Thursday, 3 February 2011

Pottery Painting

Such a fun activity!

I would highly recommend it to everyone.  There is no pre-requisite of artistic skill for this fab activity you just turn up, pick your pot and paint. Solids, stripes spots or more ambitious designs - its completely up to you.

The advantage of this over simple painting on paper?
  • you get to keep your highly useful mug/plate/box/teapot/etc.
  • your work of art will be 100% unique
  • an excellent group activity
  • it is a challenge!
The challenge is threefold. The first is that you are painting a three dimensional object, the second is the pressure of imagining and then executing a design that suits the shape of your chosen pottery and most importantly looks like what your minds eye is seeing. The third challenge is the colour....

The colour in the pot is not always representative of the colour it will be after it has been fired and glazed. So that lovely light blue you just dabbed all over the pot might actually be a dark green! There are examples of the fired paint colours that have to be referred to. These are often numbered to help keep track....a nice yellow...number 3 please....cue the takeaway style chattering...

"Does anyone have number 3? no? how about number 28??" 

Then the golden rule....dark colours will obliterate light you have to deconstruct your image and makes sure you only have the light and dark where required. I find it easiest to paint the light sections first and then add the dark as the dark can cover any of the 'lighter' mistakes.

I have been pottery painting twice now...the first was as a surprise for my hen do. The pressure of having to choose a pot, a design, draw and colour the object in a 2-3 hour time slot yields some intense concentration expressions....sticking a tongue out while you draw in a fine line is almost a must! The same goes for holding your breath when detailing a particularly tricky bit.

For my hen do I chose a teapot and designed a jungle theme...check out the colour changes before and after...

 It comes out a lot brighter! There was an elephant on the reverse

I almost painted a jug this time but they were out of stock and instead this heart shaped plate caught my eye. The first step once you have the blank pottery is to draw your design in felt tip (this disappears during the firing process)

 Then you start painting

There is also a point where you should actually just sit on your hands and stop painting...classic case in point...too much brown at the base of the hindsight I think a thinner heart shaped branch surrounded with leaves would have looked much more effective! But who knows what the fired piece will look like?


  1. ooh, where did you go to do it? Was this the place in Chorlton?

  2. Yes it was in Chorlton. I think the website is

    It's amazing...and I'm definately up for another trip at some point - Someone also suggested it miht be a good valentines day activity!

    It costs £5 for the studio fee and then whatever you choose to paint (so from about £4-£40 )