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Non-Glazing Alternatives

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Are there alternative coatings other than glazes, (under and over) for fired pieces?

I have been told one can use acrylic washes/paint and then apply a protective sealer.

Is there a book that discusses various coating materials for ceramics and or adding

other materials to fired non glazed work? Any advice or leads would be appreciated.

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Like Marcia , I've seen car paint used, also spray and canned enamals as "cold finishes". I think as long as the work is a bit underfired ( absorbes) the piece will accept any kind of paint. if do you try car paint - please use adequete ventalation and respirator , the stuff is BAD!!! but really beautiful paint and what surface! And follow all directions - talk to body shop folk for good information. enjoy............

 

 

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Thanks to both responses about auto paint. An interesting option.

Is a 'cold finish' the same as a non-fired glaze, aka acrylic based stains/paints?

My understanding is that any coating gets applied to clay work that has been fired first - correct?

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When you use alternative coatings other than glazes,it is important that your bisque ware is not to porous,because it will suck the paint or make the paint look dull.I think it is good to seal the biscuit with a vitreous slip,and paint later on the slip.This gives a glow to the acryl or oil paint.

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Have you considered stains? There are so many things you can do with them - layering, wiping off to emphasize texture, painting designs...

 

And - how about just letting the bare clay speak for itself, especially if you've done something textural like carving. You could also apply a contrasting slip at the leather-hard stage, and then carve or etch into it. You don't need to glaze if you like the way the bare clay and slip look after firing. I really love leaving the clay bare when I use a beautiful, dramatic clay like Black Mountain - I'll just glaze the interior for functionality.

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I've had good luck w/ Ceramcoat, and acrylic - easy to find at craft stores, which I then seal with a varnish product called JW's etc, Right-Step Varnish (matte and glossy available). I use Ceramcoat on bisque-fired cone 5 clay. The clay's very thirsty so I brush a little water over it in sections before I start painting on the acrylic, that way I can blend the paint, otherwise it soaks right into the clay where it first touches it and it can't be blended or moved at all! I've also used wood stain. I've seen people use colored pencils, too.

 

Check out the work of Tip Toland - she uses pastels which she whittles into a power and then paints on with small brushes, then seals.

 

Adrian Arleo uses encaustic wax on some of her work. If you try this be sure to get exact directions from a good source as the fumes can be dangerous. The surface remains a bit waxy, too, so it's a very different kind of surface.

 

My understanding is that the term "cold finish" applies to any finish that isn't fired.

 

Good luck!

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I've had good luck w/ Ceramcoat, and acrylic - easy to find at craft stores, which I then seal with a varnish product called JW's etc, Right-Step Varnish (matte and glossy available). I use Ceramcoat on bisque-fired cone 5 clay. The clay's very thirsty so I brush a little water over it in sections before I start painting on the acrylic, that way I can blend the paint, otherwise it soaks right into the clay where it first touches it and it can't be blended or moved at all! I've also used wood stain. I've seen people use colored pencils, too.

 

Check out the work of Tip Toland - she uses pastels which she whittles into a power and then paints on with small brushes, then seals.

 

Adrian Arleo uses encaustic wax on some of her work. If you try this be sure to get exact directions from a good source as the fumes can be dangerous. The surface remains a bit waxy, too, so it's a very different kind of surface.

 

My understanding is that the term "cold finish" applies to any finish that isn't fired.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

Thanks for the great responses from members. I'm learning a lot and appreciate all.

 

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I have used Hammerite (on top of suitable undercoat) for an all-over metallic effect. This has proved particularly effective on outdoor sculpture and plaques with the added bonus of being weatherproof.... my avatar picture is of one of my clay busts and this has been finished with an undercoat of iron oxide and a topcoat of bronze Hammerite.

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I have used Hammerite (on top of suitable undercoat) for an all-over metallic effect. This has proved particularly effective on outdoor sculpture and plaques with the added bonus of being weatherproof.... my avatar picture is of one of my clay busts and this has been finished with an undercoat of iron oxide and a topcoat of bronze Hammerite.

 

Cool! Thanks.

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I have used Hammerite (on top of suitable undercoat) for an all-over metallic effect. This has proved particularly effective on outdoor sculpture and plaques with the added bonus of being weatherproof.... my avatar picture is of one of my clay busts and this has been finished with an undercoat of iron oxide and a topcoat of bronze Hammerite.

 

My pieces are simply bisque fired slip. Cone 06. Not glazed. Would you recommend sealing them prior to a treatment or finish?

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I have used Hammerite (on top of suitable undercoat) for an all-over metallic effect. This has proved particularly effective on outdoor sculpture and plaques with the added bonus of being weatherproof.... my avatar picture is of one of my clay busts and this has been finished with an undercoat of iron oxide and a topcoat of bronze Hammerite.

 

My pieces are simply bisque fired slip. Cone 06. Not glazed. Would you recommend sealing them prior to a treatment or finish?

 

 

I think the Hammerite seals anyway ... all the pieces I've finished in this way were kiln-fired clay - one was a commissioned statue which I just undercoated and applied two coats of Hammerite when the sculpture was in situ. It's been outside open to the elements for over two years now and still looks fine.... and we had the worst winter ever last year!

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I have used Hammerite (on top of suitable undercoat) for an all-over metallic effect. This has proved particularly effective on outdoor sculpture and plaques with the added bonus of being weatherproof.... my avatar picture is of one of my clay busts and this has been finished with an undercoat of iron oxide and a topcoat of bronze Hammerite.

 

My pieces are simply bisque fired slip. Cone 06. Not glazed. Would you recommend sealing them prior to a treatment or finish?

 

 

I think the Hammerite seals anyway ... all the pieces I've finished in this way were kiln-fired clay - one was a commissioned statue which I just undercoated and applied two coats of Hammerite when the sculpture was in situ. It's been outside open to the elements for over two years now and still looks fine.... and we had the worst winter ever last year!

 

=)

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Have you considered stains? There are so many things you can do with them - layering, wiping off to emphasize texture, painting designs...

 

And - how about just letting the bare clay speak for itself, especially if you've done something textural like carving. You could also apply a contrasting slip at the leather-hard stage, and then carve or etch into it. You don't need to glaze if you like the way the bare clay and slip look after firing. I really love leaving the clay bare when I use a beautiful, dramatic clay like Black Mountain - I'll just glaze the interior for functionality.

 

 

 

 

I love the look of unglazed fired slip ceramics, warm white in color and matte.

I'd like to protect the surface from dirt and stains. Could I use a flat urethane as a sealant?

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I was talking to a potter friend last week about alternative finishes and told her that I sometimes apply a good paste wax, heat the piece with a paint stripper gun, then buff. I'll do several coats until I get the look I want. She said that she uses a micro-crystalline paste wax, but had never tried heating it. She thought that would really help with getting the wax into texture and alleviating the wax buildup she sometimes gets. I'm going to try the process using a micro-crystalline wax......from what I've read, it dries to a hard finish, resists fingerprints, etc.

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I work primarily with pit fired and saggar fired pottery and glazes are not an option, I seal all my pieces with wax, and buff it to the desired sheen. I prefer a finishing wax vs paste wax over due to the smell, I have not tried the microcrystaline wax, but might have to sometime. I preheat the pieces in my oven prior to waxing.

 

Hope that helps,

Chad

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Have you considered stains? There are so many things you can do with them - layering, wiping off to emphasize texture, painting designs...

 

And - how about just letting the bare clay speak for itself, especially if you've done something textural like carving. You could also apply a contrasting slip at the leather-hard stage, and then carve or etch into it. You don't need to glaze if you like the way the bare clay and slip look after firing. I really love leaving the clay bare when I use a beautiful, dramatic clay like Black Mountain - I'll just glaze the interior for functionality.

 

 

 

 

I love the look of unglazed fired slip ceramics, warm white in color and matte.

I'd like to protect the surface from dirt and stains. Could I use a flat urethane as a sealant?

 

 

I have used oxide washes on sculptures and then bisqued fired them and used paste wax on them. They were interior pieces but I have used paste wax on some exterior cement sculptures that has been outside for 15 years and the finish is still good. The paste wax will give you a matt finish if you let it dry completely with out touching it, I suppose if it's a piece that is handled a lot it could develop some satiny areas where it's touched. By the way I have used Hammertite on metal projects out side and in direct sun it fades really fast and it popped off the metal in a hail storm worse than the other paints. We have had four hail storms already this spring so I'm waiting for tornado season to be over before I approach this problem. Denice (Wichita, KS)

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