Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Own Petroglyph: Van Gogh Edition

Yesterday, I went to Los Gatos with my boyfriend. I flew up from San Diego to visit him in San Jose and it has been a blast of a week (lots of pictures and prose about it soon). Los Gatos is a cute little mountain town with shops and boutiques and bakeries. It was about 10:30 AM when we arrived there and it was peaceful and quiet. We walked around admiring the stores and window-shopping and decided to paint some plates at Petroglyphs. I thought it was a strange store name so I looked up the meaning on Wiki:

Petroglyphs (also called rock engravings) are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading.

So basically caveman drawings :D I took forever to pick out something to paint, because I wanted something small, functional, and interesting. A star-shaped box it is! It will be great for putting all my jewelry in or any other little things I want to store. I almost painted a cupcake container but a simple-shaped box left more room for creativity!

I wanted to do something crazy so I went with Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night. I found a picture in a magazine and got started. Even though it's my first time painting plates in a long, long time, I got a little gutsy and wanted to try etching. First you paint all your pretty colours very thickly. Then you put on thin topcoat of a dark colour and scratch it with a stylus or a stick while the top layer is still wet. It lets the bottom colours show through nicely.

These paints are much lighter now but they will darken considerably after being torched in the kiln. So I didn't just paint a weird dark tower with 10 suns and a really bright sky. Hopefully everything turns out fine because I definitely mixed paints as if they were acrylic too. Oops.

Bottom layer:

Bottom of lid:

Inside of box will be a golden yellow; Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night:

The bottom of the box + signature:

We also tried the speckling technique! Dip a brush in a bit of paint and flick the other side of the brush towards your target. Voila! The stars were done with bumpy paint to give texture and 3-D awesomeness.

Up close side detail:

The finished, etched, unbaked product! Click image to enlarge and see the pretty detail :D The village was hard to draw on with the special ceramics pen (will show up after fire) but it's visible. Hopefully after glaze and fire, the Van Gogh-ness will be preserved. This was really fun!

Meow Meow hard at work on his espresso cup + saucer. Isn't he adorable? Also, note the massive amounts of paint we used. Muahahhaaa.

Sad story though. Today, when we went to pick our masterpieces up, the worker said that the kiln broke down yesterday T___T What awful luck! We're hopping on a plane at 8 AM tomorrow morning so they will have to be mailed very carefully. I was so excited to see them today :( Oh well. More pictures when they arrive! The whole ordeal cost about $25 ($8 sitting fee + $14 product). It was a really fun and creative experience. Yay play dates :D


Michael January 16, 2010 at 3:49 AM   said...

Humans were not meant to blog. Especially you.

But since you've found a way to do subvert God Himself, nice post and good work.

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