Porcelain Art

Porcelain Artists of Canada (new website under construction)

I'm a guild member, and here's the website of the convention I helped with:

PAC BC Convention 2014

My maternal grandmother was a member of PAC for many, many years. My cousins and I all took art lessons from her when we were little, everything including candle making, sculpting, chalk, watercolour, acrylics, and porcelain painting.

When my grandmother passed away in October of 2012, I inherited all of her supplies.

If you don't know a lot about oil painting on porcelain, or think it's all about tiny flowers on fancy tea cups, check out Firebrick Art. This is a great site to see the range of modern porcelain art by international artists.

Oil painting on porcelain is way more difficult than oil painting on canvas. For one thing, the surface is slippery, so the paint doesn't want to stick. It takes a great amount of control to lay it on, not only in the actual stroke of the brush, but the mix of the paint/oils and how much is loaded on the brush. For example, if there isn't enough paint on your brush, you will actually remove whatever paint is already on the surface if you go over it.

Another problematic nature of this art form is firing.

There are simple problems like, if you fire a wine glass too hot, it'll melt/lean to the side, or the porcelain/glass could crack/break of there is any tiny flaw.

The most complex thing about firing is that the minerals in the paint actually fuse into the glaze, or into the porcelain surface, if it's unglazed.

The reason why this is the most complex part of firing is that the glaze, and every single colour/type of paint, lustre, enamel, etc are all made of different mineral components. This means, they all expand and contract at different rates.

When you paint layers of different mineral compounds on top of each other, then heat them to 800C, there's a really high chance they will expand at different rates and either chip off, blur into each other, or crack the porcelain. Some colours will cannibalize each other and turn into a muddy mess... yellows are particularly problematic.

Everything about this art form is much more challenging than painting oil on canvas.