I am the proud owner of possibly the world’s most expensive mug. But I’m very pleased with it, so it was totally worth it. That’s what I keep telling myself. This design was inspired by a very beautiful card I received for my 25th birthday.

I started out by drawing the outline onto the mug in pencil, which gets burnt off in the kiln.

Next, I painted the background. I think it would have looked nicer to sponge it- this would have given a more even pattern. But then the other colours would have been messed up if they’d gone over blue. It proves it’s handmade!

I then used my friend meandjd’s dotting tool to add polkadots.

The next step was the first coat of colour on each bird.

Next, I added detail to the first coat of paint. I used the same colour, which is meant to add depth of colour (though this didn’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped once fired).

My next step was to paint the flowers, which are based on the Mario fire flowers I had as a bouquet for my friend’s wedding. I also added outlines to the birds, mainly to cover any messy overlap between the colours. Lucky meandjd had a really fine brush!

I added a few more details and then, about eight hours later, it was time to turn my precious mug over to the professionals for firing.

I always add a little something to the back of my painted ceramics.