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painting with mason stains, answers

updated thu 31 jul 97


Sylvia See on tue 15 jul 97

1. mason stain painting on bisqueware. Some cone 010 and some 04.
2. Proportions used, who knows, she put a small amount of stain on a white
plate and then wet a clean brush in water and mixed the colors until they
were what she wanted. Some were very dark and more water makes them
lighter. Depends what you want in your painting. If they are too thick
however, it will leave a textured surface after glazing, in some cases you
may want this effect, others, more water and a very smooth surface. The
bark on a tree is a good example of a heavier mixture.
3. We glazed them as soon as they were dry. We did not refire them before
glazing. If you are painting on the inside and outside of pieces, it may
make them a little more manageable to handle if you do a second bisquefire
after painting. However, we did not. We sprayed the commercial cone 05/04
clear gloss glass with a sprayer and air compressor.
4. Maria even dips some of her work, but I was much too nervous about
ruining the painting to try that.

1. crawling--- I have no idea, but I was afraid if we dipped we would smear
the painting, but Maria says she dips some of her work. She also recommends
buying commercial tested clear glazes which won't go milky and remain
stable. I have found a big difference in colors between gloss and matt
glazes and if you really need good color, the gloss is by far the best I
have seen. We played it safe a sprayed, with commercial cone 04/05 gloss
2. It definitely leaves a dry powdery surface. We were transporting these
pieces after painting, the second day they were here, and we covered the
tops of bowls with saranwrap and then set the pieces on the floor of my van
for travelling here to be glazed.However, once you get a coat of glaze on
them, and they are dry, you can handle them, with care of course but much
easier, to load the kiln.
3. Maria, prefers to mix only with water, and not with additives like
gerstley borate or frits, as she mixes the powders together to make blends
and new colors as she works, and also has no waste colors when she is done.
4. Although we fired the pieces with cone 04/05 glaze when finished, the
pieces were thrown by members of our local potters guild, and most fire and
use midfire clay and glazes. I was using highfire clay at the time so there
was quite a mixture of clays and firing temp clays used for the
demonstration. We had no idea until they arrived that she wanted bisqued
pieces to work on. We thought she was going to throw and had a ton of clay
ready. We had members flying home digging up bisqued ware for her to paint
in a last minute scramble. We were really more concerned about having a
piece of her art than fit, etc. We had absolutely no problems with the
glaze on any of the ware, which is a bouquet to commercial glazes. If and a
very big if, I ever manage to get a painting even halfway close to the
quality of Maria's work, there is no way I'd glaze it with anything other
than commercial tested glaze.
5. Remember, mason stain is a powder, mix it with water and let it dry and
it is back to powder. Of course you have to be careful handling them, but
Maria, had no problems at all. She painted on a turntable, then on her lap,
then on the table, conducted interviews for the local press, visited with
everyone personally, and the public was invited, answered all questions,
and worked under a tree in my backyard.
Great demonstration and a great gal. WE were the ones nervous about
handling them because we were afraid of ruining her work.
Last bit of advice to offer. TRY IT.
Sylvia See Claresholm, Alberta
Yaaaayyyy!!!! No wind for a change and Rakued 22 pieces today.