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mason stains uses

updated mon 30 jun 97


Sylvia See on thu 26 jun 97

Cindy we watched an amazing demonstration of painting on pottery with mason
stains and water over bisqueware last summer. Maria Petratou from Greece
painted on smooth surface bisqueware, porcelain or similar smooth
tightfitting body. That is what she does for a living. She doesn't throw,
she buys greenware and decorates it, then airbrush or sprays a medium coat
of cone 04 05 or lower clear glaze over the finished pieces. She prefers a
glaze no higher than 06, as she believes higher than that takes away from
the color. She painted with the mason stains like someone painting with
water colors. She painted everything from amazing roses, scenery pictures,
to abstacts and doodles. She used plain white plates or white egg cartons,
and put the mason stains in the egg cartons dry, then mixed with water to
the consistency she wanted to work with. On the plate she sprinkled some
stain, many colors and then dipped her brush in water and then in the stain
to mix and we sat in awe at the speed she worked and painted amazing pieces
all afternoon. She uses top quality brushes and worked with amazing speed.
On the plate she mixed the colors together and created new colors by
intermixing just as you would with watercolors. Many pieces, example: her
doodles, she used a very fine brush and outlined everything in black which
transformed the work in a very exciting way. We all sat and watched her
with out mouths open all afternoon and evening and she finished at least 2
dozen pieces, which included very large platters, and many were entirely
covered with her paintings. She only painted on one side or surface of each
piece, either the inside or the outside, as they are very tricky to handle,
although she seemed to have no problem handling them herself. We handled
them with kid gloves as we did the glazing, and were having a stroke at the
thought of ruining her work. However, they all turned out beautifully.
One the the very interesting techniques she used to make her roses with
light and dark using the same color, was she painted the petals, then
cleaned her brush, and rewet it with plain water and went over the petals
removing some of the color, giving the great shading she wanted. Wonderful
She used a banding wheel, her lap, some she tipped over an object on the
table, and some she just held with one hand and painted with other. 16
years of constant painting and believe me she was an expert at it. great
gal as well, lots of fun.
They can also be mixed with a frit and painted over a glazed piece which
hasn't been fired yet, also very tricky to handle and the stains can smear
very easily.
I airbrush the stains mixed with water on both greenware and bisqueware
and then spray a thin coat of clear, just thick enough to set the colors.
They can be mixed with a clear or white glaze, and painted or airbrushed.
They can be mixed with white slip and slip trailed or painted.
You can get a chart from Mason or maybe even on the internet, haven't
checked that, that will tell you which colors are refactory (probably wrong
word) and what colors react to certain chemicals in the glazes.
In other words, you have the stains, have some fun with them. You can even
make you own underglazes and overglazes.
Sylvia See Claresholm, Alberta