Painting my second-hand crockery

A while ago I started to paint some of my collection of found second-hand  vintage and retro crockery.  It's taken a while and I've not painted everything (far too many things to paint all of them!) but I've made a start at least.

I'd love to do something with the illustrations and maybe create some designs featuring the artwork - but for now it's just been fun to get the coffee pots, cups and plates out and paint some of the beautiful colours and patterns featured on the old pieces.

I thought I'd share some of the painting in progress and some of the finished artwork.....
All the illustrations were painted in watercolours; I only ever use Winsor & Newton watercolour paints (the tubes) and I personally prefer painting onto a 'cold-pressed' watercolour paper which has a textured surface, rather than painting onto a smooth 'hot-pressed paper'.  I used Arches medium 300gsm 100% cotton paper.

There is some good information about different watercolour papers on the Winsor & Newton website here
I always start by quickly sketching the object, and putting in some rough detail.  I then start to paint by building up layers of 'washes' of colour to get the basic outline, shape and shadows of the object.  When I'm happy with the overall body and shape of the mug or plate for example,  I'll move on to concentrate on the actual pattern.  Depending on whether I want a detailed or washy effect will depend on whether I allow the paint to dry, or work wet-on-wet.  If I allow the paint to dry in-between layers I can build up more detail, whereas wet-on-wet will give a more washy and free-flowing finished effect with less detail.      

Indigo Junction and Retro wallpaper

It's been a few weeks since I last managed a blog post as I've been busy, busy, busy with freelance work..... however, I managed to find time to spend some of my hard-earned income on some fabulous retro wallpaper from Indigo Junction!
Indigo Juntion is in East Brunswick in Melbourne and they specialise in vintage and retro furniture and collectibles.  Some of the items can be pretty pricey - but they select great pieces which are always in very good condition.  I made the fatal mistake of wandering in the other week whilst I was waiting to cross the road - and came out with two rolls of original french retro-styled wallpaper!!

I already had a couple of rolls of quite 'out there' retro wallpaper, so thought I'd add to my small collection and bought a roll of cute floral and a classic geo design.  The designs are great as sources of inspiration - and one day I hope to use them as intended and actually be brave enough to put them on a wall somewhere....

Treasured op-shop finds

I'm back working in-house for a few weeks for the textile company I design for, and it's great to visit some op-shops during my lunch break that I don't normally get the chance to visit!  I often go with a view to check out some of the clothing racks......but I'm always so easily distracted by the ceramics and homeware items.  How can one resist such  fabulous colours and patterns?!.....
I love it when I unexpectedly buy in colours - first came the retro orange bread-bin, and then the matching set of orange floral Staffordshire Potteries cups and saucers (on the left) and then the Ridgway 'Harvest Gold' yellow and orange floral cups and saucers. 
The vintage red rose floral plate didn't really fit in with the orange retro theme - but was just too lovely to leave on the dusty shelf.  I also found this old linen tea-towel showing off the 'birds of Fiji' and there was something quite appealing about this too!