Saturday, February 8, 2014

Deck the Halls Platter

Yes, I know that it is a bit late for Christmas themed posts, but in my defense, I did start this project before Christmas.  It just took a little longer than I thought!  And hey, now it is ready to go for this year.

I only recently started painting pottery, thanks to a close friend and Groupon.  I have been looking for a new hobby for a while, and I have found that this really allows me to clear my mind...and exercise my perfectionist tendencies in a controlled environment!  

I actually can't believe that I didn't start doing this sooner because I come from a family of ceramics afficionados.  My mom and two of my grandmas have painted countless pieces!  I remember a unicorn that my mom painted me that I just loved (I had a crazy fascination with unicorns when I was young...and maybe now, but nevermind that).  And my Grandma D made such intricate and beautiful things that she was always giving to us grandkids.  One of my favorites is pictured below.  It is one that I actually came across after she had passed away.  Even though she had painted it years before, it reminded me of my wedding cake.  

I don't know if I will ever be as good at this as they were, but I am sure going to have fun trying!  Plus I like the thought of carrying on this crafty tradition in my family.  

Now on to the specifics.  My Deck the Halls Platter was completed using this free printable template from olliegraphic.  I decided to paint this on a rectangular platter because of the vertical look of the graphic.  After I picked my plate, I painted it with three layers of white paint.  Although typically you would apply three layers of paint, (brush then sponge then brush), I have been told that this is not necessary when painting the background white as anything not painted on the piece will be white.  The wonderfully helpful ladies at the Paint Spot advise applying one layer of white paint in order to more easily correct mistakes.  Remember, however, those perfectionist tendencies?  Yeah, that is why I still paint three layers...

After painting the background color, I used tracing paper supplied by the Paint Spot to trace the words and just the triangle of the tree onto the platter.  I made sure it was centered by measuring the width of my platter and marking center, then doing the same with my template.  I used a ruler to make sure that the lines for the tree were straight.  Don't trace the circles yet because the paint for the tree would cover up the lines.

I have listed all the colors I used below.  After I painted the phrase and the triangle (definitely use 3 coats of paint here, all brush strokes), I then used the template to trace on all the circles.  I used a circle stencil to make sure the circles were nice and crisp.  The Paint Spot had a stencil with circles of all different sizes on it, and I would guess that other similar places would have something similar.  

I then filled in the circles with many different colors of paint by marking all the circles of a particular color and painting them all at once (3 coats of paint).  Of note, I had to substitute the fuchsia circles with dark purple.  I was told that it would be very expensive to make fuchsia paint, and thus, it does not exist. You will also notice that some of the circles are open.  To paint those, I used a very thin, very short brush that was pretty much going to hold its shape.  This can be a bit tricky, but give it a try.  If you mess it up, just fill in the circle--I had to do that a few times.  You could also do this with squeezable bottles and a fine paint tip, but I couldn't seem to get the hang of that!  I did, however, use the squeeze bottles for the very small circles (you only have to do one coat of paint when using these).

This project took quite a long time, but four sittings (for a total of about 12 hours) later, voila!  Although it was time consuming and requires some detail work, it is definitely do-able.  I have to admit, when I left this to be fired, I thought it was going to turn out nice, but I was totally surprised when I picked it up!  Definitely worth all the work I put into it!  

Paint Colors Used
All paints were Duncan brand ceramic paints

Background:  Really White

Tree:  Light Pink

Phrase:  Dark Caribbean

Circles:  Dark Caribbean
            Light Caribbean
            Really White
            Light Grape
            Bright Grape
            Neon Yellow
            Neon Green
            Bright Wine
            Dark Blue Spruce

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