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Working With Pure Pigments

glaze color pigment oxide

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#1 HeatherArtLife



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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

I have a considerable collection of pure earth, ochre and oxide pigments and oxides which I purchased for my encaustic medium via http://www.earthpigments.com. I would like to better understand how I can use these in the creation of stains and engobes. Do any of you do this? Might you have recipes or general rules of thumb for me? I see a lot online about "ceramic pigments" but I am pretty sure these are formulated, not pure. 


I'll happily text the options, but would love to hear people's experience first as these pigments are expensive and hard to get from where I now live in central Chile (by way of Boulder, Colorado).


My main ceramic medium is porcelain, and I prefer to fire to cone 11/12 for translucency. However, I am concerned about burn out in the colors when using pure pigments and am happy to try cone 6 to maintain color. I will also test on terra cotta and stoneware. I am most interested in painting raw porcelain with the stains and/or engobes and doing a single firing, but I'm wide open. I am a beginner, really, with lofty aspirations. 


I love the work of Michelle Summer and am looking for a similar effect. I'm I right that the running in the work is only achievable with the clear glaze on top? Is she using underglaze, do you think? http://4.bp.blogspot...00/DSCN2916.JPG


I have seen this "bleeding" color under clear glaze in a lot of Japanese work lately. Am I correct that this is engobe + clear glaze? 


So, a couple of questions in this one. I appreciate any info you can share! Direct experience, links, anything.




#2 TJR


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:31 AM


To get a clear line with pigments, you place them by brushing on top of the glaze. You will require a lot of testing for your colours. I know that the ochres just go brown or black unless they are sealed within a glaze.

You will need to do quite a lot of research. Engobes or slips are different than on glaze pigments.Enjoy the search.


#3 Chris Campbell

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:41 AM

The only thing I know is that you should mix them with water using a palette knife or something like that to make a smooth paste. Thickness of application and results on various surfaces is trial and error ... so make lots of notes.

Some people add gum to make the brushwork flow better.

Have fun!!

Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain


" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#4 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 06:26 PM

The running glaze appears to be a translucent light blue glaze, where the colorants are in the glaze itself. The slip inlay is slip or underglaze. Run a test of the pigments in a clay body, and in a frit or feldspar. I can't imagine wanting to use the pigments without diluting and providing material to help the pigment adhere. Many of the stains we use for ceramics are encapsulated, so burn out may be a valid concern. If you don't receive more direct comments here, just test, you'll know after a single batch of tests if it's headed in the right direction or not.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: glaze, color, pigment, oxide

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