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Joe Mitchell

Adding A Frit To An Oxide To Create An Oxide Wash

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Interested in creating a wash by adding a frit to red iron oxide, black iron oxide, Spanish red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, etc.  The wash will be brushed on either a greenware or bisque surface. The clay body is HighWater's Bella's Blend and will be fired at cone 05.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

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Here is a link to Ferro Frits . . . which shows melting temperatures. Other than frits, you can also use Gerstley Borate (Gillespie Borate). Both will help the wash adhere to the clay and melt at low temperatures.

 

http://www.ferro.com/NR/rdonlyres/AAC6D890-7E30-4E57-A61E-818DE097A898/0/potteryfrits2008.pdf

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You can use either Frit, Gerstley Borate, or make an underglaze with equal parts clay color and flux.  Frits, being fired material usually leave a gritty/sandy texture to the wash, some people use CMC, laundry starch, karo syrup, etc to help.  Usually I use GB and CMC gum solution, sometimes add a little bit of EPK in it too.

 

Look up Linda Arbuckle's majolica notes, she's got a lot of suggestions for combos of washes.  Most are by volume, not weight.

 

Here ya go: 

http://lindaarbuckle.com/handouts/majolica-handout.pdf

http://ceramicsweb.org/articles/arbucklemajolica.html

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I have read this thread and looked at the links but am still confused. Part of my problem is I can't understand the shorthand info yet. 

 I do stoneware sculpture, fired multiple times between 04-08 ish. I want a WASH that is applied after bisque that will bring out the texture. I have both a black mason stain powder and a copper oxide powder (black). Now what? Add water only? ??? I just need a simple wash I can keep in a jar in the studio. 

After washing, I would fire again, maybe add more underglaze, etc. These pics are NOT my work, but examples of wash I like:

wash.jpg

wash over colors.jpg

Edited by MollyMac

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@MollyMac, the black wash on the pots in your top picture look like underglaze that has been wiped back. The amount of smudging, like in the pot in the foreground on the right, can vary depending on the brand of underglaze you use. I've found Duncan EZ012 wipes off the cleanest with minimal smudging. To get the effect like on those pots brush black underglaze over the pot then take a sponge and wipe it off. The underglaze will stay in the recesses and nooks and crannies. Every underglaze I've ever used has come too thick to use straight from the bottle, they can be watered down. When you are wiping down the pot it's really important to wipe, turn your sponge to a clean part, wipe then rinse the sponge out. Going over the pot with a dirty sponge will just leave you with a smudgy mess.

Pot in the second picture could have been done a couple different ways but it looks like it had underglazes brushed on, solid coverage in the green, blue and orange areas on the lower part of the pot then some orange brushed loosely over the blue and green. I think it would then have been bisque fired then a black wash put over the whole thing and wiped down. For the neck of the pot it looks like orange and green underglaze was dabbed on and wiped down only slightly prior to bisque then a black wash overtop.

Re iron and copper washes, the first link that Perkolator gave has some info from Linda Arbuckle on how she makes washes to be used on her majolica ware. For both a copper wash and an iron wash she uses 1 part copper or iron, 1 part ferro frit 3124 and 1 part bentonite, mixed in parts like teaspoons not weighed out. This is mixed with water to get a thin wash. Use very hot water to mix it up as the bentonite will just want to make a blob, if you have a small handheld mixer use that to get it all mixed in. If you get the copper wash on too thickly it will be a crusty black when fired. Brush it on then wipe it off the high points like the black underglaze. As always, try on test tiles before using on real work and wear gloves while working.

You can also use gerstley borate plus iron, equal parts of each will give you a slightly glossy wash. If you want less gloss then try 2 parts iron to 1 part gerstley borate. I like using gerstley borate and iron washes, the gerstley helps suspend the heavy oxide particles without having to add bentonite. Gerstley borate can also be used with stains and other oxides in the same manner. If the colour is too intense then add 1 part ball clay. Stir them up frequently as you use them as the oxide particles are heavy and sink to the bottom of the container.

 

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I've been highlighting chatter and carvings with Speedball underglazes, dipping brush in water, then picking up some underglaze - it's a bit jelly at full strength from the bottle, and will just grip right on dry bisque ware; the water runs into the thirsty clay, particularly the cuts I want to highlight, and the underglaze follows right along, leaving the low/rough spots filled and the smooth/high parts already partially washed by the water in the brush. Aye on turning the sponge after each short wipe. Watering down the underglaze works as well. Either way, I'm cheap and lazy - want to stretch that expensive underglaze and do minimal wiping as well.

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My favorite wash recipe is 50 oxide, 50 3134 and hydrate with vegetable glycerin, but I use for brush painting only.  The glycerin keeps the wash from running, I haven't tried it for highlighting texture.  The common denominators here being oxide and flux with the popular fluxes being 3134 or GB

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15 hours ago, Min said:

@MollyMac, the black wash on the pots in your top picture look like underglaze that has been wiped back. The amount of smudging, like in the pot in the foreground on the right, can vary depending on the brand of underglaze you use. I've found Duncan EZ012 wipes off the cleanest with minimal smudging. To get the effect like on those pots brush black underglaze over the pot then take a sponge and wipe it off. The underglaze will stay in the recesses and nooks and crannies. Every underglaze I've ever used has come too thick to use straight from the bottle, they can be watered down. When you are wiping down the pot it's really important to wipe, turn your sponge to a clean part, wipe then rinse the sponge out. Going over the pot with a dirty sponge will just leave you with a smudgy mess.

Pot in the second picture could have been done a couple different ways but it looks like it had underglazes brushed on, solid coverage in the green, blue and orange areas on the lower part of the pot then some orange brushed loosely over the blue and green. I think it would then have been bisque fired then a black wash put over the whole thing and wiped down. For the neck of the pot it looks like orange and green underglaze was dabbed on and wiped down only slightly prior to bisque then a black wash overtop.

Re iron and copper washes, the first link that Perkolator gave has some info from Linda Arbuckle on how she makes washes to be used on her majolica ware. For both a copper wash and an iron wash she uses 1 part copper or iron, 1 part ferro frit 3124 and 1 part bentonite, mixed in parts like teaspoons not weighed out. This is mixed with water to get a thin wash. Use very hot water to mix it up as the bentonite will just want to make a blob, if you have a small handheld mixer use that to get it all mixed in. If you get the copper wash on too thickly it will be a crusty black when fired. Brush it on then wipe it off the high points like the black underglaze. As always, try on test tiles before using on real work and wear gloves while working.

You can also use gerstley borate plus iron, equal parts of each will give you a slightly glossy wash. If you want less gloss then try 2 parts iron to 1 part gerstley borate. I like using gerstley borate and iron washes, the gerstley helps suspend the heavy oxide particles without having to add bentonite. Gerstley borate can also be used with stains and other oxides in the same manner. If the colour is too intense then add 1 part ball clay. Stir them up frequently as you use them as the oxide particles are heavy and sink to the bottom of the container.

 

YES, in a class I took a while back, the teach had some sort of black wash that was NOT underglaze. Not sure why, I think she said that underglaze (she used velvet) didn't wipe off as easily so the effect wasn't as nice.

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11 hours ago, liambesaw said:

My favorite wash recipe is 50 oxide, 50 3134 and hydrate with vegetable glycerin, but I use for brush painting only.  The glycerin keeps the wash from running, I haven't tried it for highlighting texture.  The common denominators here being oxide and flux with the popular fluxes being 3134 or GB

I have heard of this 50/50 wash somewhere, didn't know what the 50 was. I could just leave out the glycerin.

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Washes aren’t really a scientific thing: it’s mostly using what you have to hand. It’s a bit like adjusting someone else’s Mac and cheese recipe to suit your own tastes. I’ve successfully used several different frits. Most people have either Gerstley, or 3110, or 3124 or 3134 or a black underglaze that can be watered down, and that’s just what gets used.  They all work.

The general formula is 1 part colourant (stains or oxides) + 1 part clay for filler and brushability + 1 part flux for shine and to stick everything to the pot, and however much water needed to apply it as you’d like it to go on. If you’re using Gerstley, that particular material acts as both clay and flux.  I have also noticed that some fluxes will alter the colour response of some mason stains, so some fine tuning until you find your favourite combo. It just helps to know why the ingredients are in there. 

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Ha! Any mac n cheese is good, I get it. Newbie question, is flux the same as frit? Can't keep all this glaze lingo straight. I have been focusing on sculpture work, not the glaze yet and I'm finding it sorta confusing. For simplicity, I have been using velvet underglaze, but really love all the layering and washes I see on sculptures, so I want to head in that direction. This is a photo that was small enough to post here, piece of a sculpture that I did a while back. I did use some underglaze wash.

Mollyhead.jpg

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Frits are glass that has been melted and then smashed and ground into a fine powder.  There are different frits available with different chemistries, but they are generally high in fluxes (glass melters), 3134 is high in boron which melts glass.  Frits are also a way to introduce normally soluble chemicals like strontium, lithium, etc into a glaze without worrying as much about them entering the water and crystallizing.

Fluxes are things that help glass melt, there are a ton of them so it's a very general term.  In short the main ones for cone 6 and below are zinc and boron, zinc can wash out some stains, boron can add a slight blue cloudiness, but not in an oxide wash, only in a glaze.

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Only chemists in one specific region hah!  

I forgot to add that "gerstley borate" is a naturally occurring mineral that contains a lot of boron, so it's essentially the natural version of frit 3134, that's why it's being used kind of interchangably above

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molly mac, i am the least chemistry tech in the world.  yet i survive.  nobody has all the answers so asking sometimes leads to more interesting questions.

yes, your original question was about using oxides and water to make a wash.     yes it is ok to do that.   

HOWEVER, not all oxides are the best choices to use this way.   iron oxide, no matter what its name, yellow iron, red iron, black iron will all give you some kind of brown wash.     you would think that would be the same with other colors but do not use cobalt oxide and water for a wash.  my info is only derived from a thousand books and experience over 40 years.   use cobalt carbonate, it mixes with water better, cobalt oxide will leave little dark dots in unexpected places since it just does not mix well.   yes, the experts will say you can modify it but why when the carbonate works fine?  

you can also dilute those pesky bottled underglazes before putting a brush into them.  pour the small amount into a larger container and add water.  then brush away.   you will have to spend some time learning how much of each will give you the effect you want but you do plan to learn something, right?   

many times, more than you would like the lesson learned is "hmmm, i probably should not have done that............".    but  whatever it was you did taught you something.

Edited by oldlady
clarity

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Oh my gosh oldlady, you are soo right about lessons! (you MUST change your username by the way!) At some point maybe I will stop "learning" on pieces I spent 25 hours making. I think I am going to make 20 cone-shaped things and just experiment on those. I absolutely must (for my psyche) start ending up with pieces I am proud to show off.  I'm getting depressed.

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