I made A Paint Palette And I Love It

Anyone who has read even a little of my blog will have realised that I am a hoarder of art supplies, I can’t help it, they make me so happy, far happier than rubies or emeralds ever could! When I paint with watercolours I always use ceramic palettes (or if I can’t find one a dinner plate will usually do). On a ceramic palette the paint will puddle nicely instead of separating as it does on metal which means that you can keep your colour mixing much more consistent. I have two ceramic palettes and while they are lovely flower shapes, I really wanted to make one myself that would be special. I have used polymer clay a lot for my craft business Moby and Puddle but I didn’t think that polymer clay would be too good for a palette because it would wear down eventually if used a lot and the colour of the paints may soak into and stain it.

I contacted our local pottery painting studio and asked if they do any classes in clay sculpture, I was so excited when they said yes and I booked straight away. In the meantime I designed my palette. I was torn between a dinosaur and a bear but in the end the bear design just looked better. I printed it out and took it along with me.

My design.

The clay studio is called Hands2gether but sadly closed its doors just one week after we were there due to rising rental costs. Plymouth has lost an amazing place and I really hope that they are able to start up again after their much needed break.

When we arrived the Webblings chose a piece of pottery to paint each, Lilly a bowl and Harry a dinosaur. I was given a flat sheet of clay that was around a half inch thick and shown how to cut the clay, join pieces and smooth everything out. I put the template on to the clay and cut around it. I scooped out the wells where the paint mixing will happen. I was told to make it as smooth as possible because once the glaze is on any sharp edges will be as sharp as glass, so I smoothed, smoothed, smoothed and smoothed some more. I plan to use it a lot so I don’t want to accidentally be creating a deadly weapon!

Smoothing.

I decided that it looked better without the extra ear that I added in my design, I was also not very confident at attaching it to the base layer smooth enough for no water to get under it, it didn’t matter with the nose because I won’t be mixing paint on his little nose.

I had time and clay left over so I made a quick paint brush holder, it isn’t great and can possibly used as a deadly weapon if absolutely necessary. You can tell that I didn’t prepare the design in advance.

We collected the finished pieces two weeks later when they had been dried, kilned and glazed. To say I was excited opening it would be a huge understatement.

Finished polar bear and his leaf.

It isn’t perfect, not by a long shot but I could not love it more. The palette is exactly what I wanted it to be. It is a nice heavy weight and has no sharp edges! (The leaf is lethal!) I am so proud of it and I know that it will get used a lot because it already has been.

Polar palette in use!

He looks so cute in his colours, almost like he is wearing a jumper. the paint puddles nicely in the wells and there is just enough of them for me to work easily. Having never used clay like this before I am amazed that I managed to make something so pretty and functional in under two hours, Hands2gether were amazing and I am so grateful to them for finishing it off so beautifully for me and for the clear and easy to follow instructions.

We all had a great night, we spent time as a family and I really loved trying something completely new. If you have chance to get to a clay studio then definitely go and give it a go. Your first attempt won’t be perfect most likely but you will love it because you made it with your own hands.

You will find lots of pictures of my palette on my instagram feed I am sure over the years so you will be able to see how he holds up. Maybe I should name him, any suggestions?

Thank you for reading,

Samantha x

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