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Oxide washes on top of glazes! Oh my!


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I post this as sort of a "public service" to other pottery semi-newbies like myself.  I somehow never got the message that you can easily paint oxide (and mason stain) washes on top of glazes for a lot of added color or design.  The videos below brought this to my attention and I am really excited about the results.  It has opened up some new avenues for me.  I defer to Richard McColl for a full description but it could not be easier:

Just add some oxides (or mason stains), a little water, and maybe some gerstley borate as a flux -- and apply ON TOP of your glaze for great color and effects.  Goes on great with a brush.  Make it the consistency of ink.  Hard to screw up.

Some examples are at the bottom and here are the videos:

 

 

 

color 1.jpg

color 2.jpg

color 3.jpg

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On 3/23/2021 at 2:49 AM, Rick Wise said:

I post this as sort of a "public service" to other pottery semi-newbies like myself.  I somehow never got the message that you can easily paint oxide (and mason stain) washes on top of glazes for a lot of added color or design.  The videos below brought this to my attention and I am really excited about the results.  It has opened up some new avenues for me.  I defer to Richard McColl for a full description but it could not be easier:

Just add some oxides (or mason stains), a little water, and maybe some gerstley borate as a flux -- and apply ON TOP of your glaze for great color and effects.  Goes on great with a brush.  Make it the consistency of ink.  Hard to screw up.

Some examples are at the bottom and here are the videos:

 

 

 

color 1.jpg

color 2.jpg

color 3.jpg

 Check out Greg Daly, Linda Arbuckle, John Britt and a few others.

Majolica work.

On glaze decorators.

The glaze itself can alter greatly your results.

Initially put your washes on top third of

your vertical surfaces..runming glazes not much fun on shelves of kiln.

Lots of fun ahead!!

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16 hours ago, oldlady said:

since you posted this for potters new to the process and english is an imprecise language, may i point out that the oxides are used on top BEFORE the glaze is fired.   believe me, we have had some questions over the years that indicate a complete lack of knowledge of any language.

Good point Oldlady.  Effective communication is HARD!

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I really enjoy using washes and have seen lots of videos referring to them.  I also watched the YouTube videos at the top of the post but still have questions. If anyone could point me to recipes for these washes, I’d be grateful.  I have Zinc Oxide, Cobalt, red iron,  and chrome in dry form that I inherited.  How can I turn these into a wash that might be similar to what a company like Mayco  calls a Stoneware Wash?  I searched this site’s recipes but maybe I’m calling it the wrong thing? I’ve attached a photo of a bowl that I used Mayco SW301 Iron Wash on the exterior.  I’m hoping I can make it myself.

 

TIA,

Missy

652C10F1-7D7A-44AE-A977-9B38CDCFCEB1.jpeg

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A plethora of oxide wash recipes from June Perry here. She fires cone 10 but changing the feldspar to either gerstley borate or a boron frit like 3134 would be a place to start testing them at cone 6. I wouldn't recommend any of the ones using barium.

@Missy, I've use 30 Red Iron Oxide + 30 Blackbird  (an iron plus manganese clay) + 30 Alberta Slip + 10 Rutile at cone 6 for a similar colour as in your image.

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18 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@Missy just as a heads up, zinc oxide is used as a flux. The other oxides you’ve listed are colourants. 

Awesome!  I got many pounds of Zinc oxide and was going to try it as a wash.     Thanks for the heads up.  Saving me from myself can be a full time job!

 

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17 hours ago, Min said:

A plethora of oxide wash recipes from June Perry here. She fires cone 10 but changing the feldspar to either gerstley borate or a boron frit like 3134 would be a place to start testing them at cone 6. I wouldn't recommend any of the ones using barium.

@Missy, I've use 30 Red Iron Oxide + 30 Blackbird  (an iron plus manganese clay) + 30 Alberta Slip + 10 Rutile at cone 6 for a similar colour as in your image.

Oh thank you!!  This was exactly what I was looking for!

 

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  • 1 month later...
28 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@rox54 Some things like iron will flux enough by themselves, but other colourants are more refractory and won’t stick without adding a little flux.

Is gertsley more important when putting the colorant on top of a glaze? I've used it alone as a wash on greenware, bisqued, then clear glazed and that seems ok so far.

In the video, he is putting the colourants on plates, so I assume he would have to test for food safety.

Edited by rox54
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a wash recipe from Bill Van Gilder that calls for .25 ball Clay and .25 Nepheline Syenite. This as weight, and then .50 of various coloring oxides. Use mine quite dilute with water and it seems to work well on my two cone 6 clay bodies from SC.

 

best,

Pres 

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On 6/7/2021 at 9:18 AM, rox54 said:
On 6/7/2021 at 8:59 AM, Callie Beller Diesel said:

 

Is gertsley more important when putting the colorant on top of a glaze?

It very much depends on the colourant and the glaze. You’d have to test it. If you don’t have gerstley to hand, use a frit or other flux that’s already an ingredient in the glaze you’re brushing over.

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  • 1 year later...

So I had already watched half of this video, and have actually done this while doing majolica. But what about if you have a glaze on something very textured, and you put a black mason stain to get into all the crevices, and then want to wipe it off so it isn’t on the tops of the texture? Won’t that just wipe off the glaze you have on? See, I have this conundrum, I made a moon jar vase a while ago, and because my teacher didn’t pay enough attention- in fact she admitted she had worried the bottom might not be totally dry yet but she fired it anyway- so the bottom cracked and lost large pieces. I glazed it using a commercial lowfire glaze that I had bought because I didn’t like the options we had in that class, at the time we were using lowfire white earthenware, as soon as I moved on she switched to a cone 6 stoneware which drove me insane because I’d been begging her to do that after the talc change and she finally did it when I left. Anyway, it at least made a perfect planter, and an internet friend insisted on buying it for $100, telling me I needed to charge a lot more for my work. A while later, he commissioned a saucer for it, which makes perfect sense. The planter/moon jar has heavy texture created by a really large metal serrated rib. He wants the saucer to match, except he wants the teal color to be a little darker. Which, damn it, if I had been able to be making my own glazes then like I am now, would not be a problem, I could easily take a teal that I had made and make it a little darker and do a few test tiles. But since it is a commercial glaze, I can’t do that, and there is no way I can perfectly match the color, teals are hard enough and there are very few recipes out there for them. I know how to make them, I just can’t perfectly color match it and make it a bit darker. So the only solution I have come up with is to put black mason stain (I mix my stains 1:2 with frit 3124 usually) in the deep crevices, since I would be matching the texture. I believe that would make it look darker while still using the same commercial glaze. I plan on making at least three saucers to make sure I get the perfect one. I have been assuming though that in order to do this I will need to fire 3 times, bisque, putting the teal glaze on, and then putting the mason stain on and wiping it off the high points. I can’t figure out a way to do it without the third firing, because there is no way I can think of that I wouldn’t wipe the teal glaze off. And with the way the texture it, I can’t put wax or latex over it. Does anyone have any other ideas? The only reason I’m not excited about firing three times is at my home studio I fire at cone 6 except for my alternative firing. I’ll be using a very big kiln pretty much completely empty several times for this. I did buy before one of my suppliers changed their white earthenware recipe a bag for just this project, it is incredibly white clay so that at least is good. I have no idea what I’ll do with the rest of the bag, I don’t imagine it will take me a whole bag to make three saucers. And of course I can’t fire it at midfire because the glaze is cone 06. Ugh.

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@ATauer is the overglaze completely opaque? Maybe a test tile with black underglaze applied over the very white clay and wiped out or a wash of the underglaze applied just to darken the clay as necessary and then just glaze with the teal glaze. Usually the color of the clay affects the look of the final glaze. Just a thought you might experiment with.

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