Lesson 5
Practicing Your Designs on Paper
Gael Stirler

Jessica Plate 
Geometric Borders:
Before painting a complicated geometric border like this one on the Jessica Plate I like to try out several designs to see which ones look good together and to decide on a color scheme. I find that it is also helpful to practice the designs on a piece paper to work out the proportions and hand movements. You can create a batch of samplers for future referance this way, too.
Sun in Splendor
For the first project, a Sun in Splendor, begin by taping a piece of paper (I use cheap, sketchpad paper) to your banding wheel and cut off the excess paper. Using india ink and a thin banding brush, paint two lines 1/6th of an inch apart, leave a wide border, then paint two more narrow lines. Since this is just practice, don't worry if your circles aren't perfect. Just practice banding for a while until you feel confident and then put a fresh piece of paper on the wheel and start over.
When you have your bands done it is time to divide the border into equal parts and draw a grid in pencil. Handy tool: Here are two circles divided evenly into 12 sections and 16 sections that you can print and cut out to use. For the sun I used 12 sections. Lay the paper protractor on top of the paper on the wheel (or on your plate when you are working on a piece of pottery) and center it within the border. Mark the ends of each spoke lightly with a No. 2 pencil and extend the line out to the edge of the border. Next rotate the protractor until the spokes are halfway between the lines you just drew. Using the protractor as a guide, draw a line in each section to divide it in half so that you wind up with 24 sections. Now band a pencil line in the center of your border. This will create a grid to build your design on. For some other borders you will need 2 or 3 pencil bands but the sun design only takes one.
Homework: Now you have the basics of making borders on a grid. Look at this detail of the border of the Jessica Plate. See if you can breakdown the design of the outer border into easy steps and repeat them on a grid. There are three borders in the design. I will cover the others in the following lessons.
Go to Lesson 6: More Geometric Borders. 
Go back to Lesson 4: Ship Bowl Worksheets .

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