Kate Collins

Whilst Kate is most renowned for her hand painted ceramics, she is also a very accomplished oil painter and tempera painter. See the full selection of her work across all of these mediums below!

Hand Painted Ceramics


Tempera, a medium which out dates oil paint, is a permanent paint which consists of pure pigment mixed with a ‘binder’. Typically this is egg yolk! Due to the high concentration of pigment that is used, it is incredibly long lasting, light fast and won’t fade. The paint is applied in thin, transparent layers although great precision is required as the layers dry very quickly. Once the painting is completed, it then takes 12 months to ‘cure’ in which the surface hardens and the colours become more vivid.

Oil Paintings

Kate’s distinctive style comes across in her paintings which are oil on board and framed. Often, the ceramics featured in her paintings are featuring a particular favourite piece that she has created.

Limited Edition Scarves

Kate has created a range of limited edition scarves featuring images and designs from her work. Each range of scaves is limited to 200 in the edition and they are all priced at £60 each.

About Kate

Kate during a demonstration at a prestigious event in Southport

Kate during a demonstration at a prestigious event in Southport

I am completely self taught and I only began to paint seriously when my children were toddlers, I was in my twenties. During this time I designed some greetings cards for the Medici Society in London, and Camden Graphics, and then started to exhibit in various galleries in the North West, including Tib Lane in Manchester where I had a one woman show in the 1970’s. I then had another solo exhibition in Liverpool at the Medici Gallery in Liverpool which was a great success, and later on at the Stockport Memorial Art Gallery where I exhibited paintings and ceramics.

My work has been described as Naive, all I can say is that I have not tried to paint any other way.  I suppose my career has spanned around 40 years, so I have tried many different mediums. At one stage I joined the British Egg Tempera Society, and have exhibited in their mixed exhibitions in London. Since then I have had paintings hung in many mixed exhibitions, including The Great British Art Show, GMex and the Buy Art Fair Manchester.

Kate demonstrating her process.

Kate in a demonstration.

Not only do I paint in oils in the traditional way, but my passion is painting on white ware ceramics, for example Wedgewood and Ainsley,  purchased from the factory shops. I started doing this about twenty five years ago, when I collected antique china, and stumbled across the Wedgewood Fairyland Lustre, which I admired so much. I then decided that I wanted to produce something similar, and set out to learn all the techniques of how to deal with lustres – a precious metal available in many beautiful colours, including gold and platinum.

It has been a very slow process indeed, because I have had to buy a kiln and completely relearn painting techniques to accomodate the shiny surface. Now I have reached a point where I am able to translate my designs on to bowls, vases, tiles etc.

It is the freedom of creating images in freehand, which I enjoy most of all.
And of course each piece is unique.”
– Kate

Kate’s Ceramic Process

It starts with looking for suitable fine white bone china or porcelain. I usually rely on Wedgewood, Royal Doulton and attach11mentAinsley. I don’t limit the shapes or type of ceramics I use and work on everything from teapots to tiny vases and huge bowls.

attssssachmentI then paint my design on the surface of the chosen piece with a resistant masking fluid, it’s typically black so the design starts off looking like a silhouette.

When this design is dry, I sponge on the metal lustres with a fine sponge. I use various colours and then blend them together. It can be working blind to some extent as the lustres look very different before they’ve been fired! As soon as they’re dry, they go into the kiln for firing where the colours become deep and rich.

I then remove the resistant masking fluid leaving an empty white design attachm333entsurrounded by colours. I then fill in and decorate the white design and match and blend the colours with the ones in the background. I even add things like gold and enamel between the layers.

This process might be done in several stages – some of the bigger pieces I might do half at a time. Each piece is fired, sometimes up to about five before being completed.

If you have any questions about Kate’s work or you are interested in any of the pieces, contact us at the Gallery on 0161 835 2666 or email info@contemporarysix.co.uk

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