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what happens to latex in the kiln?

updated mon 20 sep 04


Karen Sullivan on sat 18 sep 04

I had a student ask about the difference in using
latex over wax resist....I don't know how the
Latex responds to the process of firing....
Anyone know?

I have used latex to mask areas that I sandblast...
But have not used latex on bisqueware that then
Goes into a firing...

Thanks for any answers...

sdr on sun 19 sep 04

Latex has a high melt point, generally - 8-900F, depends
on the makeup of the latex.

It is NOT a good material to leave on the ware, it makes
a mess in the kiln and on the piece. However, it is an
excellent mask for a variety of purposes. It is easy to
peel off after glazing. I've seen numerous people use
it to make intricate designs, peeling off the parts not
needed for each succeeding layer of glaze. It is generally
applied to bisque, don't know how it would work with
greenware. Let us know how the student fares.


Dannon Rhudy

Craig Clark on sun 19 sep 04

Karen, Latex is wonderful! I was converted about two years ago. Did
the melted wax and wax resist thing before that. Use it on bisque ware
all the time as I would have wax resist. I find Latex resist to be
because of the "slop factor." If there is a mistake in the application
of the latex all you need to do is peel it off and have another go at
it. No muss no fuss. With wax you need to take the pot up to better than
350 F to burn the misplaced wax off the piece.
I don't know that it does anything particularly bad in the kiln if
it is left on the piece. It will most certainly volatalize and the gases
aren't the greatest in the world but should be OK in a properly
ventilated kiln room. ONe thing is that it is a good idea to make sure
that any traces of glaze on the surface of the Latex are removed prior
to firing as one would do when using wax. THis step is not neccessary if
you just peel the latex prior to the firing though and the fume concerns
are also eliminated.
When peeling the latex do so before the glaze has completely dried
or there will be some "tearing" of the glaze edge rather than a nice
clean line. You'll just have to get a feel for this part of the process.
Try peeling away from the glaze if possible.In the event of a bit of a
jagged edge just rub it down some and there won't be any problems.
Hope this helps
Craig Dunn Clark
619 East 11 1/2 st
Houston, Texas 77008