Guess what?! You were right!
I fell in love with some Marimekko designs (ok, who hasn’t?!), and thought the same thing. So I put it to the test. I printed out some simple modern art designs off of the web, gave the kids very general instructions, and let them at it. Behold, my little artists in waiting:
And for the record, here’s some of our original design inspiration:
Paint markers or porcelain paint
Pebeo Porcelain Paints WERE the only paints I’ve found that are permanent on glass/ceramic and food safe. But their product description changed and now says they aren’t food safe (yet they say they are non-toxic – so WTH?!) If you just want them for display, use Folk Art Enamel Paints (Joann.com affiliate link), though I wonder if you could also just use permanent markers? I’ll have to try it and see! I’ve used both kinds of paints, and I do recommend treating the plates/glass with kid gloves once complete. They say they are ‘permanent’, but do scratch somewhat easily with wear (especially with silverware use!).
Finding inspiration is easy – I poked around on Google Images looking for Marimekko stuff, but I also recommend looking for vintage mid-century modern dishes by Arabia, Figgjo or the Fajance line by Royal Copenhagen (my vintage collecting habit is showing!). Ebay is another great place to find these products with artwork that kids can easily reproduce. And for really young children, you could draw the outline yourself and let them color in the shapes. With this kind of art, they don’t really need to stay within the lines. ;)