Thursday, January 8, 2009

The class plate

This year, I was asked to paint the class plate. For those of you who aren't familiar with this tradition, each year a parent paints a plate for every kindergarten and 4th grade teacher, to be auctioned off at the carnival in March. These plates go for ridiculous amounts of money, but as an example, this year the proceeds from the carnival got every teacher a smart board, scanner and digital camera... so I'm not complaining!
However, these plates are absolutely amazing and I am incredibly intimidated by the thought of 1. having this plate on display for a month before the carnival and 2. the responsibility of creating something that could possibly earn my school hundreds of dollars.... I can see it now. Every teacher will have their fantastically artistic and creative plate go for $350 + and then bidding starts on mine and my poor husband has to buy it for $25 because no one else will even bid (And you WILL be buying it if no one bids, Stacey!).

The theme for this year's carnival is "Under the Sea" and while some people paint their plates to go with the theme, but I have chosen not to. I have always had this vision of a round plate, Earth painted in the middle and children all around it, standing on Earth holding hands. Every plate has something written on it, so I drew the plane below: Below that is the plate so far... still wet.. I am assured the strokes won't show when it's all said and done!

Around the rim, I am finger printing the kids, then making their prints into kids and will detail them holding hands. The continents will be outlined in black and flying over the earth will be an airplane with a banner, reading "What a wonderful world..." I am putting the airplane on tomorrow. The kids are all writing their names on paper for me.. I plan to shrink it and somewhere around each kid, I will carbon their name on (it will be in their own handwriting, which I think is pretty special). I need your thoughts... what else can I do to make it special and what can I do on the back? HELP!!!!


Sara said...

It looks great! I have a good friend with her own pottery studio, so I get to see all kinds of cool stuff.

I'm assuming this is a standard "Paint your own pottery" type plate. One thing to keep in mind - you mentioned putting the kids names in carbon around the edges... but be aware that pencil marks (ie, carbon) will fire off and totally disappear. That's why you can use a pencil to sketch out your design on the plate first without having to erase it later. If you do use pencil carbon, you'll need to go over the names with paint to make sure they show up in the final design.

Also, to get the fine lines you're going to want for the signatures, plane and the details on the kids, you're going to want a fine-tipped bottle to draw those out. I don't know if there's a special name for it or not, but it's basically just a squirt bottle with the paint in it that has a very fine hole cut out of the point. Otherwise, if you try to paint the detail with a brush, it may spread out a little when you fire it.

So that's my 2 cents coming from the friend of the expert... hope it helps :)

Have fun with it!!

Leanna said...

WOW Charly, the plate does look great! I know nothing when it comes to things like that. Good Luck and I can't wait to see the final product!