CREATE EVOKE INSPIRE
Hi I'm Emma, founder and owner
of elf ceramics.
My small business was created to provide a unique, distinctive & bespoke service specialising in hand-painted pet, portrait & personalised keepsake commissions on ceramic. I have always had a passion to illustrate, paint and design and with a BA Degree in Fine Art Painting from the Kent Institute of Art and Design and a Masters degree in the Conservation and Restoration of Fine Art (easel paintings) from Northumbria University I have over 25 years experience working within many creative roles & environments.
It was in my role as Manager for a local pottery painting studio in 2015 where I discovered a passion for ceramic painting, especially pet portrait commissions and from the amazing results I could achieve using translucent & semi opaque under-glazes. It was then that the idea for Purfect Painted Pets was created.
In 2020 elfceramics.co.uk was established to incorporate Purfect Painted Pets alongside other services as the company continues to grow, develop and evolve.
If you're looking for a unique bespoke portrait, keepsake or personal gift to remember special moments, I'm always happy to discuss your requirements to create a beautifully hand-painted memory to treasure always.
I offer a warm, friendly, professional & reliable service with passionate attention to detail in creating
your best memories on ceramic.
Each portrait is made from at least 20-30 UNDER-GLAZES; used to add colour to a piece before it's GLAZED. I use Duncan® E-Z Stroke® underglazes, highly pigmented clay slips that are then individually mixed to achieve subtle hues, tones and tints.
Each colour appears much paler and matt when applied and dried, its only when the underglaze fuses with the glaze during the firing process that the paint colour deepens and fantastic saturation and vibrancy are revealed.
By layering many brush strokes onto the porous bisque (rather like a gesso ground for tempera painting),
I can achieve depth, dimension and brilliancy of colour, not always obtained in more traditional paint, pencil or pastel methods or through digitally created art.
Ceramic work is typically kiln-fired twice. Un-fired dry fragile clay called GREENWARE undergoes a first firing to convert it to a semi-vitreous porous stage called BISQUE; this allows for it to be safely handled during the painting and glazing process before the final second firing. GLAZE is a protective covering for a porous clay object and comes in various formulations from transparent through opaque. Glaze contains three main ingredients; Silica to create a glass surface,
Flux, containing metal oxides that lower the melting temperature and Alumina, this stiffens the glaze preventing run off. I use Duncan® Pure Brilliance®non-toxic food safe Clear Glaze which enhances underglaze colors with brilliant shine and superior protection.
Firing temperatures measured in CONES for my ceramic portraits range from 999-1060 degrees celsius.