Heather Tailor Porcelain Artist

             Welcome to Heather Tailor's Porcelain Art Studio.

'SAKURA' Japanese Cherry Blossom

My entry for 2018 WA Guild China Painters Annual Exhibition 5th 6th May



My entry in last year's 2017 exhibition'Jewels of the Night'  (Moths)



My entry in the 2016 Guild China Painters Exhibition

"Tree Rhythm"






 'Colour On-glaze' Exhibition 2015 













 'REMEMBER'  1915 - 2015  'Flanders Poppies' Hand painted in Gold Relief, Lustre & Gold

2015 WA Guild China Painters Annual Exhibition.


Porcelain Art is painting onto the glaze of china, porcelain, ceramic and glass.   Onglaze paint is applied to the plain white surface and fired in a kiln to around 800o Centrigrade.  During the firing process the heat melts the glaze enough to accept the paint and when the china cools, the design is set within the glaze forever.

The design is built up in layers and fired after each application. These are called 'firings'.  Onglaze paint includes enamel colours, relief pastes, iridescent lustres, metallic & pearl effects and precious metals such as gold and platinum.

The art was originally called 'china painting'.  The name 'china' was used to describe white ware made by the factories of England and Europe because it was similar in appearance to chinese porcelain.  The factories employed 'china decorators' mainly women, who painted designs onto white ware.   Clarence Cliff whose famous 'Bizarre Ware' took the 1930s by storm was a china painter, as was Renoir early in his career. Picasso also decorated china and many famous artists created designs for dinnerware including Frank Lloyd Wright. 


A Picnic Set painted with W.A. Kangaroo Paws for Australian Fine China (Subiaco, Western Australia) in 1963, presented to Sir Charles Gairdner from the Yachting Association of W.A. 


I have been painting on china since I was 19, my first teacher was Amy Lakides and later Adelphe King and Kitty Drok. After that I attended art school and from then onwards, created my own designs and techniques. In 1978 I was approached by Fremantle College of TAFE and a year later Claremont School of Art to teach the newly introduced Certificate of Onglaze Painting which involved 4 years of china painting, two years of Drawing and one year of Design & Printmaking.  Eventually the Certificate was phased out and replaced by the Certificate and Diploma of Art & Design of which (Onglaze) china painting became an elective.     The syllabus required students to create their own work from working drawings and produce finished work using all the different techniques of the art (including painting on glass) with their final year spent producing exhibition quality pieces. By the mid 1990's many of the art electives had been phased out by cuts in Government funding and sadly they no longer exist. Many of our finest porcelain artists in Western Australia are products of this innovative TAFE art course.       

During the 1990s I wrote 3 books, all published by Kangaroo Press, Australia. 'LUSTRE FOR CHINA PAINTERS & POTTERS' was my first book and was also translated into French and published in Europe. This book is now out of print but can be found on 2nd hand book sites such as Ebay.   

'EASY ONGLAZE TECHNIQUES' was my 2nd book and was also translated into French and published in Europe and the UK.   The original book was in hard back and subsequent reprints in soft cover.   This book is now out of print but I still have new soft cover copies for sale.  Please go to my BOOK PAGE for details. I wrote this book based on my experience teaching TAFE students and Fine Art Students when time was of the essence, where students could not afford all the fancy brushes and tools, plus dozens of colours normally found in a china painters kit.   The application techniques are simple yet effective with lots of basic information enabling anyone to 'paint on china'.    

My last book was 'EASY DESIGN TECHNIQUES' co-authored by Helen Jones.  This book is also out of print but copies can be found on 2nd hand book sites and I often have some for sale. This book is quite unique as it shows how to design for porcelain painting using common garden flowers found in most countries, working from a realistic sketch or photograph and systematically abstracting the drawing to achieve interesting stylised and abstract designs for mixed media onglaze techniques.  The book shows dozens of black and white designs of each flower and these designs painted and finished on porcelain with full details of techniques and firings in the back.  Its a rare book because Kangaroo Press only printed 1,000 copies before selling out to another publisher who did not reprint the book when the initial 1,000 copies were sold out. 

Please go to my BOOK PAGE for further details.                                                     



This 16" Platter was painted in 1979 to commemorate the bi-centennial of Western Australia. It features the old Long Jetty as it was in 1890 with sailing ships alongside and was painted from an old sepia photograph.                                                        


               'Gilded Lady' 

 12" Flat porcelain Vase in mixed media onglaze techniques.    

  Painted for 2002 WA Guild China Painters Exhibition
















 Web Site last updated - 12 MAY 2018