How to


STYLISED IRIS painted with lustre and textures by Sandra De leacy

My inspiration for this box was a design by Marie-Claire Frass in the Swiss Magazine March 2017 issue.              The design would equally suit most shapes such as vases and plates.

Products & techniques used:                                                                                                 

Lustre Dipping on the background of the lid Blue Pearl, Ruby Carmine.

Lustre Base & Iris flower and bud 2-3 coats Midnight Blue Violet

Leaves & stems Sand Paste mix.  LB Gold Fire;  LB Platinum over.  This creates a softer effect.

Iris and buds were outlined with Fools Gold.


1.       Draw or trace on flower and buds (No need to do the leaves at this stage).  Mask out flower and buds with Green Acetone based Resist - do NOT use a water based resist as the lustre dipping in water would melt the resist.

2.       1st fire dipping Blue Pearl lustre;  2nd fire dipping Ruby Lustre. Fire 780-800deg.

It is important that the blue lustre is dipped at the top of the piece and the Ruby kept to the bottom of the piece.  I did this in stages i.e. 2 firings.  Take off mask before firing. 

3.       3rd Firing Mask around Iris flower and buds.   Midnight Blue Violet lustre was brushed on the flower and buds .  If you are not experienced with brushing and shading with lustre sponge on lightly.   Take off mask &

lightly sketch in leaves and stems.  Apply a light coat of sand paste mix.   Fire 800deg

4.        4th Firing - With a lustre brush, gently shade flower and buds with Midnight Bl Violet lustre. 

Allow lustre to dry.   

 Mix GCC Yellow Texture for Bright Gold with Water based medium.  With a fine stylus apply to the centres of the Iris petals using a dotting effect.      Fire 800deg.

5.       5th Firing - Outline Flower and buds with Fools Gold creating veins on the main petal.  Apply LB Gold to the stems and leaves.  Fire 780 deg.  You need a 780deg temp. to fire the Fools Gold.

6.       6th Firing - Apply a coat of LB Platinum to the leaves (I left the stems LB Gold for a contrast). Fire 750deg.  Note: a 2nd coat of LB Gold may need to be applied to the stems.   Fire 750deg. 

7.       Edges of the lid and base After all coats of Midn. Blue Violet were applied and fired,  using a textured sponge I  applied a  coat of Fools Gold.  Fired 780deg.  This is optional but added a finishing touch to this design.


1.        Paint flowers and buds with Porc Paints instead of lustres.

2.       Dry or Wet Ground base of box instead of lustres.

3.       Instead of lustre dipping the background, flood/marbelise lustres with thinners.

4.       Use straight Texture Coat or Nu Relief instead of the Sand Paste mix on the leaves

5.       Mix Text Coat or Nu Relief with WB Medium or Metho to get a different effect. EXPERIMENT.

6.       Chip off the leaves with chipping off powder instead of applying Texture.


  Click here to go to the page with instruction sheets.

Sand Paste Mix

Lustre Dipping

Green Acetone Covercoat

Flooding/Marbelising with lustre and thinners

Fools Gold

Yellow Texture for Bright Gold

Texture Coat

Nu Relief

Chipping Off powder