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a mason stain question and re: more redware ramblings...

updated sun 31 oct 04


Kate Johnson on sat 30 oct 04

> Hello to Kate, Katie, Lee and everyone else
> I have not observing Clayart for a bit and was happy to see postings
> questioning the quest for low fire amber glazing as I practice and have
> been doing for the last 24 years. Check out my site,
> for some of my wares.

Hi Rick--this is wonderful stuff! Glad to hear from you! I know it sounds
odd to some potters to want to reproduce things as closely as possible to
the old ways (sans lead, of course)...wonderful to hear from another pilgrim
on the road, and one so much farther DOWN that road.

> It isn't easy to obtain the yellow color as you want due to the nature of
> both the glaze and the slip. If you succeed on the yellow, the black slip
> could turn green, for instance, as happened to me. Get the black and the
> red screws up.


> Lots of trials. The coarseness of the glaze materials, the amount of
> bubbles in the glaze, the affect of thick vs thin application, the cone
> temp.

Do you dip or paint on your slip? Currently I am painting, one layer one
direction, the next crossways, and a third, if need be, the original or

> These are time consuming questions. I remember last year that Otto Heino
> finally obtained a high temp yellow iron glaze and he was awarded with a
> big check for it from either Japan or China. It was an effort done by he
> and Vivika through their lifetimes and unfortunately she passed on prior
> to the final successful test.


But of course we're not looking for high temp on earthenware, which I
understand is yet alother problem...

> Jeff Zamek's "What every potter should know" book has a section on this
> glaze/slip effect that he emulates with these recipes:
> Yellow Slip Cone 06-04 applied to greenware
> EPK 30%; Thomas Ball Clay 25%; M44 clay 10%; Flint 325x 5%; Superpax 20%;
> Bentonite 2%; adding 10% Mason titanium yellow 6485. This is a glaze in
> the book:
> Clear Glossy Cone 04
> Ferro Frit 3269 89.5%; EPK 8.5%; Flint 325x 2%; Bentonite 2%; Red Iron
> oxide 1.0% Epsom Salt 0.5%.

Thank you, another book I hadn't heard of! (And so just ordered it, sounds

I have a question about mason stains--they don't appear actually to BE a
stain, as I understand it as a painter as well as a potter. For a
watercolorist, staining colors sink into the surface and can't be removed,
or with difficulty...hence the "stain." Mason stains appear to be powdered
pigment (or some such) that sits on the outside and may be brushed off. DO
they actually stain? I am looking for this keep to transparency here...

> I suggest that you get this book for this chapter as it can get you where
> and what you want .

On its way to me, thank you!

> My slip-glaze combinations do trick the amber without the use of lead and
> it was very time consuming to obtain.

I imagine so! Thank you for your help and advice, it's very generous...