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unidentified ceramic stains !

updated sun 18 mar 01


Stephani Stephenson on sat 17 mar 01

Here's my dilemma

We have come into possession of large quantities of ceramic stains.
There are approximately 70 stains in all.
a few of them appear to be under or overglazes.
50-100 pounds of each
every color imaginable
They are probably 10-20 years old.
they have been stored well , in large plastic barrels
but NONE of them are labeled.

I have vague information that they are possibly Drakenfield
and Harshaw stains but no one knows for sure.
I do not even know which, if any, contain lead.
I am trying to figure out the simplest way to
sort them out through testing.

I have tested them on bare clay at cone 04.
This separated the more refractory stains from the
fluxing oxides and compounds.

Next round of tests is with simple fritted glazes ,
using different frits ,to determine color and other visual response.
and also testing with our base glazes .
I will begin to get clues from these tests.
Thought this would be workable, good enough for our use,
though far from learning their true identities !

It is a boon, considering the high price of stains
Not sure we will use all of them
But will be difficult to trade or sell till we know more
I would welcome any suggestions on how or where these can be

sign me,
neck deep
in test tile heaven!
(or is it test tile hell?)

Stephani Stephenson
Alchemie Studio

actually, I've discarded test tiles in favor of larger test slabs. Fewer
pieces, more info!