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Process of making Satsumabutton


Process of making Satsumabutton

Collectors of buttons have asked about my artistic process of applying designs on Satsuma buttons. This is my explanation of how I paint Satsuma buttons followed by 8 button examples.
One frequently asked question is, “How long does it takes to make one button?” The answer is about two weeks, because the button must be fired in the electronically controlled kiln at least five different times. More detailed work may require up to ten firings. Custom orders will take about 6 months.
First, the button blanks are obtained from a potter, who fires the button with the first clear glaze to achieve the fine crackling unique to Satsuma pottery.
Second, a rough sketch is drawn on the button with a fine water-resistant ink pen. Then, from a selection of fifty different colors, step by step the button is painted using a very fine brush of weasel’s hair. The final colors will not be seen until the chemical reaction causes the desired effect during the high temperature firing. Platinum or gold or both are applied before the final firing of the Satsuma button.



Satsuma pottery has black Satsuma and white Satsuma.Satsuma button is white Satsuma. 


ecide the design,make a rough copy by very thin water-based ink pen (mark will boil away in kiln).


Make outline by matte gold(Mix oil and gold or platinum) and very thin weasel bristle.


Mix paint for ceramics in mortal,and painting by it in matte gold’s outline.



baking 750Celsius in small electric kiln over 4 hours. After baking, leave it unitil it gets cold.modification uneven color by paint for ceramics, and do No.5 process again.


painting carefully or heap up matte gold and baking 620celsius over 3 hours.


polish up gold, complete.


You can download a PDF file