We have a selection of ceramics that comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Today we’re going to show how our customers have used our ceramic knobs and pulls in a wide range of different projects. And maybe you’ll find some inspiration along the way for your own project 🙂
THIS WEEK’S FREE HARDWARE FRIDAY HAS ENDED.
Merry Christmas and thank you for participating.
This will be our last giveaway of the year as D. Lawless Hardware takes a long holiday break each year. This year our break will be extra long as the normal last day of our break is New Year’s day and that is a Friday. So we will be closing December 23rd and reopening January 4th.
This week the deal is the same as any other week. Write me at the e-mail address at the bottom of this post promising to send me pictures of these knobs in use once you have them installed and giving me permission to use those photos online to promote our products. Then give me your address and how many of which knobs you need and it’s on! No other catches, we are on a team and I trust everyone to deliver me the photos at their convenience.
Today we have a selection of ceramic insert knobs from the Liberty Hardware Betsy Fields Collection. These knobs are out of production now, but they are all brand new and in the factory packaging. It’s not like hardware goes bad! Home Depot and Lowe’s seem to think it does and that’s how we get this awesome hardware at prices low enough to give away! 🙂
Take your pick or take multiple knobs! Here is this week’s selection! Each knob is 1 1/4″ and features a metal base with a ceramic insert.
And finally, brushed pewter with black…
Very happy to feature another project from local talent Gary and his side business The Furniture Refurbisher in Bartonville, IL. Gary can be contacted through his website if you have anything desks or tables that need refinishing. We’d even be happy to provide the hardware if you’d let us post the pictures!
He picked this old piece up at auction that had a worn out finish and very worn out hardware.
1. Decide on Your Design
Unless you are painting your knobs all one color, you may want to sketch a few different designs on a piece of paper before you begin your project. Ideally, you will want to use a compass and get a good estimate of the size of the area you will be working with. It is best to draw designs to scale so that you know what kind of detail is possible.
2. Draw Your Design on Your Knob
The great thing about unglazed ready-to-fire ceramic knobs is that you can draw your design right onto the knob. Make sure and use a pencil. If you make a mistake you can just erase it with a regular eraser. In my opinion it would be best to use a 0.5 mechanical pencil. Here I used a 0.7 mechanical pencil and the lines are a little thicker than ideal. In addition, there is more smudging when you erase with thicker lead; however it still will work fine for my purposes.
In order to be consistent, I used a ruler to make my design. This may be time consuming, but in the end it is worth it because you will have clean lines and if you are doing more than one, then they will all be same. Another great bonus of drawing your design directly on your knob is that you do not have to erase them once you’re done drawing. Just make sure to paint along the lines and cover them with paint, it also helps to draw lightly.
When you choose your colors keep in mind the overall look of the finished product. You will most likely want to use complimentary colors and keep the general color scheme consistent – using only warm colors (e.g. reds and yellows) or cool colors (e.g. blues and greens). On the other hand, depending on what look you are going for you can use your knobs as accenting tools and use opposite colors to give some interesting contrast. Opposite colors are those that are 180 degrees apart on the color wheel; common examples of opposite color pairs are: blue and orange, green and red, purple and yellow.
Once you have picked your colors, get your work station ready. Get an old cup for rinsing your brushes, some paper or plastic to cover your working area, a palette (or a paper plate will do) and keep a lightly moistened paper towel nearby so as to dab away any mistakes. While you paint use hard, flat, brushes for straight lines. As you can see the color gets much lighter as it dries; in addition the color of the paint will change pretty dramatically once it is fired – most noticeably it will be much richer. You should put 2-3 coats of underglaze. Make sure that each coat is completely dried before applying the next or else some of the not-fully-dried paint may “stick” to the fresh paint and expose the clay.
You can choose to paint the whole knob with a base coat first and then draw your design and paint it. However if you do this and make a mistake drawing, then when you erase it you have to be careful because you could easily erase some of the base coat. This may not be an issue if you are painting that area of a different color, but if not then it may end up being a noticeable “spot” on your knob. When you are done with the underglaze, you may wish to put a clear overglaze as a final coat. This is not necessary, but makes your knobs shiny and also helps a bit to make your work last.
Whether or not you should put clear overglaze is more of a style decision – would some glisten on your knob look better on the finished product or not? Here is a piece that uses the contrast the different look and shine the overglaze gives the final product. On the left the overlaze was used while on the right it was not.
4. Firing Your Knobs
Once you have finished painting the last step is firing your piece. As mentioned in the Introductory blog, if you do not have a kiln many local artists or ceramics shops are willing to fire pieces for free or a minimal fee. These knobs should be fired at Cone 06.
There are two options of ready-to-fire ceramic knobs, glazed and unglazed.
The difference between the two is that the unglazed has not had any paint applied to it, so the glazed knob is shinier and softer. The color of the unglazed knob is the color of the clay; glazed knobs usually come in white or clay colored (when it’s been coated with a clear glaze).
The unglazed option allows for you to paint the knob any base color, the glazed knob is already coated with base and you can paint a design right onto it. To paint these ceramic knobs you can use acrylic paint or glaze, both can be purchased at an arts store or online. If you use acrylic your project is finished as soon as your paint is dried. On the other hand if you use glaze you will have to fire your knob in a kiln. You must use a kiln, which is a special oven for firing clay, a regular oven cannot do the job. If you do not have access to a kiln, you may be able to find a pottery shop, a local ceramics studio or ceramics artist which will be willing to fire your pieces for you. Regardless of whether you are using acrylic or glaze you will want to get a few different sizes of brushes, making sure to get smaller ones if you plan to paint a lot of detail. Also, make sure you to get medium soft or harder brushes if using underglaze as it will make it much easier to apply the paint because it is not as thick as acrylic.
You may want to keep in mind that if you use glaze, the paint will be fired onto your knob – meaning it will be set on the clay. On the other hand if you use acrylic, which is a plastic-based paint, it will be superficially set on the clay. What this means is that the durability of your work is affected, with fired glazed knobs lasting longer than acrylic painted knobs. However, if your knobs will be mostly decorative and not will not be handled too much, acrylic will work just fine and then you do not have to worry about finding a kiln if you do not have one.