Hand Painted Pottery with Animal and Dog Art by Nan Hamilton Boston MA

How the Pansy Pot was Made

First, I threw very round pot of light brown stoneware on a potter's wheel. When the pot was partially dry, I trimmed the bottom, waited until the pot was dry, then bisqued to cone 08.

I drew pansies on the pot using the full shape of the pot to enhance the roundness of the flowers. I applied liquid latex in the pansy shapes, then dipped the pot in a deep green semi-matte glaze. When the glaze was dry, I pulled the latex off the pot and placed the pot in the frame for painting. You can see the glaze looks almost white; the color won't be apparent until the pot is fired.

Using a commercial yellow glaze, I filled in the center of the pansies. Then I got two small bowls of Mudville's lavender glaze and purple glaze and began to paint the petals. The difficulty of painting with glazes is getting the right thickness of glaze. If you don't use enough, the color isn't true. Too much glaze can lead to the glazes running together or other problems.

I used a stainless steel rib to smooth the surface of the pansies (it's difficult to paint glaze on evenly) so the color intensity doesn't vary too much. Later I'll find out the lavendar glaze was a little too thin at the edges of the pansies. The purple and the lavender glazes look identical at this point. Even figuring out the edge between the lavendar and the green can be troublesome. If I were to work a lot using these glazes, I'd add food coloring (it burns out in the firing) to help distinguish between the two. I redrew the pansies and drew in the leaves with a pencil.

I outlined the pansies with black underglaze and put in the veining on the petals. I also used a purple underglaze for shading on the flowers but it disappeared in the intensity of the purple glaze. I used two shades of green underglaze to bring out the leaves and black to deepen the area behind the foliage. Some of this disappeared too, but until the pot is fired, I often don't know what will show up, so I try to cover all the bases and hope for the best. Now the pot is ready to fire.

Here's how the pot came out. You can see the lavender edges are a little tan because I got the glaze on thinner than I thought. Also, I missed the transition from purple to lavender in some of the top petals. Still, the pot has a nice feel to it. Sometimes a pot doesn't come out exactly as I had intended and sometimes it's the better for it!

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No unauthorized reproduction. Thank you. Text and Photos Copyright © 2006 Nan Hamilton