Sunday, January 22, 2012

Inspired by Belleek Pottery

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Ireland for eleven days with my daughter and her high school choir. We spent all of our time in the north part of Ireland from Dublin to Galway, and then on up to Northern Ireland and the Belfast area. I wish I had known Bridget and Sabrina then!

It was a wonderful trip. One of the highlights for everyone on the trip was the
Belleek Pottery tour. No one knew quite what to expect, but by the time we finished the tour we were all mesmerized and enchanted with what we had seen, and every person with the choir purchased something to bring home.

I was absolutely astounded at the careful, detailed work that is done there. Here are some of the pictures I took:

My Technique Challenge today at Splitcoast is inspired by that pottery (Growing up in Arizona, it's really more like china and porcelain than what I think of as "pottery.").

We have had a Technique Challenge where we inked up our embossing folders for a negative effect: TLC160 Cuttlebug: The Negative Effect 3/17/08, and this is similar, but there are some restrictions.

We want our backgrounds to look reminiscent of porcelain or bisque pottery/china, so we will be limited in what colors we can use.


1. Use white or ivory cardstock only for your background.

2. Choose an
embossing folder that has some negative space. Ink up the front or top side (usually where the business logo is) with a light neutral dye ink (you can use pigment, but the result will look different and not as subdued, plus it's harder to clean the embossing folder). Suggested ink colors: Crumb Cake, Sahara Sand, and similar colors in other brands. I used my brayer for even coverage. My sample uses Sahara Sand. No dark or bright colors.

3. Place the white or ivory cardstock on the inside back side of the embossing folder (the non-inked side), close the folder, and emboss using your machine of choice. I used my Cuttlebug.

4. Open the folder, and voila! A nice, subdued, porcelain-look for your background!

5. Try to keep your design focused on the background, even though you will be adding other images and embellishments. In my sample, I stamped my sentiment in Sahara Sand, and kept my lamp image uncolored to not take away from the background.

Here is my card. Click on the photo for a close-up!
I was going to make a tutorial for those visual people, like me(!), but then I found this awesome one that Diana Gibbs has done using this same technique HERE.

I hope you will play along!

Stamps:  Unity Stamps
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Sahara Sand (SU!), Sweet Tooth (Stamp School)
Ink: Sahara Sand (SU!), London Fog (Memento)
Accessories: Wild Orchid roses, MS branch punch, Cuttlebug EF, Really Reasonable Ribbon Noelle Crocheted Lace, Spellbinders Long Rectangles and Long Scalloped Rectangles die cuts, Kaiser Blush pearls


  1. What a stunning effect, Judy! Thanks for sharing your photos from Ireland as well - the detail on the "pottery" (I lived in Arizona as well!) is incredible. That basket weave look is so cool!

  2. This is beautiful! The pottery is gorgeous and your card is too! Love it!

  3. Lovely lovely. The pottery is wonderful and the card is outstanding!

  4. What an awesome background technique! That's a must try. TFS the pottery photos too! Your card is amazing! Love the soft colors.

  5. Thanks for the beautiful technique for your oh-so-pretty card!

  6. Oh my, how wonderful to see all those photos! Although we were quite near there one of the times we hired a cruiser, we've never visited. It was a great idea for a challenge.

  7. Thank you, Judy, for posting the fine photos of the Belleek Pottery! When in Ireland last year, my son and I did not stop by there due to lack of time. Such a lovely country!
    Your card technique shared is a lovely representation of the pottery! Thank you for sharing Diana Gibb's tutuorial also!
    Sweet blessings on your day!


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