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Ceramics By Barbara

Directions for painting a ceramic Christmas tree, lighthouse, garden stone and dolphins

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Welcome stone---Lighthouse---Dolphin---crosses---ceramic Christmas tree---Studio---ball Christmas ornament
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ceramic Christmas tree

Directions for making a ceramic Christmas tree

  1. Pour the slip(liquid clay) into the casting molds, there are three molds. One for the base, one for the tree and one for the extra branch on the large tree. After about 45 minutes, pour the excess slip out to the mold.
  2. Let the slip sit in the molds for about 6 to 8 hours so the the set up. Remove the tree from the molds and punch the holes for the light bulbs. Let the unmolded pieces(greenware) dry overnight.
  3. Clean the seams from the greenware. Join the top part of the tree the the bottom branch and let the tree dry for 2 to 3 days.
  4. Place the pieces in the kiln(oven) and fire to cone 04(2000 degrees). This takes 3 to 4 hours to heat to that temperature. The kiln then must cool overnight before it can be opened.
  5. Paint undercoat on entire piece and rub off some paint to give the tree highlights.
  6. The tree is now fired again to come 05 (1900 degrees) and cooled overnight before the kiln can be opened.
  7. The entire tree is painted with tree coats of clear glaze paint, drying between each coat of paint. The tips of the branches are painted with "snow" paint.
  8. The tree is again place in the kiln, this time on stilts of the glaze doesn't harden on the self of the kiln. It is fired again at come 05, taking 3 to 4 hours to heat up and over night to cool.
  9. The tree is now complete and ready for wiring and bulbs.
  10. The whole process of completing a tree takes 10 day to 2 weeks.

Welcome Stone

Directions for painting the Welcome Stone

  1. Clean greenware and fire to cone 06 or 05 or purchase bisqueware.
  2. Paint undercoat on entire piece with weatherproof paint in dark gray. I used DecoArt Patio Paint® Concrete Grey.

  3. Paint the entire piece with sand textured light gray covering undercoat. I used Ducan GS236 Crystalline Granite Stone®.
  4. With a stiff #0 brush paint the design and Welcome words with any black translucent stain.
  5. Spray with several coats of Porcelain Mist fixative spray suitable for ceramics.


Directions for painting the Lighthouse

  1. Clean greenware and fire to cone 06 or 05 or purchase bisqueware.
  2. Paint the lighthouse and house with a basecoat of white opaque acrylic paint.
  3. Paint the rocks, chimney, walkway, bushes, door, windowsills and roof of the lighthouse and lightkeepers house with a light flesh tone opaque acrylic paint.
  4. Paint the stones at the base of the lighthouse and around the foundation of the house with gray acrylic paint.
  5. With a stiff #6 or#8 brush cover the entire peice, doing a small section at a time, with a light brown acrylic translucent paint. I use Ducan pecan sparkle #NS002. With a paper towel or soft cloth rub off as much a possible, leaving some color in the cracks.
  6. Using translucent acrylics, add the colors of your choice. With a stiff #1 or #3 brush, paint the colored area and then rub off with a paper towel to get desired color. I used red on the roof, green on the bushes, walnut on the trim and walkway and black on the rocks and stones at the base of the lighthouse.
  7. Trim with gold and spray entire peice with Porcelain Mist fixative spray suitable for ceramics

dolphin & baby

Directions for painting the Dolphins

  1. Clean greenware and fire to cone 06 or 05 or purchase bisqueware.
  2. Paint the water, dophin's bellies and eyes with a basecoat of white acrylic paint.
  3. paint the dolphin bodies and fins with baby blue opaque acrylic paint.
  4. With a light country blue opaque acrylic and the brush dipped in water paint a small cection of the waves. Wipe off excess immediately with a paper towel. Repeat until the desired effect is acheived.
  5. With a stiff brush paint the dolphins in black translucent, and wipe off as much as possible, leaving some in the cracks. I use Duncan silver sparkle, # NS011. Be careful not ot get any black on the waves.
  6. Using a fine brush, #0, and black opaque acrylic, paint an eyes on each dolphin. On the side of the eye, paint a tiny white dot to give the eyes a sparkle.
  7. Spray entire peice with Porcelain Mist fixative spray suitable for ceramics

Pictures of Sunshine Creations by Barbara Studio



Pictured are greenware, castings just out of the molds and molds used for casting along with the kiln that I use for firing.

FL nativity

This nativity set was painted by a 4th grade class with the help of their art teacher and sold for $700 at an auction to benfit the school.

Examples of painted crosses


These crosses were painted by religious education students as gifts to Confirmation students. They were painted with water base acrylic paints and sparyed with a high gloss finish.

Examples of painted ornament balls


This ornament ball was painted for a special order. The design was painted with under glazes, fired to cone 05, painted with a clear glaze and fired again to cone 05.

For more information

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Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 3014, 2015, 2016 by Sunshine Creations by Barbara.
All rights reserved. No reproductions or redistribution without written permission.