Sunflowers are one of the coolest and happiest flowers ever!!  One of my most favorite subjects to Sgraffito Carve and Underglaze Paint on my pottery are sunflowers. Those Bright, Big and Beautiful Buds are as much fun to create on pottery as they are to look at.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

I am not much of a gardener. I have tried and tried but never really grew a whole lot of anything. One year I decided to grow sunflowers right next to my yellow cabin Studio.  I envisioned these gorgoreous yellow big flowers with the yellow walls of my studio as their backdrop.

I planted them in a spot that gets tons of afternoon light!

But you know what they did? They turned around and faced the yellow wall of my building.

And that is the kind of gardener I am!

Sunflowers
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Sunflowers
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These Sunflowers are facing away from the afternoon sun!

So how exactly does a sunflower grow in my pottery studio

Since I really can’t garden, (and truth be told I really don’t like to garden) , I found that I get my flower fix by creating it on my pottery.

The majority of my pottery art is created using a technique called Sgraffito which means “to scratch”. And that’s exactly what I do

Sunflower carved into a brown clay pottery mug and the petals are yellow
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This mug was made using high grit brown clay. The sunflower was etched and underglazed. After bisque firing the mug was clear glazed. I really liked the organic look and feel of this mug.

Stack of two sunflower pottery mugs
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Mugs will always be my favorite thing to make because they are so useful and enjoyed just about everyday. One of my o to designs for sunflowers is Sgraffito caving through black underglaze to expose white clay. Once the etching is done I allow the mug to dry completely before I add the additional colors. Then Bisque and Clear glaze.

Adding Black lines to an underglaze Pottery Vase
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In order to make my hand-painted designs pop, I outline them with thin black underglaze lines. I don’t worry about drawing a perfect line because there isn’t any perfectly straight line in the natural world!

Sgraffito carved sunflower mug
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This mug incorporated sgraffito carving but instead of starting out with a black base, I painted all the colors of the sunflower and then carved away the background. For the background and center “dots” I took a rotary tool ball end and attached it to an old broken tool handle. Make your own tools!

Sunflower mug with bright colors
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There are so many ways to paint your pottery. Here is another idea. For this mug I applied various shades of underglaze to a bone dry mug. I used a circular motion and blended the underglaze together where they met. Generally, for an opaque color like this I apply 3 d coats of underglaze.

Once the colors are dry I used black underglaze to draw the flowers!

Just a few more ideas

Sunflower vase
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Sunflower ceramic bowl with checkerboard rim
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Handpainted sunflower mug
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I hope some of these has inspired you in your pottery journey. Of course, if you are always welcome to visit my shop and purchase a sunflower mug for yourself!

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Dani Montoya - Potter
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My name is Dani and I am the potter behind this page! I am retired and having a ball being the artist I always wanted to be. My studio is located in NW Arkansas where I live a quiet life, on a lake with my husband, 3 dogs and two cats.

Have a look around!

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Sugarveil Air Pen

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This is what I use when “drawing” with Slip or Underglaze, like when I add the black lines to highlight the flower pedals. Yes, I put out the big bucks for this, but it has been worth every penny. It has held up well for years too, which is a big plus for me. 
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Paasche Air Brush

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This airbrush plays nicely with Underglaze. The kit comes with several tips and if you use the largest tip it greatly reduces the clogging. I use airbrushes when I want a soft subtle background. The small cup holds just the right amount of underglaze and making easy to clean and recharge with another color!

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Small Paint Brushes for detail work

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I use these brushes alot when I am decorating my pottery. They hold a good amount of underglaze and are great for detail work
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Shimpo Banding Wheel

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These may be expensive but they are worth every penny!!  They are banding wheels on steroids!  Super heavy duty and spins freely, smoothly, and quickly!!
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Amaco Velvet Jet Black Underglaze

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Amaco Velvet Jet Black Underglaze is my base color for Sgraffito Work. I apply 3 coats on a Hard Leather hard piece to give a lovely opaque palette to work with. When Bisque Fired it turns a deep matte dark grey. Applying clear glaze brings out the shine and makes it very black.
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Credit Card Processing With Square

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I highly recommend accepting Credit Cards at shows. There are several options out there for this but personally I use and like Square.
There are no monthly fees so even if you only use it once or twice a year it won' break your bank. The reasonable fees they charge when you do make a sale will be worth it because you will make more sales by accepting Credit Cards. Their phone app is simple to use and you can even log cash sales.  If you click this link you (and I) will get some free processing!
Check our Square Credit Card Processing

Snow Day in Arkansas

Yesterday we had a snow day. For those of you who live with snowy winters you will roll your eyes and call us babies but here in Arkansas, snow days are a rarity and we just can’t handle it. Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I...

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