We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is a Porcelain Painter?

By Pablo Garcia
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A porcelain painter decorates or paints on porcelain. Sometimes the painter is called a china painter or decorator because china plates are made from porcelain and often used as the object on which to create the painting. Objects other than china plates can be used for porcelain painting, including vases, jewelry boxes, cups, and serving dishes. Although many hobbyists enjoy decorating china, porcelain painting is considered to be among the fine arts.

Porcelain was first created in China. It is a combination of clay and the crystalline mineral feldspar. It is known for its hardness, whiteness and translucency. Although porcelain was freely traded, the Chinese kept the ingredients and process for making porcelain secret for hundreds of years. The explorer Marco Polo reportedly introduced china to Europe, where it was prized for its beauty and as a status symbol.

Decorative chinaware eventually began to be mass-produced in factories, where porcelain painters could always find work. Wars and harsh economic times eventually led to a decline in the creation and consumption of decorative china. In the 1950s, decorative china again became popular. Today, there are porcelain painting classes, schools, videos, and clubs.

Like other artists, a porcelain painter can choose any subject or topic for her art. Traditional subjects, however, include flowers, birds, landscapes, and portraits. There are also intricate patterns and designs of the painters own choosing. Most porcelain artists work in paint, but some use ink.

Painting on porcelain requires the same talents as those required of painting on canvas. A china painter needs an aptitude for drawing and painting and an eye for balanced composition. The work of highly skilled porcelain artists can be found in galleries and museum displays.

A porcelain painter uses the same tools as other painters, but her process of painting is particular to porcelain. For paint, the artist uses a mixture of minerals and dyes to create a paste. Colors depend on the combinations of powdered mineral used. Some painters use powdered gold to brighten colors. The artist uses a palette knife to mix the powder with mineral oil and achieve the desired texture and color of the paint.

The artist is not finished when the porcelain has been painted. The porcelain must be kiln-fired at extremely high temperatures, and then left to cool until it can be buffed. After it is buffed, another layer of paint is applied and it returns to the kiln.

This process is repeated five to seven times, until the desired luster and smoothness is attained. One way to tell if porcelain is hand-painted is the smoothness of the design. It appears to be part of the porcelain’s surface. There will be raised edges around the artwork of manufactured decorative porcelain.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.