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BISQUE: How long does bisque last?

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1 hour ago, Pres said:

Mayco paints

Is there such a thing? I got curious and looked on their site but all I see are glazes--and I don't understand why (or under what circumstance) one would paint on bisque. Just curious...always want to know if I'm missing something. 

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To answer both questions:

M.A. Handpainted - Unless the bisque has been in a nice box and well wrapped I would suggest you wash it, and let it dry, before you paint it/glaze it. A fine dust can accumulate and spoil any surface decoration you apply.

LeeU - Years ago I made molds for all kinds of folks wanting to make all kinds of things. A few of these folks were the "paint on bisque" crowd. Coming from a potters background it puzzled me at first but then I realized it made sense.  If the piece isn't going to serve a functional purpose, and will be strictly decorative, why go through the bother of high fire. If bisque temp produces an item that will be permanent, without the higher temp firing costs, it makes sense to stay within the bisque range. Sure, a higher temp would make it more durable, but this was not a crowd that was looking for  generational durability. They just wanted a decorative piece to put in their house.  

On the flip side, I did make a mold of a classic Belleek porcelain vase.  It was the most delicate thing I've ever held and it had a crack. I reproduced it in modern porcelain and the customer was very pleased. Upon delivery she told me the vase had been in the family over 100 years.  

I met all types making molds and it was an eye opening experience.

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Regarding the bisque, I personally kept a handful of bisqued pieces for 15 years before firing them. Long story. Can confirm they needed a wash, but came out otherwise fine. 

I can’t remember the exact spot I came across this, but within the last few months I was going through old (1970’s) issues of Ceramics Monthly online, and found an ad for Mayco paints that were indeed just acrylics. They were intended for people doing the scratch and bake greenware, but weren’t firing a glaze. My MIL also had some from back in the day. If there’s no firing instructions on the labels, they’ll  be trash if they’re dried out.

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Hi there, I have Bisque wear & Mayco glazes from over 25yrs ago that I have reconstituted! I  have been searching for a colour swatch with all the glazes  & can’t seem to find one from that era!!!!  Does anyone know of a link where I could find one?

please can you help!!, regards


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Thanks  for that.  I did try them a while ago but don’t know if they answered me. I tried on their website but that didn’t help either.
 I only found one that matched! I will have another try otherwise I am going to put them all on to test pieces to find out how they react on my Bisque ware. & get them fired. I have about fifty pieces of Bisque I bought over 25yrs ago to glaze.

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Bisque ware ought to last forever (until you drop it). 
Reconstituting old Mayco glazes? Be aware of this list of the discontinued Mayco glazes from 2006:


The definition (or should I say understanding?) of what is “foodsafe” has changed over the years. Glazes containing fritted lead were often labeled foodsafe when fired according to directions. Most people now wouldn’t accept any amount of lead on a surface that touches food… Make sure you know what you’re using if you do functional pottery. 

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