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(bisque and colors to go)

Now, you can work on your own time, in your own space, by purchasing your bisque and individual colors from Made By Me. You pay only for the colors you select, and your pottery. Paint at home. Bring your finished work back to Made By Me for firing.

Painting instructions

1. Wipe off the surface of the pottery with a clean, slightly damp sponge or cloth.

2. Draw, if you want to, with a no. 2 pencil. Pencil will burn off in the kiln when the piece is fired. Remember that you will not see any of the pencil lines, and that even when pencil smudges in with paint and appears to discolor it, the pencil will fire off and clean color will remain. Do not use an eraser or wipe with a wet cloth. If you must remove pencil lines, use sandpaper.

3. Use any nonporous surface (such as a tile, a glass or ceramic plate, a plastic container) as a palette.

4. Use water only for cleaning your brushes. If you want intense color, do not add water to your brush.

5. Apply one, two, or three coats of paint according to how solid and intense you want the color to be. Each coat should be dry before the next coat is added. Air drying is best, but you may use a hair dryer (on low) to speed drying if necessary.

6. Remember that dark colors will cover light colors better than light colors will cover dark.

7. Allow your pottery to dry thoroughly before bringing it back to Made By Me for firing.

Reminder: You must present your receipt when you return your piece for firing. Made By Me reserves the right to refuse to fire pieces that appear to have inappropriate materials on them (appropriate materials are Made By Me-dispensed ceramic paints, ordinary no. 2 pencil; inappropriate materials include erasers, paper, glue, glitter, metallic pen, acrylic paint, and anything not specifically approved by Made By Me staff; masking tape may be used during painting but should be removed completely prior to firing). The finished quality of pottery painted outside the studio cannot be guaranteed against certain defects that may be related to handling.

Frequently asked questions

What colors did I choose?

(click to enlarge)

Can I...

Mix colors?

Yes. But the result is not predictable. Because the colors you mix on your palette do not exactly match the fired color, you cannot be sure what color you are going to get. Also, it is difficult to duplicate your mix if you find you need more. A suggestion: instead of mixing, try layering: washing a coat of one color over another to get the effect of the two combined.

Layer colors?

Yes. But it is important to remember that the color you expect from samples or color charts is based on colors being painted on white pottery. If you paint on top of other colors, the appearance of the top color may be slightly (or sometimes very) different. A general rule is to paint dark colors on top of light colors. Another is to layer colors of contrasting values, that is, dark and light colors, but not two dark colors or two light colors, or two medium colors. (For example, dark red will show up on a yellow, but light orange may not.)

Water down paint?

If you know what you are doing. Because one coat of paint will already look like a watercolor wash upon firing, watering down paint will make an even lighter wash. This may be desirable, but it is tricky. A watered-down wash of, say, a bright red, will look like a solid coat of red when it is dry, but may well fire to an imperceptible haze of pale orange.

Use other kinds of paints or markers to make outlines?

No. Use only the materials provided, or approved, by Made By Me. Most materials would burn off in firing, but some could actually prove damaging to your own piece or even to others, or the kiln.

Get texture by laying the paint on really thick?

No. Unfortunately, these ceramic underglaze paints are not really meant to go on thick. You can create the illusion of texture by your brushstrokes or by etching paint away with a sharp point or even your fingers, but really thick paint is likely to create surface problems in firing.

Fix mistakes?

Yes. The best thing to do is let the paint dry and use sandpaper to sand off unwanted marks. Remember to touch up underlying colors afterwards.

Get special effects?

There are lots of effects you can get using materials you have around the house. Try using a toothbrush to get a spatter effect. Or a clean, barely damp sponge for texture. Or crinkled up plastic wrap for another interesting texture. Use your imagination, but make sure any materials you use are clean before they touch your paint or your pot.

How do I...?

E-mail us with technical questions.