Your painting studio will provide most of the equipment that you will need to paint your ceramic bisque. Bisque-ware is the unpainted ceramic item that is ready to paint.
If you would like to paint your item at home you will require the following:
Brushes: A good selection of good quality brushes is essential. Fine for detailed work and larger ones for bigger areas.
Underglaze Paints: A good selection of colours.
A palette or a glazed tile or plate: for blending colours, and which can be easily cleaned after use. Plastic palettes are readily available or an old plate, tile or saucer is perfect.
Clean water: Required for cleaning brushes between coats/colours. Also used to thin the paint if a watercolour effect is being used.
Kitchen paper towel: To remove excess water from brushes after cleaning between coats.
Lead (graphite) pencil, felt tip pen (water based): Draw your designs directly onto the item. These will burn off during the firing process.
You do not need much extra equipment, but sometimes freehand painting can be daunting, so it will help you to have a selection of the following:
Stencils: Produce images with a sharp outline.
Sponge shapes: Ideal for giving repeated shapes with distinctive texture.
Stamps: Perfect for producing designs which repeat, I particularly like the flexible texture stamps as shown in the photo. These designer, flexible stamps are great for use not only on flat surfaces such as plates, but are perfect for wrapping around curved projects such as cups, bowls and more.
(click on the photo to enlarge)
Kemper stamps: These are wire decorating implements with a variety of shapes for effects such as swirls and flowers (click image to enlarge).
A banding wheel: is a useful tool to help create smooth bands of colour, or to evenly cover a pot in colour.
Banding sponges: can be used with or without a banding wheel and are particularly suited to bands of colour on the rim of a plate.
Clay carbon paper: is used for transferring designs onto the surface of the bisque.
Designs can be transferred to your clay carbon paper by hand or directly from a printer, simply lay this on your bisque and re draw over the design. The marks left by the clay carbon paper will burn off during the firing process.
Sponge: regular sponges also create a lovely stippled effect.
Sea sponges: also called Natural sponges, are used to create lacy sponged patterns.
Fine sandpaper: For removing mistakes, smoothing rough edges and tidying up rims.
A craft knife, sgraffito tool or a strong hat pin: can be used to carve/scratch and etch designs through your applied base colour back to the bisque. Sgraffito is simply Italian for scratch!
Masking tape: for stripes, shapes and bands.
Tissue paper: To transfer a pattern or a picture to your ceramic bisque.
Gently trace your design with a pencil onto the tissue paper. To transfer the pattern, place the paper onto your ceramic item and trace over the pencil marks with a water-based felt tip pen. The ink will seep through the tissue paper onto the bisque and the pattern is reusable. When your item is fired all of the ink from the pen is burned off and only the glazes will remain.
Fine writers: Specially produced bottles with very fine “nibs” for fine work, use as an alternative to fine brushes. Fill with paint and then attach the tube “nib” rather like icing a cake.
“Bumpy doodles” & relief paints: Create an interesting raised detail to your work.
Books and pictures: For ideas & inspiration!
See my templates page for some simple outlines to print off and use.
All materials for painting designs onto bisque ware are readily available from the internet, ceramic cafes, or art and craft shops.