About China Painting

Much time is spent in painting a piece of porcelain. Here's a work in progress to give you and idea of the process. This is my inspiration. It's an old Easter Post Card that I bought in an antique store.


I decided to use this piece of "white ware" (unpainted china). These days I buy most of it at Maryland China in Reisterstown, Maryland.



So people always ask me how I do this. This time I took some pictures at each stage. Each piece of china is painted and fired in a kiln to a temperature of 1800 degrees multiple times. Here's some pictures of how it progresses:



Rough Sketch
First Fire


The paints used are powdered paint pigments, mixed with oil for a painting medium.  Some people buy special mixtures of oils, however, you can use anything from mineral oil to motor oil!

Brushes used are very soft.  Unlike other types of painting very little paint is loaded on the brush. Your brush "kisses" the porcelain as you paint.
Second Fire

Each piece is painted multiple times as you build up your color from light to dark. There is no white on the palette, the white seen is actually the porcelain showing through. At each firing the glaze opens up and the paint goes into the glaze. As it cools the glaze closes and the paints become permanent. They will never wash off. They are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Third Fire & Finished piece

The only exception to this is if the porcelain artist uses gold or lusters on the piece. Gold is actually 24kt. liquid gold. When fired it doesn't go into the glaze. It sits on top of the glaze. Lusters like mother of pearl also sit on the top of the glaze. Adding lusters and gold is another fire after you finish painting. If you have that on your china, make sure to handwash it.

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