Poinsettia Christmas Plate


This was a class project done in Michael Sullivan's class, around Christmas, 1997, but not finished until after Christmas.

The Pointsettias and leaves were traced onto the plate.  I painted the flowers with Mother of Pearl.  Apple Green Luster, Green Luster and Turquoise Luster was used for the leaves.  The berries were painted in Mother of Pearl also.  The plate was fired to Cone 018.

On the Second Fire, resist was applied over the flowers and leaves.  Then, using striping tape, I marked off the area for the red outside band around the plate.  Red Luster was applied to the center of the plate. Very quickly I started patting the Red Luster.   The Patting is done with a cosmetic-type sponge, wrapped in grocery-bag plastic, covered with silk.  The silk and plastic wrap are pulled tight over the sponge and secured with a rubber band, twisted tightly.  The plastic over the sponge assures that the Luster paint won't be "sucked up" by the sponge.  I patted until the luster became tacky and started making a "smacking" sound.  Then I painted the red band around the outside of the plate.  The resist and the striping tape was peeled off and the plate was again fired to Cone 018.

I was not satisfied with the deepness of the red on the inside center of the plate, so on the Third Fire I first applied resist over the poinsettias and leaves.  Then I put one length of striping tape right at the edge of the red band, around the plate, and then placed another length right up against the first strip all around the plate.  Then a third length was placed against this second one.  When all three lengths of tape were down, I then lifted the middle length away from the plate to form a guide for later painting of a gold band around the plate, just inside the red band.  First I again painted red luster in the middle and patted it with the sponge wrapped in plastic and silk.  Then I painted the gold band around the plate, using the two lengths of tape as a guide.  A "finger edge" was applied around the rim of the plate.   I removed the resist and pulled up the striping tape and fired the plate to Cone 018.

On the Fourth Fire, using a quill-type metal pen, I outlined the poinsettias, leaves and berries with Liquid Bright Gold.   When the plate came out of the Third Fire, I discovered that, when I pulled up the resist and striping tape, I had inadvertently dragged some of the Liquid Bright Gold across the red area in the outside band on the plate.  Because the Liquid Bright Gold is reddish brown before firing, I had not noticed it against the red band.  Not to worry.  Michael suggested that I do a kind of "crackle" or brick-like pattern with Liquid Bright Gold on top of the red band.  Although this took me the rest of the class evening and some more time at home, it was worth it.   The pattern (barely visible in the photo of the plate here) actually added something to the plate.  After I finished the pattern, I again fired the plate to Cone 018.

Probably sometime on the trip to Hawaii, this plate got a small chip on the edge of the rim.  Regardless, I have it hanging in my studio now.

Return to My Paintings Page