How to Make a Wine Stopper Top

Paint a sun on a wine stopper for a bright, cheery look.

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Materials and Tools:

wine-stopper top
small pocketknife
sponge
floor-model banding wheel
brick
3B or softer pencil
maiolica colors (commercial stains and oxides mixed with gerstley borate)
ox-hair brushes and jar of water for cleaning brushes
blank glazed and fired tile for palette
kiln
handheld rotary tool
cork
industrial-strength glue

Steps:

1. Dip the wine top into maiolica glaze and let it dry overnight. Remove excess glaze from the bottom with a damp sponge. Scrape off any drips with a pocketknife.

2. Center the wine top on the banding wheel, mark the center with a pencil and draw circles for the face and border outline.

3. Divide the wine top into six sections for the individual sun rays.

4. Band the outer border and the outline of the face in orange. Outline the sun rays in orange.

5. Fill in the face and rays with yellow paint. Apply yellow paint on the outside of the orange border. Fill the area between the rays with cobalt-this raw material is a lavender color when painted on and becomes dark blue in the firing process.

6. Paint the sun's facial features dark brown.

7. Fire the wine top in the kiln at cone 05 for nine hours and leave to cool for 14 hours.

8. Push the cork into the wine top. If it doesn't fit, trim the edges with a handheld rotary tool.

9. Apply industrial-strength glue to the inside of the wine top and push the cork into it.

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