Saturday, October 27, 2007

Painting China

Last Wednesday, I went to my Artisan Workshop at Stitch Cafe. It's taught by Shelly Neimerowtz, an extrordinarily talented artist who has taught me - so far - how to work with leather and how to create beaded bezel free-form peyote stitch jewelry. This week, we started a new unit. China Painting.
You start by finding an illustration that you like or if you're really talented, I suppose you can generate your own artwork. Make a tracing and transfer it to the piece that you are going to paint. (There is an abundance of books for tracing available. I've seen and admired them before, but never knew what to do with them.) I was lucky enough to have time to work on two pieces. A mug on which I am doing a mermaid, and a tile which I believe will end up being used as a trivet.

The transfer onto the china is made via graphite paper. It's tougher than it seems on face value. It's easy to miss portions of your tracing, and it's very important that you keep the lines aligned and conjoined.

Once the transfer is made, you mix your first paint - black - and paint the outlines over the lead ones. This has a couple of purposes. The graphite brushes off of your piece quickly and easily; the paint, once kilned, is a permanent representation of the work you want on your piece. Second, the paint obstensively acts as a barrier to keep the colors that you will apply later from running all over your china.

The paint does not dry well unless it's kilned. I was so engrossed in transfering the art to my second piece that I didn't notice when Shelly popped my mug into the kiln. I guess I will need to take pictures of it next week. It's very small and apparently, although the inside heats up to I-don't- remember-what-the-temperature-is, the outside of the box remains cool. The one that Shelly uses for this class does not have adjustable heat, but is very portable and eminently suited to china.

I left my supplies at the class because they are very sensitive to dust and hair, both of which are available in abundance in my condo. By next week, the tile will have been fired too, and I'll start to learn how to apply color. Shelly promises me that I will be very excited by the possible different applications and appearances of color brought on by the different brushes available. Since I've never painted before, I'm really looking forward.
The advantage of painting china, rather than ceramic or other materials, is that it can be fired multiple times, allowing the possibility for applying color(s) again and again and again to your piece. That means that they can be laid down with precision, exactly where and with the intensity that you want them. I'll be looking forward to posting more pictures of my progress as I move along with this adventure.
* * * * * * * * * * * Very little tangible evidence remains in my condo of the Fab 4's visit. But there is one thing that we are all enjoying. Claudia - and the boy's Cousin Rigby - brought my boys rawhide bones.
Cosmos does not really enjoy rawhide all that much. I think it may hurt his teeth or jaws to chew on them. But that doesn't mean that he isn't envious of Sunny when he eats them.

And Sunny truly enjoys the experience of eating a bone as big as his head.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails