I think a lot of commercial ware has to be made using Metal Vapor Deposition in a vacuum like Canadian artist Trudy Golley outlines in her article.
Thanks so much for sharing this. It seems obvious in retrospect. It's how mylar is aluminized for tinsel and emergency blankets.
Hardly a surprise that Golley learned how to do this in the ceramic village of Jingdezhen. I'm beginning to find that village annoying - what haven't they perfected there? Am I going to have to move there to satisfy my vexation end envy?
Titanium and Chrome are certainly less expensive and more durable than gold. That's probably most of the gold coating on the gilded KaDeWe teapots. We saw some beautiful gold lustered serving trays in Neuschwanstein Germany which had worn off in laces with wear - a tragic decline in the quality of a priceless piece. Sputtering could have prevented that. The small kiln portion of the vacuum chamber is hot enough to vaporize the metal, but the remainder of the chamber remain much cooler including the ware. The vaporized metal doesn't give off it's heat of condensation until it hit the ware of the walls, making a far higher temperature interface bond than can be achieve with gilding. Semiconductor technology applied to art ceramics.
In the US and Canada there are a lot of work safety requirements for using a vacuum vapor deposition like this one.
The downside of using shellac or other sizing to attach gold leaf is it's like painting acrylic onto a fired ceramic - it's now a multi-media piece. If you fire the ceramic again the sizing combusts throwing the gold blow off of the ware. The best I've been able to do with gold or platinum leaf is use gravity to your benefit. Fire too hot and gold becomes merely pink while platinum becomes a rainbow-like mother of pearl. But just right with a compatible glaze and it's amazing.
Bismuth has always been assumed to be a flux in the commercial gilding mix of bismuth, gold, rhodium and other metals like cobalt and vanadium, but studies in the very costly book "Gold" suggests it's probably more complex than that. Is there any part of ceramics which is not more complex than initially supposed? The more I know, the farther away from understanding I realize I am.
I've been making my lustres for a couple years now and ready to tackle the gold leaf too.
I came across this page a few months ago when looking for a diy size for gold leaf. I use orange glake shellac to create a resist on my porcelain so it may work for you. http://www.gold-vaul...r_adhesive.html
In "the Craft and Art of Clay" Greg uses pine resin melted with lavender as a medium as glues cause scumming.
Also, if you are making your own lustres, bismuth acts as a flux and helps the gold from rubbing off after firing.
Another technique could be sending your work out for the gold, re: Trudy Golley's pdf
Hope this helped.