Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hand Painted Ceramic Ashtray

A few years ago I worked for a ceramic arts shop. While learning the different painting techniques, I painted a ceramic ashtray for my sister, using a simple method that I thought I'd share.

Above: The design on the inside of the ashtray.

I chose to use three colors of paint; royal blue for the inside of the ashtray, lavender for the outside and turquoise for the rim. I applied three layers of paint, and allowed the painted ashtray to rest until almost dry.

Above: A close-up image of the design at the center of the ashtray.

Once the paint was dry to the touch, I took a sharp tool and began to score a pattern into the paint. The bisque became slightly soft from the moisture of the paint, and in places I was able "carve" a shallow pattern in to the bisque too.

Above: This photo shows the repetitive pattern scratched into the inside rim. The finished result has an ornate, lacy effect.

Above: The design on the outer face of the ashtray. The ceramic bisque had softened during the painting process, and so in places I was able to score the design into the ceramic itself.

It became more and more tricky to score the paint as it dried. I misted the ashtray with a spray bottle every so often to keep the paint supple. In some areas, you can see where the paint was dry and flaked away as I worked. 

Above: The contrast between the dark blue and the white is what gives this ashtray its appeal.

  • This method takes a little bit of practice to get right, but luckily, if you don't like the result that you're getting, you can start over. Just dip the bisque in warm water and wipe gently with a cloth to clean the paint off. If you think you might need to use this method to start again, try to avoid scoring the bisque itself.
  • Use dark colors for a more vivid contrast
  • Keep your work area clean and free from dust. The damp paint is a magnet for floating debris.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Catherine! A few weeks ago you left a comment on my blog about my paper beads I made and I was trying to get a hold of you to say thank you! Even though I dont smoke I do gotta say that ashtray is beautiful. I love the colors and the pretty designs. Thanks so much for the inspiration. Ive never met anyone from South Africa, so its great to meet ya!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...