If you have been reading my blog posts for a while, you may remember I have written about the miniature porcelain painting classes I take once or twice a year. I really enjoy them and for a long time now I have wanted to buy a kiln so I can paint porcelain pieces and fire them myself.
Unfortunately kilns are very expensive so buying one wasn't really an option. Until a few weeks ago when I managed to buy a small kiln without going into bankruptcy. The kiln goes up to 1000ºC which is more than enough for firing porcelain glaze paints (they need around 800℃).
Although I have painted porcelain before, mixing the paints was always done for us. So, the first thing I did was make a colour chart with the pigments I have. I had a lot of fun trying different mediums and learning how to mix the paints.
The firing process itself takes 6 to 8 hours. One of the more difficult things is to keep my curiosity under control and not peek inside the kiln until it has cooled completely. Ah, that pesky patience!
Here I tested different mediums and different firing temperatures with quick little sketches on tiles. My painting technique needs to improve, but it will over time. I also need to paint smaller so I am on the hunt for tiny brushes.
I had some cheap dishes in my stash and wanted to see whether I could fire them in my kiln, so I quickly painted them with a little design based on an old Chinese piece. Here again I tested different mediums and mixes to see how it would look once fired.
I made a bit of a mess in some parts, but I was impatient and fired them anyway. Again, technically they're not good but as an experiment they were a success. I must do better next time though!
These pieces are only test pieces but they look rather nice in the Arts&Crafts inspired dining room in my first Canal House. I now need to practise, practise, practise until I achieve pieces I am happy with. I've got a whole set of china for the dining room waiting to be painted...