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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blue Jay On A Tray

I enjoy turning on the wheel to makes mugs and bowls, but sometimes I just need to be creative and China paint is one avenue that allows me to do this. 

This winter I bought forms to make platters. I made a rectangular platter from porcelain, bisque fired it than glaze fired it. It was ready for the China paint and just in time to take a course on painting a blue jay. 

For years I have been trying to take pictures of blues, they are flitty. This winter I was able to get a few shots of them at the bird feeder and in the spruce tree.  This one in the tree was just the blue jay for my platter.

I painted the base colours of the blue jay and the background and the tree in China paint. Then into the kiln it went. Next came the shading, then back into the kiln.  Last came any details and finishing touches and a final firing. With China paint you can paint many layers and keep firing it or do only one firing, like my first painting of the apples.

China paint comes as a dry powder and the mixing medium I use does not dry the paint. One advantage is you can easily take off anything you don't want on there. The disadvantage is you can muddy up the painting my mixing the paints. That is why it is done in stages, firing in between each one to fire the paint to the glaze.

China paint brings back my folk art painting techniques, combined with the fine art techniques I have learned.  When I was taking the folk art painting courses back in 1996 I had no idea that training would help me in the China painting. God, who knows every thing, will lead willing people where he wants us to go and even though we don't know were it will lead, if your heart says do it chances are it will lead to something better.