GENERAL SUPPLY LIST
CLEAN THE STAR
Apply denatured alcohol or glass cleaner to the ornament and wipe off with a clean lint free cloth. Old sheets, t-shirts and industrial strength blue paper towels are suitable lint free choices for cleaning ceramics.
TRANSFER THE DESIGN
Use the photo as a template for creating a pattern. Position your pattern on the ornament and use tape to secure the pattern in place. Insert the graphite paper face down on the porcelain underneath the pattern. Use a stylus or sharp end of a knitting needle to trace around each element of the design. Carefully lift the graphite paper and pattern and preview the tracing to make sure that the pattern is completely transferred. If you are satisfied with the transfer, remove the tape, pattern and graphite paper. You are ready to paint.
NOTE: If you like to draw your pattern freehand, use a china marker or Sharpie marker to sketch in the details. These markers fire off in the kiln.
MIXING THE PAINT
China paint is usually a powder mixture packed into clear plastic or glass vials. Pour a small amount of powder out onto the grinding glass or a ceramic tile. Use an eyedropper or scoop a small amount of mineral oil onto your pallet knife and drop onto the china paint powder. Use the pallet knife to mix the paint. Mix thoroughly. If the paint is too runny, add more powder. You can also scoop up paint that has too much oil and place it on newsprint. The newsprint absorbs the extra oil in the paint. Continue mixing the paint on the newsprint until the newsprint absorbs the oil. After your paint is well blended with the mineral oil, use your pallet knife to scrape the paint off of the mixing tile and transfer the paint mixture to your pallet.
Using Flesh on a #2 or #4 flat sable shader brush paint the face. With a wipe out tool, create a highlight by removing paint along the tip of the nose and across the top of the nostrils and the upper cheeks. This creates a highlight and a round shape. Paint the eyes baby blue. Wipe out a little dot to create highlights on the eyes. Wipe a highlight across the upper part of the cheeks.
PAINT FRONT SIDE OF SANTA SUIT
Mix one half Pompadour and one half American Beauty. Paint the front side of the Santa suit with the Pompadour/American Beauty mixture. Wipe out the area for the face and beard and fur around the hat and pom pom on the end of the hat. Wipe out fluffy areas on the ends of the arms and the legs. Leave room to paint the black mittens and boots. Wipe out the belt and buckle areas. Smooth out the paint and clean up the areas that were wiped out.
BOOTS, MITTENS AND BELT/BUCKLE
Paint bottom points on star to give the impression of boots and also paint the mittens and the belt. Wipe out the buckle of the belt. It can be easier to paint the buckle on the second fire. If you are comfortable with painting the small belt buckle area now use a grayish mixture and paint with a small flat or round brush.
Carefully remove any smudges from the back side of the ornament with denatured alcohol or glass cleaner.
FIRE ORNAMENT IN AN ELECTRIC KILN
Fire your Santa at Cone 015. If this is your first experience firing hand painted porcelain please note the following: Always place kiln furniture or stilts on the kiln shelf to hold your porcelain away from the kiln shelf. This keeps the air circulating around the porcelain during the firing process. Air circulation keeps the piece from cracking or breaking. Use cones to determine whether or not your kiln is firing to the correct temperature. Every kiln has its own personality. Take notes each time you fire a piece. These notes will become invaluable information as you practice firing your artwork.
Use the method provided in the first fire instructions to prepare the back of the ornament.
TRANSFER THE DESIGN
Use the same method that was used to transfer the design on the front of the ornament.
PAINTING SANTA AGAIN
BACK SIDE OF SANTA SUIT
Use the mixture of one half Pompadour and one half American Beauty to paint the red suit. Let the paint rest 5 to 10 minutes. Allowing the paint to set up slightly results in easier shading and less time fussing with the paint. Use a #8 shader to shade the paint on the seat of the pants. Wipe out the area for the hair escaping from the base of the hat. Wipe out the fur area on the hat.
Mix White and Black using your #4 shader brush until you get a middle value gray. Paint the hair area and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe out slightly wavy strands of hair with a wipe out tool or form a point on a kneaded eraser to use as a wipe-out tool. Each time an area is wiped out, clean the tool or eraser with a lint free cloth. Smooth out any build up of paint around the area where wipe out tools were used.
You can also use a small stiff clean brush to wipe out areas. Dip your brush in turpentine or lavender oil and blot the brush on your lint free cloth. The brush is very dry on this technique. Too much turpentine or lavender oil on the brush will cause the paint to run or smear. Then wipe out an area then clean the brush and repeat until the wipe outs are completed.
BOOTS, MITTENS & BELT
Paint Black on the feet and mittens and the belt.
FIRE IN AN ELECTRIC KILN
FIRE AT CONE 015
Use the same technique for firing as described earlier on the first fire instructions.
Using Pompadour Red on a #2 or #4 flat sable shader brush paint on each side to form the nose. Also use Pompadour Red to wash lightly over the cheeks to create a blush. Use a mixture of black and white to make gray and paint the inside of the nostrils. Paint black over the blue eyes and wipe out the highlight again.
EYEBROWS, BEARD, MUSTACHE, HAT DETAILS
Mix black and white to make a light gray. Using a small round brush on the mustache and beard to create a few fine strands of whiskers. A wipe out tool can aid in making a fine line through the gray paint. The texture on the fur for the hat was created with a soft comma stroke.
If you haven't painted the belt buckle in a previous fire, use a grayish mixture to finish the belt buckle now.
ADDITIONAL FINISHING DETAILS
You might feel that the black or red could be stronger in value on the belt or suit. At this point add any details or darken areas that could use a little more color.
FIRE AT CONE 015
Congratulations! Enjoy your Santa ornament.Please stay touch by email or newsletter.