Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fire up those Sharpies!

Something next to magical happens when a Sharpie is placed in someone's hands. 
The lines are clean and crisp and one design just leads into the next. 
I love working with Sharpies!

My kitchen now looks like a manufacturing kitchen....dishes everywhere but no food in sight!

So here's the scoop......I bought out the white china dishes at Dollar Tree. I bought several shapes and sizes of glazed white china.

The magic of a Dollar store find and a Sharpie!

I bought coffee mugs that were tall and narrow, coffee mugs that were short and fat, coffee mugs with slightly fluted designs, and coffee mugs with little raised dots!

I bought plates...round plates, square plates, dinner plates and snack size plates! I even bought some red plates to play around with.
(Poor checker who got me, right? Took forever wrapping those glass dishes in paper to get me out of the store.)       

I stocked up on new Fine tipped Sharpies (the original Sharpies, not ultra-fine), made sure I had some alcohol...the kind that goes in the medicine cabinet and a few little q-tips for my many mistakes!

 Next I settled in for a  good old movie I could enjoy while listening because my attention is going to be on drawing the dish in my lap.

I started looking at those dishes and waited and waited and looked and looked even turned it in my hands as if that would matter!  And I waited for inspiration to strike me in the head like lightening....oh, but it doesn't work that way, does it?
So I took a deep breathe and got up the courage to put down the first mark!

So there it is...the first mark! 
  Just gently wipe that stray mark away like a stray tear that slips out of the corner of an eye. 

Use a dab of  alcohol on a q-tip and wipe.  It will turn purple but wipe it again until it is comes clean using the other end of the q-tip.
I tried prepacked wet wipes for eye glasses not the wipes for  little bottoms. They work also, but I
had to keep the q-tips handy because I was using up all my wet wipes. 

I make many, many mistakes. 

Since I have the best job in the world...teaching art, I took all that glassware to school and let my students experiment on glass. 

Yesterday one of my students came by after school to show me her finished mug and get final instructions on firing the your own oven, by the way!
(And I call it firing not baking because we are talking ceramics here not cakes.)
Before she left she admitted to me,
 "I'm addicted to it now! It's so much fun."
Well, welcome to my world!!!!
Sing it Madonna....
Girls just want to have fun-un!
Yes, girls just want to have fun!
So here are the simple, simple instructions:

Draw & Fire!
  • Place the glassware in a cold oven, set the temperature to 400-450 degrees
  • Begin your timing when the oven gets to the desired temp. 
    •  (Color markers lose their color in the hottest temps but red comes out red at 400 degrees in my oven.  Most colors faded but especially the cool colors:blue, green and purple.  Yellow turned brownish.) 
  • Fire about 40 minutes,  
  • Turn the oven off and leave the glassware to cool in the oven.  Cooling takes hours but you don't want to rush it because cooling too fast causes cracks and ruptures to form or even breaking. 
Most importantly, treasure your creative time!

Another design but made for the kids at Making Fun Making Faces 
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  1. If I ever get married, you are designing my dinnerware!

  2. Oh how I wish I had a art teacher like you when I was in school.

    1. How sweet, Evelyn. I love to have students like you who enjoy all the creative fun things.

  3. Wow ....I wish I could doodle like that!

    1. Thank you, I have doodled all my life so it just comes naturally to me now but it is only recently that I became acquainted with Zentangles. When I saw Zentangles I realized they had made step by step instructions for doodling. I have used the instructions in my classroom and my students doodling has improved. You should look it up.

  4. Thank you VERY MUCH for sharing this awesome idea with us!! Such wonderful gift ideas!!

    1. You are so welcome. I did not originate this idea but I think it is a great gift idea. My daugther asked me if she was getting some for Christmas. I think I need to get busy doodling.

  5. After firing, can this dinnerware actually be used for dinner, tea, etc.?

    1. Yes, Susanna. Sharpies are non-toxic so I have no reservations about using them. I would suggest hand washing and not putting your hand designed glassware through the dishwasher. I have not put any of mine in the dishwasher I just am afraid of it all washing off and that would make me sad. Firing them does seem to implant the image in the glaze.

    2. Wonderful! This looks like great fun!

  6. Thank you! Just what I was looking for...the neighborhood children are spending the day at my house this week...Perfect activity!!!!

    1. Oh, my goodness...yes, this really has kept my grandchildren happy for long periods of time and they keep returning to it. I do warn you about colored sharpies...the colors don't come true. I fired one last night my 6 year old granddaughter did. She was disapppointed the red came out orange, the dark green came out more blue green, yellow green turned a faded grayish greenish color, dark blue faded to a gray and purple faded and that was firing at 400 degrees. Lowering the heat is counter productive because it does not adhere well to the glaze. You must report back on how well you do. I would love to hear from you.

  7. I'm not sharing any more ideas with you! Yours always come out so much better!!! Yours look professional. Mine look like doodles!

    1. Ha ha, you're funny Linda. At least Linda means beautiful....

  8. You mentioned how to fire the glass but what about china? I would love to try this for next years cheese plates that I put my cheese balls on for gifts
    Great post. I love the black and white china.

  9. I would LOVE to see more of your 'doodles' of this nature. I have just started Zentangling, but like your doodles much better - for projects like this. Can you share more photos of your white dishes, mugs, bowls, etc.?? LOVE,LOVE LOVE them!

  10. I will, Julie! Thank you for your comment. It is time for me to do more. I will post more as soon as I can. This is such a relaxing thing to do. I would sit down with sharpie in hand and a plate on my lap and "watch" tv. Have you seen the post below? It is a little more animated and fun than some of the others. I did it for the grandchildren.

  11. Absolutely fascinating. Just over two years ago, I had a serious bump to my head. And as I recovered, I discovered a massive artistic desire, which I had never had before. Unfortunately, I am singularly without talent in any medium I try, I have so ideas but cannot put them on to paper, or anything else. This has inspired me to carry on practicing. For that you have my eternal gratitude. Your work here is remarkable.

  12. can i just ask did you do these with the sharpie markers or oil based paint pens? i have read a few posts that say an ordinary sharpie just washes straight off leaving only a trace behind

    1. I used regular Sharpie pens. Not the color ones and- I have never seen the oil based Sharpies. If fired as directed in my blog I did not have a problem. the first ones I did I fired at a lower temperature and for shorter duration and those did wash off. But higher temps, longer firing and letting them cool in the oven seems to make them more durable. I never put them through the dishwasher and I never soak them in the sink. Maybe if I scrubbed them the marks would come off but I handle them carefully.
      Another thing that could be an issue is the dish being used. I got my dishes from the dollar store and the dishes are cheap, cheap plates. They did not have a high gloss. I did not think the high gloss plates would work as well.

      They certainly are fun to do. Good luck.

  13. My sister has started collecting plates to cover a wall in her dining room. She complains all the time about how expensive plates are even at thrift shops. WELL... I am going to surprise her and try making some of these for her collection - they will be one-of-a-kind at any rate. Wish me luck. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your ideas with us. Happy Valentine's Day, Lisa

  14. Do you think putting a clear coat over the sharpie would make it food-safe? And if so, what kind of clear finished could be used?

    I've had porcelain paint and a ton of "blank canvases" just waiting to be doodled on, but I haven't had any motivation with the paintbrushes. Sharpie pens seem WAY more fun also. I have a whole pack of the assorted colors one.

    I may just doodle on a saucer to see how it turns out.

    1. I did a quick "google" search for answers so my answer is from someone else's advice. BUT what I did find sounds reasonable. Amazon sells a product Behlen Salad Bowl Finish that is intended as a clear coat over wood but can be used on other products. I certainly think this is worth a try. In fact, I may have to purchase this and try it. Also, don't fire those colored sharpies. You will lose the original color and most will end up brown. If you find that you can make a lasting, waterproof image by covering your designs with Behlen's product, please update us. Thanks for your inquiry. I am retiring soon and have a ton of creative ideas and this just adding a new one to my list.