"Porcelain painting", "china painting", "overglaze
painting", and "mineral painting" are interchangeable terms referring
to the art of painting on porcelain with special mineral-based powdered
paints and firing them in a kiln to temperatures hot enough to soften the glaze
and fuse the color with the glaze.
These paints are mixed to a toothpaste-like consistency and applied with
copaiba oil base medium. They are transparent and are applied in layers with
a firing between applications to temperatures usually from around 1300 degrees
Fahrenheit to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the colors used, shine desired,
addition of enamel work, gilding, etc. Usually, finished pieces have had a minimum
of three fires to build up color to the depth needed, with extra firings for
raised paste and gold.
The same art principles that apply to oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting
apply also to porcelain painting. And the same subjects usually painted on canvas
may be painted on porcelain, ie. portraits, landscapes, naturalistic florals,
fruits, still lifes, geometrics, and abstracts. Part of the challenge for the
porcelain artist is to create pleasing designs for different shapes; eg. painting
winding roses on a plate, a picture, a square vase, and an octagonal box lid.
Porcelain painting is a fascinating and wonderful art form. It challenges
our creativity and becomes a passion, pushing all other pastimes, hobbies, and
activities to the background. I've been painting for fourteen years and I'm
still waiting to paint that elusive masterpiece. In the meantime, I keep practicing
and practicing and ...