This is a super easy technique, and when done right can add a lovely light texture to any piece, as well as make the illusion that the item is underwater.
Tools you'll need:
- Dish soap
- Shot glass or other small (tall) vessel to make your mixture in
- Dark paint colour of your choice
- Straw (paper works great! Just expect it to get mushy after awhile, so only use when you're all ready to go
The reason you'll want to choose a dark colour for this technique is that it does not show much at all if done with a lighter colour. If you do this with a red, it will turn out light pink (even after the colour darkens in the firing).
This technique can get messy! A reminder that the paint we use is totally water soluble, but best to do this on a surface that can be wiped clean, and with clothes you'll be ok with washing after. You may end up splattered with paint, depending on your technique.
- Starting on a plain background will work best, though you can also do this over a *very* light coloured background of 3 coats of paint.
- You can use painter's tape to block off areas that you don't want to get this technique on, as well. It can also be washed off areas that it gets on. It's a bit of an unruly technique otherwise, it's hard to control where it goes.
- Now that your piece is ready to go, it's time to mix your soap, paint and water mixture
- The ratio you're looking for is 1 part water : 1 part paint, and ONE DROP of dish soap.
- Using straw or a spoon, mix your mixture until it's well incorporated into each other.
- Now, using a straw, start blowing into the mixture. (PROtip: If you are trying to save paint and only have a little mixture made up, tilt the vessel so that where you're blowing air into it is at the deepest point)
- You should start to see coloured bubbles flowing up and possibly over the edge. Once you have a good mushroom of bubbles happening,
- Dip your ceramic piece into the bubbles. Try to avoid touching the rim of your paint mixture vessel, as this can create a rim.
- You can also use a spoon to try to scoop up the bubbles and deposit them onto your piece.
- You do not want to pop the bubbles, or use a hair dryer to speed things up. Let the bubbles pop naturally and you'll have a better outcome.
- Repeat until you're happy with the result!
This is a trial and error kind of technique. It might not work the first time, and that's ok! You can always wash your piece off and try again. If you choose to wash it off however, be careful to use a sponge to wipe the paint off, and do not submerge your item in water. If you happen to do that, you'll need to wait a day or so for it it dry out before trying again. Ceramic Bisque is very absorbent, and the paint will not dry on a wet piece.
Here's a link to our Instagram, where we demonstrated a video of this technique: Bubble Technique
I hope you enjoy trying this technique out yourself!