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Overglazes, lustres and onglazing


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I use commercial mid-fire glazes that produce lovely lustres.(ex. dark gold, satin/pearl,  silver). I start with simply following the directions and then experiment/test, experiment and test. Generally, in my electric kiln, the standard application produces what I expect.  And the variations (fewer layers, more layers etc.  over/under something) for some pieces have been wonderful surprises-fortunately I like surprises-I don't employ much technical control/informed chemistry.  

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True lustres are applied over the fired glaze, and fired at a very low temp, like cone 021. They are pure metal suspended in a fairly toxic liquid compound, and are quite expensive by volume. When using them, I highly recommend wearing a respirator that will remove fumes, in a well ventilated room. Also wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. As an alternative, like LeeU said, there are low fire and mid-fire glazes that have lustre qualities, but will not be as shiny and metallic as a true overglaze lustre.

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I used lusters in the HS years ago, and always fired them after school. I also made certain anyone using them was using gloves. These things can be extremely toxic, especially when firing. In the long run due to their not being as permanent as all would have liked, we stopped using them.

 

best,

Pres

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I used to have to bottle them for sale when I worked for A.R.T. Clay. I locked myself in the studio, turned on all the exhaust fans, geared up with gloves, goggles, and respirator, and carefully weighed out the lusters into little bottles. When we sold them, we included a 7 page MSDS and warning form. Nasty stuff for sure.

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