Painting Poinsettias and Sunflowers
Have you ever had an unfinished project, and every time you see it or think about it, you think, “I must finish it.” My Dad often told me to finish projects before I move on to the next project. The wisdom here is that unfinished projects weigh heavy on my mind.
There are many reasons projects must wait to get done. Life happens, and you have to wait for parts to arrive, family activities to need to be enjoyed, etc. For me, when winter turns to spring, then summer, there is gardening to do, swimming in the river, traveling and enjoying our short summer. I finally hunkered down and finished ornaments I had made during the winter.
There wasn’t enough room in my kiln to bisque-fire them. They sat and sat on my table until I got tired of looking at them. I took out my underglaze paint. I divided my stack of flowers in two, half for green and red poinsettias, and half for yellow and brown sunflowers, or daisies, and painted them.
I painted the back and in between the flowers in two coats of green for poinsettias. This paint went on fast as I didn’t care if I got paint on the edge of the flowers. It is easy to scrap off the extra paint. I painted the pedals red, careful not to get the red on the green. I found when I switched to my fine liner paint brush for the edges as it was easier to keep the red paint off the green background. I painted three coats of red. Red is one of the hardest colours to paint and tends to burn off or to a lighter colour in the kiln. Three coats of red underglaze survive the kiln firing.
I use basic acrylic paint brushes as I find they hold the paint quite well.
When the ornaments where finished, I touched up the colour by scrapping off any red that got on the green and touched up the green between the pedals and the back of the flower.
Once the entire flower was painted, I scrapped the colour off the tips of the stamens and then dropped bright yellow on them. I put two coats of yellow on the stamens. The Black-eye Susan ornaments were painted in a similar way, with brown and orange underglaze.
I dipped them in clear glaze and susspened them on nicron kiln rods. WELL –I am new at firing on kiln rods. I hung 4 on a rod and suspended the rod between 2 kiln posts. Oops, they were too heavy bent the rods causing the ornaments to slumped down on the kiln shelf in a big mess of fused together ornaments. One rod culred into a circle. I had two ornaments on stilts below the hung ones. They joined the mess of melted glazed ornaments. The clear glaze bubbled, too. I won’t have any to sell yet. Back to the drawing board.
Next time, I’ll make them thinner and put posts in the middle, and only hang one ornament between each post. I’ll have to buy more nicron rods for kilns as these ones are toast, bent warped rods, actually.
My reindeer ornaments survived on these rods. They are thinner and weigh less than the flowers.
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My pottery journey, my passion, didn’t start until my 40’s. Creating pottery is my happy place, especially decorating, vases, cups, bowls, trays, and creating sculptures. The more I create, the more my imagination is spurred on. I will be sharing how I make pottery here.