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[teacherartexchange] Alternate finishes for ceramics


From: Joan Dark (joandark4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 08 2005 - 13:09:38 PDT

Dear Teacher Art Exchange Members,

This thread came up on another list I am on....
I am not posting the names of the individuals but all
of them would want these ideas shared with you.

This is a great alternative to the cost of using

I have also found that water color paints on bisque
fired pieces works really well. and the colors will
LOOK like the kids think they will look. Then you can
spray with an acrylic gloss to seal. I had several
successful projects this way.

1. Wood look Patina
Brush with thinned brown acrylic - wipe off with damp
cloth before it dries completely then brush with black
into and wipe off. You can burnish this with shoe
polish. My students used this on our African
inspired boxes.

Alternate to this is using wood stains and shoe polish
(but acrylic is better for middle school).

2. Watercolors washes - wipe off raised areas - then
finish with gloss medium

3. Verdi gris - for older students (must use gloves
for this). Copper topper or bronze topper - then use
the verdi gris. ONLY do this with close supervision.

4. Verdi gris can be done with acrylics - Rub n' Buff
for high lights - then wipe with bluish green tempera.

5. Paint piece black with flat paint. Then color with
oil pastels. You can spread colors with a bit of
thinner on Q-tips. It helps to mix white with the

6. Spray paints (for older students) - layer
black/brown - then a light dusting of metallic (for

Due to the expense of glazing elementary or high
school ceramic pieces I developed a technique that
gives the pieces a nice alternate look.

Students create the ceramic pieces as usual, let dry
and then fire once. It is important the
piece is nicely textured in order for this process to
work well.

Students take the piece and paint the work completely
in black then take it to the sink and rinse off as
much black as possible leaving the black in the groves
of the texture.

Students then dry brush tempera paint colors onto the
black surface. It is important to use stiff short
haired brushes to apply the tempera paint. Colors
mixed with white to make interesting tints of colors
go best on the surface of the ceramic piece.

Once completed, students will coat the ceramic piece
with a tempera varnish (gloss or matt finish). I use
the gloss as it is close to the look of glaze.

I suggest you try it before you use it in the

This is a great alternative to the cost of using
If you have additional ideas - share them with me off
list. I am just posting this as a test. I want them
all in one email for me to save.

Hope you find these useful.

Joan for Art Ed

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