Painted Ceramic Table Trivet—Underglaze Painting

Painted Ceramic Table Trivet—Underglaze and Paper Resist

This easy painted ceramic table trivet is a simple, versatile project that sells well in any season of the year.  You can vary the size, change up the background, use a variety of images, outlines, and designs for the focal point. You’ll get good practice with underglaze painting and with using paper or tape resist. The finished object is a painted ceramic table trivet or hot plate to set a hot bowl or pan on. It’s a terrific project for kids, by the way, and makes an awesome gift.  Let’s dive in.

Materials Needed for Your Painted Ceramic Table Trivet Project

  • About 1 pound of stoneware clay. Yes, of course you can use porcelain
  • Four to five coordinating colors of commercial underglaze
  • A black or other dark underglaze pencil or liquid underglaze and a very thin brush for outlining
  • Plaster bats or two small squares of drywall or to weight down the trivet while it dries
  • Wide paint brushes
  • Masking tape or photocopy paper for creating your resist
  • Clear glaze
  • Felt or cork sheet

How to Make Your Ceramic Table Trivet

  1. Roll the clay body into a round slab, about ¾ inch thick. Using a template or round form (like a bowl) outline and then cut a clay disc, about eight inches across. You can vary these dimensions to suit your taste and needs.
  2. Dry the disc overnight  between plaster bats or two sheets of drywall, or similar surface to keep it flat. Firm leather hard is the best stage to shoot for, but softer will work, as will firmer. You can use clay that has gone bone dry, but mist the surface so your colors can be brushed smooth.
  3. Prepare your resist material. You can use sticky vinyl, resist wax, wet paper strips, or even masking tape, as long as the resist will stick to the clay. Tear strips that resemble a tree trunk and various branch shapes. If you use simple photocopy paper for resist, tear the strips and dip them in water to adhere them to your form.
  4. Lay out a leafless tree shape on your disc and be sure the edges of your resist material stick firmly to the clay so colors don’t seep under.painted ceramic table trivet
  5. Paint gradient-type color blends of underglaze over the entire disc, including over the resist areas. Let the colors dry thoroughly. Carefully pull off the resists.painting ceramic underglazes
  6. Now outline the tree shape with a dark color and fine tip brush, glaze pencil, or slip trail bottle. Dry.painted ceramic table trivet
  7. Bisque fire the trivet.
  8. Apply clear glaze and glaze fire as usual.
  9. Glue felt or sheet cork to the bottom of the trivet once it’s fired.

This makes a pretty, durable hot plate to protect your table. The ceramic table trivet is a calming, fun, easy project with wonderful results and a lot of room to expand the skills and techniques used. Email us pictures of your results!

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