search  current discussion  categories  techniques - stains 

mason stain parameters

updated wed 18 jun 03


Stephani Stephenson on mon 16 jun 03

Other than reading the Mason stain guide/chart for guidelines for
specific stains,
testing is the only way I have found to truly get to know the stains at
any given temperature.
I have found that they vary not only in strength but in their
fluxing/refractory behavior.

Some colors are far stronger /weaker in tinting strength and % added
may vary from 1/4 of 1% to 14% depending on the stain used and the tint
In addition, when larger percentages of some stains are added to a
glaze, you may also be increasing alumina, silica, and other
ingredients,( already combined into the stain) .
i.e. when you add stains, you are not only adding colorant, and this may
affect the melting qualities of your glaze, as well as the color....

And of course the makeup of your base glaze will certainly affect
which stains will work best.

The only way I have found is to first order small test quantities... and
test them.

If I don't have any idea where to start with a certain stain I will
generally start with a benchmark percentage of 4% or 5%, or try 2%, 5%
and 8%.
For most of the browns such as Woodland, Hazelnut, Walnut, Saddle, I use
4-6% . Some browns such as 'red brown' are weaker and for me have not
proven useful in my glazes.
With some chrome and cobalt bearing stains I will go as low as .25%.
With yellows I use closer to 10%. Praesydium(sp!!!) yellow is a very
strong tinting bright yellow, I use ferro # 464 for other softer, more
earthy yellows.

I am just now starting to work with some inclusion stains, going to do
a mural of some flamenco dancers and need some punch in the
colors....excited to see what comes of the first tests.
Of course I am down here in the high earthenware temps, best of luck to
you in the mid-high stoneware world!!!

Stephani Stephenson

Catherine White on tue 17 jun 03

My supplier is Aardvark in Las Vegas. They carry reasonably priced =
packages of (qty16) one ounce packets of various stains. There were =
different combos available. This is great for testing or using in small
quantities of glaze. I did 10% on test tiles as a beginning.........

I'm new at using stains so Stephani's message gets printed and hung in =
studio for guidelines. Thanks.
While hunting through the archives for info on this subject, I found =
from the following all pertaining to the above subject .........

Thu, 12 Nov 1998 02:30:14 EST
From: James Norton
Subject: Re: Brushing on glazes
John Hesselberth
Patricia S. Thompson wrote:
Geoff Walker wrote:
Linda Randall wrote:
From: Stephani Stephenson
Subject: Glycerin and oxides
From: Ilene Richardson
Catherine in Yuma, AZ

----- snip-----
> The only way I have found is to first order small test quantities... =
> test them.
> Stephani Stephenson