Tattooed Mice

July 29, 2014 , In: Ceramic Clay, Clay, General
Don’t worry – no animals were harmed in the writing of this post!

You may remember a few months ago Caroline wrote a post about china painting as a way of decorating glazed ceramic. I knew I wanted to give this a go and went straight on line and bought a selection of paints which come in these adorable tiny jars…they’ve been sitting in a cupboard ever since!

Well yesterday I finally got around to using them. I’d made some little mouse charms and unusually for me glazed them in pastel shades which I felt needed jazzing up a bit. They have little tails on one side but I thought maybe a little tattoo on the other cheek might look cute.

Rather stupidly I forgot to take a photo of me working with the paints but you can find more about the process on Caroline’s post. Basically you mix the finely powdered paint with a medium – either a commercial one or an improvised one as I did – I used 7UP. Then it’s ‘simply’ a case of painting on your chosen design. Actually I found it anything but simple – I’m not good at small detail and it’s very difficult to hold onto and paint on a tiny object with curved surfaces even with the simplistic designs I was trying to achieve. Needless to say there was frequent dropping, cleaning and starting again.

But I persevered and eventually ended up with all my meeces sporting a little heart or flower tattoos and ready for firing…

Compared to glaze firing this is a pretty quick process whereby you fire the kiln straight up to 700ºc and then let it cool straight back down. This is how they finished up.

I’m not entirely happy with them as I think they’re a bit untidy. What I should have done is practice on an old plate or tile first to get a feel for the paints but when did I ever do anything that sensible? I’m sure I’ll improve with practice though – even if I do have to decorate all my table china to do it!


The Gossiping goddess

Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt started making jewellery in 2009 with a handful of hobby store beads but quickly discovered art beads and became completely smitten. Taking courses in metal clay, metal smithing, enamelling and etching she began making her own components in 2011 and has never looked back. Always looking to try new things she has branched out into ceramics, bead embroidery, mixed media and textiles.
  1. Reply

    They're adorable! I think you've done a great job considering it was your first attempt.

  2. Reply

    Awesome post – I really want to try this!

  3. Reply

    They are sure cute.

  4. Reply

    Wow, those little meeses are adorable!! The tattoos are a perfect addition.

  5. Reply

    Hi Lesley,
    I think your meeses came out very cute, awesome job for the first time without practicing on another object first.

  6. Reply

    I see absolutely No untidy messes here! These are fabulously adorable sweet little perfections!

  7. Reply

    I love these little tattooed mice, untidy or not!

  8. Reply

    I think that they are really cute and look like the
    'tramp stamp' that my pom gets on his butt when he is groomed.

  9. Reply

    They're fantastic Lesley! You did a great job!

  10. Reply

    I love them! For the first attempt, they look like they turned out quite nice. I would be proud to own a set.

  11. Reply

    They are Fab!

  12. Reply

    These are so cute!!!! The china painting looks like fun.

    • C
    • September 1, 2014

    So adorable! Maybe you could hook the little loop onto a "third hand" clamp so you'll have both hands free while painting. And if you use the double clamp model you can tattoo two furry woodland creatures at a time! Just an idea. I'd love to see brightly colored little tattooed owl charms…. I would definately buy then to use in some designs for my daughter. And kitties. And pups. And dolphins…. lol! 😉 ~Cin

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