Mug got a reaction from Magnolia Mud Research in Borax
If I remember correctly , Anhydrous Borax is just 20 mule team with less water.
I kept an open jar of Borax on our wood stove in the winter, that dried it out. I then put it in a new paint can to keep it dry. When I ran the forge every day I kept the borax dry on the forge hood.
Worked like a champ compared to 20 mule team straight from the box.
Mug got a reaction from Bill Kielb in How To Paint A Commercial Tile And Refire For Durability
China paints are also called over glazes.
If your wife is a painter she will love China paint. It is great for realistic painting and can mimic, toll painting, oil painting, acrylic painting, pen and ink, or water color. The colors can be opaque, but are usually on the translucent side.
China paint is a powdered pigment you must mix with a medium. You typically mix what you will use. What you see in color is usually really close to what you get when its fired.
The classic mediums are various oils these can yield a paint like oil paints... if she likes oil paint.
You can experiment and try other unconventional stuff, I have use shellac, lacquer, and clear acrylic for something similar to acrylic paints.
KY liquid or straight glycerin mixed in is much more like a true water color paint, If that is what she likes.
The best way to get into this is buy a used big set of china paints off of ebay to get started. You want all of the main colors to start with. You can mix china paint, but you usually do not mix more that two colors at a time or you may end up with a yuck color. The more colors you get, the better.
New bottles of individual colors are expensive, but not bad if you have to buy a single replacement color.
The negative side of china paint is that many of the old colors and the new colors are fluxed with lead. Some of the newer china paints are made with safe borates instead of lead. What this means is you probably will not want to eat off of the china painted surface, Don't sniff the powder like cocaine and wash your hands, but it will be fine for wall tile. The flux is what makes it stick to the glazed surface of the tile at a low temperature.
You'll need a kiln, china paints are fired at the lowest of the kiln temperatures. It would be best to have your own kiln because you fire multiple times at progressively lower temperatures to build up color. If your going to go with china paints your kiln will be used often and it will be at an uncommonly low temperature. Temperatures that are not commonly used by pottery studios.
The great thing about China paint is that you can buy plain glazed tile, paint right on it, then fire it and your done. You might have a little experimentation with picking a good tile to use and a little experimentation with the medium, but an artist/ painter will pick up on this quickly.
Under glazes fire at higher temperatures and are great for basic solid colors. You can mix them but they are really nothing like a paint. Their more like colored clay. They would be used on unfired or bisque fired clay and often have a clear glaze fired over them. The up side is that most of the modern under glazes are food safe with a clear glaze over them. Most of your pottery studios will fire at these temperatures. The negative is that you are very limited. The colors can be a little translucent, but are pretty opaque for the most part.
Mug reacted to neilestrick in Underglazes Vs Glazes
Commercial underglazes fuse more than a slip would. That's why they can be used on bone dry clay and bisque ware without flaking off. They can be fired in bisque and still be porous enough to take glaze. But they don't go into melt like a glaze. They are quite versatile. Most home made underglazes are either more of a colored slip that has to be applied to leather hard pots, or are just stains with a frit binder and work best on bisque. I was working on a new commercial underglaze formula when I left my last tech job, and I can tell you that they are fairly complex. It's a fine balance to get them to fuse to leather hard, bone dry or bisque, but still be porous enough to take glaze after bisque firing, to play nicely with glazes, and to brush well.
Mug reacted to drmyrtle in How To Paint A Commercial Tile And Refire For Durability
I think an easy answer for you/your partner is to invest in mayco's Stroke n' Coats. They are sold in small sets so you can try them out. The advantages:
1. The colors are unbelieveably firm all the way to cone 10 with reds and brights staying true to color. Amazing chemistry there.
2. They are easy to paint with, as they glide onto surfaces, and don't get as tacky as other commercial glazes on application.
3. They can easily be used on already vitrified tiles, meaning you can go and get a box of tiles intended for a bathroom or such and paint right on them, refire and poof=results. My local grocery co-op had consumers paint-yer-own tile and then installed the finished pieces on a wall. Who knew.
4. You partner will not need to learn about china paints and all of the techniques therein.
1. Highly addicting, and hard to feel as though you aren't cheating the alchemy goddesses somehow.
2. They will not give you quite the finesse that china painting will give, because (I think) you can't overlayer/refire and to get the depth and complexity possible in china painting. However, not as basic/flat appearing as underglazes, and does not require an overdip of a clear overglaze.
3. Might not be a disadvantage, but I believe they apply fairly opaquely, so you don't get translucency. The also fire to a high gloss.
I personally use neither china paints nor Stroke n' Coats. The first because my painting technique isn't up to snuff, and the second because I am trying very hard to clear out some of my glaze inventory before I launch into a whole new world of these glazes. My studio colleagues use SnC's to magnificent effect.
My other suggestion, if you are working on bisque tiles and are looking for a watercolor effect, is to check out Georgies Clay. Their pallet of glazes makes Monet watercolors happen on pots, and are very reliable colorwise. Not as creamy to paint on as SnC's, but worth the effort if you want translucent results.
Love to see some of her work if you get something she likes.