Experimenting again.

I picked up some stains that belonged to a potter who passed away a few days ago. I only grabbed six as many were in colors I wouldn't use. 

Today I started experimenting with them.

It has been many years since I mixed my own glazes or took any classes or workshops on glazes. I only have a vague memory of anything to do with stains. I spent the past few days reading about stains on-line and in some of my reference books, trying to (re)familiarize myself with all the ways they could be used.

Ha. Most of the materials I read "assumed" a lot. I gleaned enough to know I needed to do some testing before I started plastering any stain concoctions on my favorite piece of pottery!

Two dishes sacrificed for the cause...I didn't like them anyway. They have been sitting on a shelf waiting to either be broken up or moved to my pottery garden.

Two dishes sacrificed for the cause...I didn't like them anyway. They have been sitting on a shelf waiting to either be broken up or moved to my pottery garden.

Here's what I tried:

  • mixed with water, thin, brushed it on biqued clay
  • added a bit of white clay to the mix and brushed it on biqued clay
  • covered an area with white glaze, let it dry and then brushed the clay/stain mix over the top
  • brushed the clay/stain mix under a sand colored glaze
  • brushed the clay/stain mix over a sand colored glaze
  • mixed some of the stain with white/buff clay

I'm going to low fire it. I will be doing the same with mid-fire and high-fire clay. I just didn't happen to have any bisqued pieces in the right range I was willing to sacrifice for the cause.

It's all drying right now. I have a small bisque kiln load going. Tomorrow when I unload it I'll pop the stain experiment in and see how it goes.

It is rather interesting. I noted that some of the containers were dated 1968. I'm not sure how true the colors will be, have no idea what the shelf life of stains might be. I also wonder if some of them are now on the toxic list. I'm going to write down the names and do a bit of research.

UPDATE:

I've been doing some additional research. All that follows probably falls under the TMI rule, but I think it is interesting.

I have some Drakenfeld (4) and Pemco colors (2).

I found a Drakenfeld link that took me to the EPA site, an issue with contamination I gather (I just skimmed). Here's some background on the company though:

The Ferro facility is located on a 12-acre triangular piece of land in Canton Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  The facility was purchased in 1946 by Drakenfeld and Company, who produced glass enamels, glass oxides, and clayware colors.  These products have remained the primary focus of the facility ever since. Powder pigments are currently sold to the plastics and vinyl siding industries, pastes are sold to the automotive and architectural industries for glass decorations, and "Drakotherms" are also produced.  These consist of solids at room temperature that are used to decorate bottles and glassware, liquid precious metals that are used to decorate fine china, and organic products (solids, liquids or pastes) that are used in a variety of applications.

In 1966, Hercules, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware, purchased Drakenfeld Company, and all Drakenfeld operations were consolidated at the West Wylie Avenue facility. The company was later bought by Ciba-Geigy Corporation in 1979 and filed the initial Notification of Hazardous Waste Activity to USEPA in August 1980 under this name. In 1993, Drakenfeld and the Ceramic Colors and Special Products Division of Degussa were incorporated as a joint venture firm with Cerdec Corporation Drakenfeld Products as the U.S. subsidiary of Cerdec AG with worldwide headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The facility submitted another revised Notification of Hazardous Waste Activity to USEPA in October 2000 to reflect a change in name and ownership (in 1999) to DMC2 Degussa Metals Catalysts Cerdec Corporation. The facility changed its name to Ferro Glass and Color Corporation when Ferro Corporation (Ferro) purchased DMC2 in September 2001. Currently, the Washington, PA facility is an international manufacturer and distributor of glass coatings, frits, ceramic stains, and pigments for the glass, ceramic, paint, plastic and coating industries. It produces approximately 11,000,000 pounds per year of product.

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Then I found an info sheet at Minnesota Clay. It said the Drakenfeld's didn't do well just mixed with water, might flake off, other issues. Guess I'll find out when I fire my sample dishes.