Teapots, mugs, plates covered in spots and dots are extremely stylish and popular at the moment. Emma Bridgewater has her Polka Dot design and visit any household section of department stores you will see lots of spotty and dotty pottery designs. But did you know there are several very simple ways suitable for all ages and abilities to of paint your own pottery with a dotty or spotty design.
Finger print spots
Your fingers make some of the best dots on pottery and ceramics, plus it is something even the youngest child with a bit of help can do. The only thing you need to do before starting your finger print dots is to make sure is that your fingers are clean and free of any grease. When you change colours make sure you clean your fingers well. A damp sponge to wipe your fingers on works quite well. The spots created with your fingers may not be perfectly round but they are unique, stylish and completely personal.
You can buy round stickers in various sizes easily and cheaply from stationers and they can be used to create lovely pottery with white spots on a coloured background. All you need to do is stick your round stickers all over the surface your dry and clean bisque (unpainted, unglazed pottery) in a random pattern. Rub the stickers to make sure they are securely attached to the pottery. Then paint all the surface area in your chosen colour, this can be done with a paintbrush or sponge. To get a nice solid even colour at least two coats of ceramic paint are recommended. Once the paint is completely dry peel off the stickers and your pottery is ready for glazing and firing. If you can't get manage to lift the stickers at the edge a good tip is to take a pin and stick it in the sticker and lift.
To get coloured spots on a white background you can use ring binder reinforcement ring stickers. Again these are also readily and cheaply available from stationers. Just stick the reinforcement rings all over your pot, but instead of painting the background carefully paint the hole in the middle of the ring binder stickers and then peel the rings off when the paint is dry before glazing and firing.
Stamping your Spots and Dots
Instead of using your fingers at a stamp for dots and spots, your could use other round objects by immersing them in paint and dabbing them on your pottery. At craft shops you can buy various sponge tools called dabbers and daubers which also make round spots. Other household items you could use to stamp spots on your pottery are cotton wool buds, the end of your paint brush or the flat end of a pencil. The object does need to be clean and free from grease for starting each colour. With the cotton wool buds it is best to use a new one for each colour.
Use Round Objects as Stencils
Using a felt tip pen or soft pencil draw around round objects to create a spotty or circle design on your pottery. All pencil and felt tip lines when you paint your own pottery will disappear when your pottery is fired. This is because the professional firing is done at over 1000C causing the pencil and/or felt tip to burn off. You can then either paint inside the circles or leave the circles unpainted and paint the background. Areas not painted will go a creamy white when fired, how white the background is will depend on the type of glaze and bisque used. You can buy stencils with lots of different sized circles but you don't need these, you could just draw round some pots, bottles or lids that you have in the cupboard at home.
With these simple ideas anyone can paint their own pottery and create some stylish unique spotty, dotty and polka dot gifts to keep or give to family and friends. Examples of all of these spotty and dotty paint your own pottery ideas can be seen at www.potsoffun.co.uk.
About the Author
Gillian Groom set up a mobile pottery painting company in 2001, since then she has painted 1000's of children's hands and feet on pottery. She now offers a mail order service so parents or children's groups can create their own pottery masterpieces and keepsakes. For more information on Gillian's paint at home pottery kits visit http://www.potsoffun.co.uk/