How to use silkscreens on pottery – a Step by Step Guide

2016-02-1013.21.19.jpgWe’ve produced some lovely items lately using silkscreen and we’re so pleased with the results that we thought we’d be kind enough to share our secrets with you in our step-by-step guide!

Here’s how we made our funky Lambretta plate!

 

STEP 1

Begin by choosing the base colour for your plate. We chose white because we wanted to give our plate a stripy background so used it as a nice light colour for our first application of paint. 2016-02-10 12.53.01.jpg

STEP 2

Using a sponge, cover the plate in three coats of underglaze. You’ll need to work quite quickly as you don’t want the paint to dry out completely just yet.                                                                                                                                                     2016-02-10 12.53.32.jpg

STEP 3

If you’re making a stripy plate like we did, tear up some strips of paper and dunk them in cold water. If you wanted nice neat stripes then you can cut them beautifully, but we liked the idea of having a slightly rougher effect.2016-02-10 13.02.49.jpg

STEP 4

Lay the strips onto the plate to form stripes.2016-02-10 13.04.15.jpg

STEP 5

Using your second choice of colour, dab the underglaze over the plate, again do three coats. You could also brush the paint on, depending on whether you want a mottled or a block colour effect.2016-02-10 13.05.53.jpg

STEP 6

Carefully pull the strips of paper away.2016-02-10 13.11.14.jpg

STEP 7

Time to watch paint dry! Ensure your base coats are completely dry before you attempt the next stage.2016-02-10 13.11.47.jpg

STEP 8

Take your chosen silkscreen (in our case, a Lambretta) and lay it onto the plate, fixing it into place lightly with low tack masking tape. 2016-02-10 13.21.19.jpg

STEP 9

Before using a silkscreen, you need to thicken the underglaze up. You can buy professional thickening agents, but we mixed in cornflour which is just as effective. It needs to be the consistency of toothpaste.2016-02-10 13.23.46.jpg.

STEP 10

Apply your underglaze by dabbing it on with your finger. You can also use small dabbing sponges for this if your prefer. Different colours can be applied to different areas of the silkscreen if you prefer.2016-02-10 13.25.23.jpg

STEP 11

Carefully lift the silkscreen to reveal your design underneath.2016-02-10 13.28.33.jpg

STEP 12

Your plate is now looking fab and is ready to be glazed and fired in the kiln!2016-02-10 13.30.45.jpg

 

The Rainforest at Crafty Monkey!

rainforest

Thankfully, our studio did not undertake a transformation into a real rainforest…that would have been a disaster for our precious art equipment! But rather, our studio was full of the sunny faces of a group of local school children eager to show us their excellent ‘rainforest’ themed ideas!

The children from years 2 and 3 had been learning about rainforests at school and their latest mission was to paint a creature from the rainforest using a range of art techniques. Their teachers were wise enough to know that the Crafty Monkey team would be the right people to nurture the children’s creative minds! And the pottery painting commenced!

Clutching the designs that they had lovingly created at school, each child was given a plain, square tile. Their aim was to transfer their beautiful pictures of colourful rainforest creatures to pottery…and the end results were amazing!

The children used sponging techniques to start their pieces, creating a lovely mottled effect to reflect the weird and wonderful background scene of the tropical rainforest. They considered the colours that make up a typical scene and took small pieces of sponge to dab away to create their gorgeous green and yellow scenery. They then listened carefully and learned about different brush techniques and how to work with the special pottery paint to bring their animals to life in glorious technicolor!

The children really enjoyed their pottery painting experience and took new skills (and maybe a new hobby) away with them. In the mean time, they’ve been waiting patiently to see their finished articles while the Crafty Monkeys were bustling away to get them glazed and fired.

They produced some fantastic pieces of pottery and we’re sure that when they see them, they will be amazed at how their masterpieces have turned out! We were!

Crafty Monkey love working with schools on projects whether they come to us or we go to them. We also work with PTA’s as we have some great fundraising ideas so get in touch if you would like to find out more!

Call Crafty Monkey on 01480 219222