It was my brothers 19th birthday in December, but being so close to Christmas, we didn’t really celebrate. So, yesterday, we received a “Birthday party” request. He wanted to go and paint a plate! This is a bit of a tradition in our family, however, we didn’t expect him to ask to go! So on Wednesday, my mum, sister, dad, brother and I (my other two siblings were back at university) drove off to Blakemere craft centre to paint pottery!
In case you’ve never tried it, pottery painting is great fun! It’s incredibly relaxing as you can get completely lost in your work (it always requires a lot of concentration in our family) and you get a beautiful, personalised piece at the end! The first step is usually to choose what you are going to paint, then you clean the pottery with a damp sponge and get started with the paints. When you’ve finished, you can just hand it in to the counter and then in about a week, you go to collect it and it’s been “baked” and glazed. They look so shiny and professional but the best part is being able to put whatever you like on it! The prices vary but when we went, you could paint a normal sized cereal bowl for £10. We all sat together content and fully distracted!
Within our little group, we had a lot of different designs. My sister, who is doing A level art and textiles, did a beautifully complex design with intricate patterns and made everyone elses looked childish in comparison! However, all detail meant she was a little rushed for time! My Dad did a rather formal looking mug with “crests” around it and an oboe (upon mistaking it for a clarinet he rather defensively pointed out it couldn’t possibly be anything other than an oboe as it had a double reed – common knowledge). His way of deciding what to do was, “what will hold the most coffee?”
Mum painted a dainty vase with trees, each side had a tree in a different season. It looked really pretty and now she has a place to put all the mothers day flowers she received (one of the only perks of having five children is that you get a lot of flowers). My broth er did a “friendship plate”, which is a plate covered in all the significant memories you have of a particular friend. Somehow, this led to a plate covered in giraffes, squid, surfers, cars, pet rocks and minions (don’t ask). And finally, after seeing many pictures online, I decided to make a watermelon bowl!
So, continuing the pottery painting theme, I thought I’d make a list(in no particular order) of my 6 favourite designs, just in case you decide to give it a go!
6 – A multicultural plate (for exciting new foods!)
I’ve been venturing into the unknown world of foreign food recently. My brother had a Chinese for his birthday, and although I didn’t have any (Chinese food doesn’t get on with my stomach, and most of it is meat anyway), I have been looking into different cultures. We have soba noodles in our cupboard at the moment, waiting for some Miso soup and veggie sushi. I’ve always found different cultures fascinating, and I love the concepts of Japanese food.
It also ties in with my current art project, which is Japanese imagery. I should decorate a bowl with it ready for my Miso soup!
However, this design uses African patterns. The plate pictured was actually done with beads, but small dots of paint would work well. This would be perfect for when you’re trying new
foods, and help transport you around the world! (Ok, I may be exaggerating a little. What can I say, I’m excited!)
5 – Furry friends
I’m usually strongly against animals on plates, but I’ll make an exception for painted ones! As you’ve probably guessed, I am good friends with the animals we share this planet with, so what better way to share the love than a painted cat, dog or any other friend you are fond of.
Try a tiger face to place your carrots on or a rabbit for your lettuce. If your lucky, you might even find a specially shaped plate to paint. Ice cream is allowed to be on a plate if said plate is an icy penguin, don’t you think? Go mad! And if you can’t be bothered, there’s plenty of cute animal plates online. Or try a simple smiley face (I personally prefer smiles when they come with whiskers and paws though).
4 – Friendship Plate
All credit to my brother for this idea.
If you’ve got a special friend, why not try making them one of these? Or keep it as a memory of them. It would make a beautifully personal present, just decorate your plate with all the things that make you think of them (hopefully a little less random than my brothers!) You could spiral the pictures around, use a repetitive pattern or just randomly draw and let your imagination run wild!
3 – Nursery rhyme porridge
A good way to liven up breakfast, and a chance to relive your childhood! This will give you the perfect gift for a child, or a cute addition to your own collection! Try painting images of your favourite story, nursery rhyme or fairy tale and adding quotes, or, get really clever and incorprate your fairy tale into the pottery’s design. How about a humpty dumpty egg cup and soldiers side plate, gingerbread man shaped plate (they also had a penguin, one of the reasons I need to go back again!), or maybe a Little Miss Muffet bowl with a pesky big spider hiding inside?
I was very close to doing this myself, I had a sheet full of Goldilocks images so that I could eat my “just right” porridge in style! My Goldilocks bowl was going to have the main “characters” along with chairs, beds and porridge, and plenty of quotes! Google has lots of lovely cartoons which would have been perfect, then just a bit of arranging and Tadaa! The perfect throne for my cinnamon porridge.
2 – Fruit and vegetable bowl
I am a big fan of veggies! I was joking with my friend, who is vegetarian, about how there is a lot more than rabbit food available to vegans (like double chocolate soya ice cream with peanut butter fudgeJ) but that actually, we happened to like rabbit food a lot! I mean, where would soup be without tomatoes, carrots and pepper? And vegetables make me happy! I have a rather delicate stomach and where greasy food upsets, good old vegetables soothe. So, in celebration of all things green or plant-like, my choice was a fruit themed bowl. You’ve probably seen a few around, there’s all kinds: lemons, limes, orange, and of course, watermelon! It’s easy enough to copy the simple patterns onto the inside and outside. I did dark and light shades of green in stripes on the outside, a thin stripe of white/yellow melon “flesh” around the rim, and a vibrant red, with puff paint pips on the inside. The world of fruit salad awaits!
Among my collection of hand-painted pottery is a very special mug. The idea came from my eldest sister, she came up with lots of different patterns, then organised them across the mug with black puff paint stitches. It looked so effective, that I ended up making one myself. And what’s even better, is that it gives you a chance to paint lots of different patterns, instead of deciding on one. You can personalise it however you want: retro swirls, modern black and white, pretty floral or simple spots and stripes. Grandma would be proud!
Well that’s all! Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but we’ve been busy with the holiday and people coming and going. I nipped into lush on Tuesday, I’d highly recommend a trip! The only flaw is that I want to buy everything, sadly, my piggy bank would have a thing or two to say about that. Thursday was for the weekly grocery shop (I’m a Sainsbury’s fan), and picked up an innocent pot (Thai curry and very delicious) and some popped rice cereal. I will have to wait to try it though as Saturday is French toast day!
Now, I’m sat watching the new hunger games film – mocking jay part 1. I love the hunger games, and was happily surprised by the film adaptation. I’m not sure splitting it into two was necessary though, I wont complain though! It means more rare trips to the cinema. Jim has been talking the whole way through the film though. He doesn’t like it that we’re distracted from him. “MEOW! Pay me attention!”. Rosie has been rolling around with my hot water bottle. I now know why it keeps on leaking all over me. Thank you Rosie. Let me know how your holiday has been, or thoughts on The Hunger Games if you’re a fan. Oh, and in book news, I’ve moved on from the fifth wave (I feel a review coming on) and I’m very near the end of “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. I’m on a bit of a book roll, I think, as this is a brilliant read too! My last comment is about the brilliant feeling when you think you’re out of soup but find a tub of leftover spring vegetable in the back of the fridge. Even better now that the flavours have mixed together!