Ceramic Paints — Nonfired (3)

Faux Leather

This technique is nice on books for a leather-like finish, on figures for a paper mache’ look, or on other pieces for a textured background. First basecoat the piece with stain. Then tear up tissues or tissue paper into small pieces. Do not cut as you want the edges to be uneven. Apply pieces of tissue one at a time and cover with the same color of paint. Continue until the entire piece is covered, at least the parts you want to look like leather (not book pages). It is okay to have wrinkles and to fold tissue back on itself as long as you don’t leave any air pockets. Also make sure to not leave any smooth areas. After the paint has dried completely, drybrush with a lighter color to bring out the texture. Make sure to go in different directions to emphasize all of the wrinkles and rough edges. When this is finished you can paint on detail, such as book titles. In the case of paper mache’ you can paint the entire piece. You can see the detail in the welcome bottle cap we made at an OCS workshop; the train bookends don’t show up the leather detail very well; but the small book with Little Lulu and Tubby is fine. We once painted a clown as paper mache’ but didn’t get a picture of it. Kids can do this!

Faux Marble

This technique uses shaving cream to create a marble effect on jars, pumpkins, ceramic eggs, and other items. First cut a piece of waxed paper large enough to bring up around the piece. Cover with about 1/2 inch of shaving cream, spreading evenly with a palette knife or popsicle stick. Drizzle color #1 back and forth horizontally across the shaving cream, then color #2 vertically in the same manner. Using the palette knife or popsicle stick, marbleize the colors as you would batter for a marble cake. If you do it too much you will get mud. We don’t want to “mix” the colors. Bring the waxed paper up around the piece pressing tightly against the ware. This is the messy part as shaving cream will ooze out. Make sure to cover the whole piece. Take to the sink (or a bucket if a sink is not available). Dispose of the waxed paper mess and rinse the ware under water until all the shaving cream is gone. Dry with a paper towel. Using a liner brush streak gold throughout the design. In the case of ornaments use red, green, and gold; in the case of pumpkins use shades of orange and brown with copper; in the case of Easter eggs use pastel colors with silver. Have fun! Kids can do this one, too!

Pros & Cons of using non-fired paints

  • PRO: can be used at home without need for a class or a kiln
  • CON: when painting at home you miss the comradery of the group
  • PRO: can be used on other materials such as wood and fabric
  • CON: do not work on dinnerware, vases, or other utility pieces
  • PRO: typically cover in one coat
  • PRO: can be used over other colors
  • CON: more difficult to keep brushes clean as paint dries in them

Carol’s Carousel
Where having Fun is why we come!

There are still more things you can do with
non-fired products but that’s for another day.
Next topic of discussion will be underglazes.

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