fills it in.

Step 3:

Paint!

I mixed 5 different shades of pink to make mine ombre, but it would also look nice all one color. The image to the right shows mine halfway through the painting process, with some of the tape already removed, and below it's all painted and waiting for a trip to the kiln. 

ombreprocess.jpg
preglazeflutes.jpg

Doesn't sound too bad, eh? I can't say exactly how long the chevron flute took start to finish, as I was working on the matching scalloped flute and the two square vases at the same time. With so much painting to do, multitasking is important!

Make sure you swing by and have a look at "Painted Weddings," coming soon to our storefront window!