Betty Gerstner

     Artist in Paradise

Hand Painted Porcelain


Ornament - Bird of Paradise Displayed
Ornament - Bird of Paradise Displayed

These ornaments have three "windows" for a painted area. I used these windows to paint different Hawaiian flowers, animals, fish, etc. Each ornament has three different subjects in each window. On some of the ornaments, I have also painted Mother of Pearl on the upper section of the ornament. The ornaments require 5 firings. I first paint the ornament windows with Mother of Pearl, firing the ornament to cone 016. Next, I paint the subject in each window. This requires two fires to get enough color on the subject. The ornament is again fired to cone 016. For the fourth firing, I paint luster, usually Halo Luster, on the area outside the windows. If I painted Mother of Pearl on the upper part of the ornament, then no luster is painted there. Otherwise, I continue the luster into the upper part. The ornament is then fired to cone 018. The fifth and final firing is for application of Liquid Bright Gold. This is done around the subjects in each of the windows. The raised beaded design is also coated with an application of Liquid Bright Gold. After the gold has dried, I fire the ornament to cone 018. I do the painting/firings in a set sequence because of the need to keep the temperature at a lower cone (018) for the luster painting. Lusters can be fired higher than cone 018, but some of the luster colors will change their intended color (such as green turning lavender) when fired to a higher temperature. Liquid Bright Gold and Mother of Pearl, though both are lusters, do not seem to be affected in this way by a higher firing temperature.

These ornaments were sold in the Kailua Village Artists Gallery during the 2007 Christmas season. The ornaments have been sold out. I did not have time to paint more of this type ornament for the 2008 Christmas season. Instead, I painted star-shaped ornaments with a Hawaiian subject on each side of the star for Christmas 2008. I still have some of these star ornaments and will be posing photos of them to this web site soon. I hope to be able to create more of the "Three Window" ornaments for Christmas 2009.

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