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Anyone know what these are? Maxfield Dresden studios

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I just found a bunch of little vials full of colorants at a garage sale. The adult children of the ceramic artist were selling these and didn't know what they were or how to use them. The vials are clearly colorants but I'm not sure if they are similar to Mason stains. Is anyone familiar with Maxfield Dresden studios out of Glendale CA? There is also 3 glass sheets with some dark substance on them. The box says Maxfield's unfluxed gold. They were cheap but I have no clue if I can use them or what to do with them. Any input is appreciated!

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A picture is worth 1000 words. If you can, just take a shot with your phone camera, and if you need to resize it to fit the forum requirements, you can just email it to yourself. The box labeling could be anything if it's just a handwritten thing on a reused cardboard box. Stains are pretty distinct: usually vibrant in colour, but if they have any kind of number attached to them, that would tell us a lot.

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Looks like old lustres, I would do a lead test on them though because they used to use lead as a bonding flux instead of bismuth back in the day.  Do not use these on food surfaces at all either way, and do not get on your skin.  They contain extremely toxic metal salts.

Edited by liambesaw
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Actually the slim vials are China paints or enamel overglazes. There are a few different ways of working with them; either using oils or water as a medium. In your case, I would guess oils, since you have several glass plates with a dark residue. The glass is used to grind the pigments into the oil. Odds are that the colors are lead fluxed if they are over 10 years old. They fire in approximately the cone 014-016 range, and aren’t the most durable surface. They are what you find on painted China crockery. The gold or other metals are just what is discussed above, metallic lusters

Paul Lewing (an inactive member) wrote “the Book” on it, and it can be found in the store link in the header. I would suggest sending him a personal message, if you’d like for him to respond. 



you can tell him I referred you to him, if you choose that route.

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