Making Zentangle Plates

So many people have asked about what I do with zentangle on plates, (and other shiny objects) I thought I would try putting my process together in some kind of order for those who want to try it.

I had some plates at home to start with and used them as practice.  The first three are these:

 I used a sharpie fine point and only changed to that after I had discovered the Micron pens didn't even show  But you see in the next pic...

I rubbed the edge of the line on the plate and it smudged!!!  I repaired it, but realized all my work could be washed away if I let it.  So I realized the need for DECORATIVE USE ONLY to be put on the back of any plates.

I then went to Dick Blick online and searched for pens that would work on glass or ceramic- anything shiny and hard basically.  And to my surprise, it showed me a pic of pens that I had already purchased for their color.  I had gone to Michaels craft store and bought a couple sets for coloring as it looked like fun to add to the classic black and white zentangle.  So many of my fellow tanglers are great at using color to make beautiful art.  I wanted in!!!

 So I tried a classic black and white to see how the pen would work, and it didn't smudge at all once it was thoroughly dry.  And my daughter loved it when she popped in to visit.  Ah Ha, other people like these....
THEN it was on to color.  I chose the blue because it reminded me of cobalt dishes that are so popular and gorgeous.  This was different circles drawn on with pencil as a beginner string.  Then I was off and running.

 Went to Goodwill stores and picked out plain but pretty dishes to work on.  The top one here is very pale green, Ikea.  The one on right is white with no edging, and the left has a deep edge. 
 The rust pottery like one is already designed, but you can see it is smaller than the ones above, and the glass is a different ball of wax.  Whole different set of rules to go with them.  There are three blue ones stacked together so they are actually a lighter color.  The clear one has a paper towel under it so you can see that it is clear. 
And here is the tiny rainbow of color ink I can choose from at the moment.  The yellow one is missing because it is here next to my computer for spelling purposes every time one of you ladies asked me what I used.  STAEDTLER  LUMOCOLOR, made in Germany and states "waterproof  on most surfaces when dry" It also says refillable, but I haven't seen a way to do that yet.
 Here are some more 'shiny surfaces' you might want to mess with.  A chip clip in plastic, a hand lotion bottle, a clear cutting board, and a pre-designed  item that you could add to.  (I intend to do that

Here is what happens if you put even these tough inks into the dishwasher !!!  It completely removed the sharpie ink and as you can see it faded out this 'waterproof' ink.  It did say waterproof--it didn't say dishwasher soap proof!!! Apparently that stuff is powerful!!!

 Now we get to the work of putting a design onto a plate.  Because they are a circle generally, a mandala is a perfect start for a round plate.  The tracing below was used on the red plate. To get the shape on to the plate you can see below that I used blue chalk, and then added pencil.  On some plates the blue chalk was fine, but on others the mat surface took the pencil better.  

This part of the job is definitely the trickiest part.  You center the design as best you can on the plate without getting your fingers on the paper over much.  It will leave smudges of pencil where you are trying to get lines to show.  I trace the design with a pencil and then remove the paper.  I immediately put my ink onto those tracings, and use the pattern as a guide for any questionable lines.  If you don't do the ink quickly you will take a chance of messing up the lines, and I find my muscle memory is better for doing it a second time right away. The lines are faint, but you just drew them, so you can do them again!!

 This one has drawn in shading...

 This one has brown color added to the black..

Then you take a deep breath and relax.  You are ready to tangle!!!  You treat it like any tangle and start where you want, add what you want, and color if you want.  But you are somewhat limited on shading.  You can't smudge a pencil, so you must lightly draw in the shading.  Or leave it flat.  Or add some color rather than shade.  As always it is our wonderful project so we do what we darned well feel like!!!

1 comment:

Daniele OBrien Design, CZT said...

Cat, I love your plate work, it's beautiful and your tangling is purrrfection. I've been tangling directly on recycled white tiles using Lumocolor permanent pens. Worked great, but noticed it could rub off and was fading a bit after time. I found no way to seal it with any clear acrylic spray without causing the ink to blur. I recommend that everyone test A LOT before using these Lumocolor pens. It seems like your plates are a better surface and work well with Lumocolor permanents.