Hand Illustrated Ceramics

Up-cycling is one of my favourite things about learning a new creative skill. If you know how to sew you can redesign and customise old clothes, if you can do lino or screen printing you can bring new life to furniture and fabrics and if you can draw you can illustrate ceramics.

By using ceramics ink and then firing each piece for a short time you can up cycle vases, teapots and everything else that’s heat-proof and once done they’re dishwasher resistant. I try to buy all my ceramics from charity shops, they have a brilliant range of things that people bring in (which often gives me ideas I might never have had!) and it does more good giving to charity than buying from a big shop.

So here’s what I’ve been working on lately.

hand illustrated ceramics

I started with the vases and just went from there! I’ve already done another teapot today and found a lovely set of four cups and saucers. I can see this becoming a great new project! So starting with the plates…

Illustrated ceramics

Unfortunately these were not found in a lovely charity shop but they were such a beautiful shape that I really wanted to illustrate them. They’re Wedgewood seconds so they’re great quality and will last for ages. I used a really simple geometric design because I wanted to keep them quite understated.

Green hand illustrated ceramics

I love this green. It doesn’t show up as much in the photo as in real life but it’s like a dark racing green, like ever green forests and pine needles.


This bright blue is one of my favourite colours and I’m really happy with how it came out! It’s getting sunnier here in Glasgow and this definitely makes me feel like spring is here.

red hand illustrated ceramics

I think the red really suites this pattern. It reminds me of norwegian mittens and Scandinavian design quite a lot and I love that style. This is my friend Heather’s favourite!

I’ve also used this design on two vases. I got these from the huge Salvation Army shop just down from my flat. It’s one of my favourite charity shops because it has so much variety; it really is huge. Byres road is a great place for charity shopping, all up and down the street there are lots of shops and there’s always a hidden gem in there somewhere.

This is the first vase I did…

yellow vase hand illustrated ceramics

It just goes to show what up-cycling can do because when I first bought this vase I didn’t like it. It seemed quite sad and plain. I think that’s why I chose such a happy yellow for it! Now I think it’s great, it goes with any room and yellow is one of my favourite colours so I’m really glad it came out well.

After the yellow vase success I decided to try a blue vase! I loved the shape of this vase from the second I saw it so rather than the predicament with not being sure if I liked it, as with the yellow vase, with this one I was worried about spoiling it! I love it though, and I’m really glad I just went for it. I decided to try a darker blue than I used on the plate. My mum has always loved white and blue plates, jugs and vases so I wanted to use the colours of the traditional white and blue plates like Wedgewood produced but use this modern design.

blue vase hand illustrated ceramics

All in all not a bad two days work! Looking forward to my next finds in charity shops, no plate is safe!


2 thoughts on “Hand Illustrated Ceramics

  1. Pingback: May Craft Workshops | cotton and sharks

  2. Pingback: Fancy a cuppa? | cotton and sharks

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