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wanting dry toasty tough stain on clay body, ^6 electric

updated fri 6 jul 01


Diane Winters on thu 5 jul 01

I'm looking for a way to impart something of the effect of warm colored, =
speckly body reduction to a buff stoneware body fired to ^6 in an =
electric kiln.

What works for me visually is a combination of two slightly different =
toasty brown/gold mixes of Mason stains, to which I've added some =
Gerstley Borate. I sponge on both lightly letting the buff clay body =
show through, so the color is like a veil not a mask. Either color =
alone seems to lack the resonance of color that I want.

Here's the problem. I've tried incremental amounts of Gerstley Borate. =
If I don't have enough, the stain will come off when scrubbed with a =
scrubby pad; not all off, of course, but enough to alter the appearance. =
(I'm a tile maker wanting these for wall, fireplace use, so the surface =
doesn't have to hold up to foot traffic, but does have to hold up to =
homeowner cleaning campaigns). Adding enough G.B. to get a real solid =
bond to the clay results in a more of a surface sheen than I'd like.

Most engobes I've seen seem too flat in color, though I admit to having =
little experience here. Also, I wonder if getting an engobe =
fluxed/vitrified enough to stand up to serious scrubbing, is likely to =
create a satin sheen as well.=20

Any ideas?

Diane Winters
(in Berkeley/Oakland by the Bay, where today at least it's perfect - =
sun, a high of 78 and a light breeze)