Monday, January 21, 2013

Painting Porcelain with Home-Made Stencils

I was searching for some cool new recipes for our Sunday brunch and came across one that required a "ramekin". I had no idea that those little porcelain bowls that go in the oven were called "ramekins. So that was when I decided it was high time we got a set of those.

Around the same time, I wanted to use stencils to do porcelain painting. I love to paint stuff but am absolutely hopeless at free-hand painting. So I put 2 and 2 together and realized I could use my Silhouette to make some stencils for the ramekins. Now wouldn't that look cute? Hand-painted ramekins in our brunch table?

Like many of my ideas, they work better in theory than in practice... To start off, I had to design a stencil that would fit perfectly all the way around the little pots. At first, Hubby and I had blast (I know this will sound nerdy, but what to do, an engineer married to a mathematician...) remembering how to do the development of a "truncated cone" (yep, we were back to high school math!) Basically we realized that a ramekin is (in theory) nothing but a "truncated cone" (imagine a horizontal slice of an upside down cone).

BTW, if you like math, check out this super cool mathematically visual website, really wished I'd seen it my college days...

Anyway, after some calculations I was able to make the stencil using the Silhouette software and came up with this:

I wanted to use 2 colors so I made 2 stencils. Next, I loaded the Silhouette with stencil vinyl and got it cut. It was my first time using vinyl in the Silhouette, it worked beautifully :) So I removed the negative spaces using their hook tool and got the stencil out.

I didn't use the transfer tape, because I realized that the vinyl backing was way too sticky for the porcelain. I even soaked it in water a little to get some of the glue off, otherwise my stencils might rip when removing.

After travelling in time all the way to high school and back, I was a little upset that the stencils didn't fit 100%, and I guess that it was because the ramekin is not a perfect cone... anyway, here's what I got:

They turned out just ok... like I said, not quite what I had envisioned. Painting with stencils was fun, but one thing I am sure of: I won't be stenciling non-flat surfaces anytime soon!

Oh, just some last remarks on painting with stencils, always better to use less paint, since it tends to slip under the stencil and create a blot. Also, when working with porcelain (or glass, I would image), always fix the mistakes with water as soon as you make them, it comes out really easily. I let some of my mistakes dry up and then had a hard time removing them. I used Martha Stewart's multi-surface acrylic non-toxic paint, loved it!

Now I need more recipes requiring a ramekin!! Anyone?? Ideas, please! If you send me a recipe I will try it out and post it in the blog.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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