Teapot fractals tutorial – using gimp and inkscape

Using gimp and inkscape I’ve been playing with this design. its far from finished, but here are the steps I’ve taken so far:

Step 1: Take a picture. This is one of Kerry’s teapots. I liked the lighting but I should have taken this in front of a neutral background, which would have made the next step easier.

Step 2: Select the teapot. I zoomed in to 400% and used the free select tool. it takes a while tracing the teapot, but it gives better results than the scissors select tool. I also learned that you get better edges if you select feather edges (I moved the radius up to 22)

Step 3: Again in gimp, I desaturated the image (Colours – Desaturate) and then changed the threshold until I was getting a clear image. I inverted the colours and used the colour select tool to select the teapot and Ctrl-comma to change the colour. 

Step 4: The teapot in gimp doesn’t have very smooth edges, so I opened the image in inkscape for this next step: Click on the image and then choose Path – trace bitmap. Then I could zoom in and use the edit path by nodes to smooth out the edges. 

Step 5: back in gimp I tiled the image (Filters – Map – Small tile) and played around with fractals (Filters – Map – Fractal trace).

Its not finished yet, but one can see the possibilities 🙂


I'm a fabric designer fascinated with the intricacies of seamless repeats. I enjoy creating vector designs as well as working with linoprint and watercolour. I've lived in 5 countries and love to use special places and memories in my designs.

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