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And now for something completely different!
I have always been enamoured of Classical Greek pottery. I like the stylisation better than the classical realism – to me it is much more evocative. I wanted to play with the process a little before branching out on my own (which is invariably my practice) so I have a few designs to start with. The first is Eos ‘Kidnaps Tithonis’.
The original was in red-figure ware, but I decided to try it as if it was black-figure ware first
I started with three coats of the colour on each side. The circle has a 4″ circumference. I know it’s not really red, but a colour called Chamois.
Then I used a stencil (which I made myself out of 100% rag vellum) and a very thin coating of Opalescent white fines (the finest grains of enamel usually used for painting) This served two purposes – it gave me a ground on which my paint would be less likely to crackle (this usually happens when you fire a fine grind enamel over a regular grind one)
Then I scratched through the sifted enamel (sgrafitto) to add details
I forgot to take a picture of the opalescent fines after firing – but here you can see it in the areas I haven’t painted yet.
Then I painted the skin a light cream colour. Both the black and the cream are finely ground enamel suspended in an oil medium.
Because of the opalescent undercoat – the firing looks almost exactly the same before and after firing.(except the first looks matte and the second shiny!)
I added the border and details in a final layer, which I again scratched to add details
Then I did it as red-figure ware – using the same stencil
Opalescent fines fired.
This time I painted it all in one go – but after I had painted the clothing and wings I dusted it (while wet) with a fine layer of transparent red fines. Then I went on and did the cream coloured skin and the border (which I sgrafittoed)
One firing for the paint worked well, and my transparent fines added a nice mottled texture to the robes.