Tips & Tricks - Florida Porcelain Artists

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Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks
Anything fired...

  • Lavender oil can be used as a substitute for lustre essence. Pure lavender oil is preferable to spike lavender oil. It can be used for both thinning the luster (use only a drop at a time) and cleaning brushes.
  • Roman Gold - Fluxed or Unfluxed: Its fluxed unless its marked Unfluxed.  

  • Roman Gold  - Fluxed gold is for use over unpainted surfaces (white / unpainted porcelain),  Unfluxed gold is for use on painted surfaces.

  • Tip: To prevent red resist from sticking to your porcelain - apply a very thin coat of Turpentine, allow it to try a few minutes, and then apply the red resist as normal.

  • From Alice Wofford (Sam): If you have problems with your Base for Raised Gold flattening out in the fire there are two things you can do to add strength to it

    - 1st add 10% tin oxide to your powder....always add when both are in powder form. It is easier to get the percentage correct
    - 2nd mix 1/3 IRelief to you Base. Again it is easier to get correct measurements when in the powder form although it doesn’t hurt if you get a tad more Relief than this in your mix
    I added both powders to this message since some may still have the tin oxide in their supplies but it is getting harder and harder to find
    You can also add the tin oxide to the base if you have a vial that fires almost clear and glassy plus having the product fire much thinner than applied
  • From Alice Wofford (Sam): Make your own texture paste: You can make your own texture pastes by mixing burnishing sand with base for gold. Generally the ratio is 1/3 sand to 2/3 base but sometimes you will want more sand. Use the finest sand you can find for this. This makes your snow glisten like it has ice crystals on top....sort of like the snow has frozen overnight. You can put gold or luster over and is beautiful....I've made a zillion ornaments with this. It is almost impossible to string so put on a word...and pull down with the edge of the palette knife for fine lines. This is what I sold for years as Texture Powder. Mix it with whatever medium you want, no special needed. You can put on dots or heavier. I fired to cone .015 - .017 and if adding gold or luster then fired the hotter fire for the texture and cooler for the gold or luster since the texture will open and you have the cracks just like any other structure bases do if fired the same temperature as the maturing fire. You can also make coloured textures by adding colour to your base
  • Tip: To protect the tips of your liner brushes, simply slide a drinking straw over the bristle

  • Tip: Shaping your paint brush: A light coating of hair spray can be applied to the bristles to help hold the brush in shape for extended periods of storage.

  • Tip: Use 45 gauge shotgun shell holder (from your local ammo store) to hold your vials of china paint.  

  • Glass Painting Tip: Red enamel glass paint turning brown after firing?  There is an easy solution. Just vent the kiln as the temperature rises to 1000°F.  Prop the lid open about an inch when the kiln is turned on.  When the temperature reaches 1000 degrees, carefully pull out the prop, close the lid, and continue firing as normal.   (Barry Kaiser’s blog)

  • Tip: Out of Luster Essence?  Use Mineral Spirits  Lavender oil works too, but is expensive to use.

  • Tip: Out of Gold Essence but neect to clean off some areas before firing?  Use ACETONE FREE Fingernail Polish  Remover -- Wal-Mart $1.00

  • No White Velvet?  Not a problem -- use MATT WHITE CHINA PAINT and tint it with a drop or two of red acrylic paint (local craft store).   Fire to cone 014.

  • When scratching-out designs (using White Velvet & water based medium) protect the un-scratched area by covering with Saran Wrap after its completely dry.

  • Click here for Tip and Tricks with Lusters

Visual Aids:
Link: Waterbased Medium -Jackie Halhead Compendium
Link: Using the mini-piping bag with non-ping video part 1
Ling: Using the mini-piping bag with non-ping video part 2
Link: Barbara Duncan Peace Rose video
Link: Barbara Duncan Orchids video
A series of china painting technique videos from E-How

1. Paint your piece the color you want the background to be.
2. Fire to 017
3. Cover your painted area with Liquid Bright Gold completely. Let it dry preferably overnight but at least 6 to 8 hours. (DO NOT FIRE AT THIS TIME)
4. Cover the unfired Liquid Bright Gold with Gum Arabic.
Make sure that it is covered and don’t over work it. If you over work it, it will leave streaks of gold brush strokes.
The thinner the coat of Gum Arabic the smaller the crackle area is, the heavier application of Gum Arabic the larger the crackle area will be.
DO NOT FIRE THE LIQUID BRIGHT GOLD BEFORE YOU PUT THE GUM ARABIC ON IT. The Gum Arabic will dry to touch. Test fire on a small tile with different coats (thin to heavy) of Gum Arabic to see which size of crackle you like best for the technique you want for your project. I use a synthetic brush that I’ve dedicated to using with Gum Arabic that is about a half inch wide then clean your brush with soap and water when you finish.
5. Fire to 017 or 018
When you take it out of the kiln you will be pleasantly surprised by the design that is on the piece. Gum Arabic may be purchased at an art store in the artist’s supplies. It runs about $12 to $13 a bottle but will last a long time.

The chart below shows how to mix your paints to achieve certain colors- Always test fire!

To get_____ : Use these colors

To get_____: Use these colors

To get_____: Use these colors

Violet of Iron:  1/2 Ruby & 1/2 Brown
Violet of Iron:  Dull Red & Dark Blue
Violet of Iron:  Rich Brown & Banding Blue

Yellow Green: 1/2 Mixing Yellow & 1/2 Apple Green

Green Gold: 1/2 Yellow Green & 1/2 Yellow Brown

Apple Green: Turquoise & Chartreuse

Heliotrope: 1/2 Deep Blue Green & 1/2 Violet

Dark Pompadour Red: To Pompadour add a little violet of iron

Brown Green:  Black, Yellow & Chestnut Brown.  Add a little Blue for variety.

Shading Green: 1/2 Dark Green & 1/2 Deep Blue Green

Russian Green: 1/2 Mixing Yellow & 1/2 Deep Blue Green  

Moss Green: Chartreuse & Warm Green (Medium)

Deep Blue Green:  Light or Sky Blue and Turquoise

Pompadour:  Dull Red & gold

Turquoise:  Baby Blue & Apple Green

Heliotrope: Pale Violet & Pale Pink

Holland Blue: Banding Blue, Black & Deep Blue

Deft Blue: 1/2 Copenhagen Blue, 1/2 Banding Blue

Green Holland Blue: 4 Parts Banding Blue, 1 part Deep Blue Green, 2 Parts Pearl Gray

Banding Blue:  Dark Blue & Black
Banding Blue:  1/2 Deep Blue Green & 1/2 Violet of Gold

Copenhagen Blue: Light or Sky Blue & Black

Darkest Blue:  1/2 Banding Blue & 1/2 Deep Blue Green

Dark Red Wine: American Beauty & just add a little Pompadour

Dark Rose: Soft Rose & Blood Red

Mahogany:  Dull Red & Ruby

Dark Red Rose: To Rose, add Deep Purple until you get the desired color

Blackberry:   Ruby & Black

Darkest Purple: 1/2 Pansy Purple, 1/2 Dunkel Violet, & Purple - just a little Black

Black Grape:  Black & Blue Violet

Crimson Purple: 1/2 Ruby, 1/2 Deep Violet of Gold

Crimson Glory: 1/3 Elderberry, 1/3 Rich Fuchsia Rose & 1/3 American Beauty

Yellow Red: Carnation & Yellow Gold

Dark Yellow Brown: To Yellow Brown add a dot of Capuchin Brown

Chestnut Brown:  /3 Yellow Red, 1/3 Yellow Brown, 1/3 Capuchin Brown

Orange:  1/3 Albert Yellow, 1/3 Yellow Brown & 1/3 Yellow Red

Light Orange: 1/2 Yellow & 1/2 Yellow Red

Deep Orange: Light Pompadour & Yellow Brown until desired shade

Red Orange: Light Pompadour & Violet of Iron until desired shade

Coral:  To Rose add Yellow Brown until desired shade

Rust:  To Yellow Brown - add Ruby till desired shade

Rust Background: Violet of Iron & Yellow Brown

Salmon: Mixing Yellow & Rose until desired shade

Ivory:  Pale Yellow & Grey

White Rose: Yellow Brown & Brown Green

Grey Green: Mixing Yellow & Grey or Albert Yellow & Banding Blue

Deep Grey: Violet of Iron & Shading Green

Soft Grey: Pink & Baby Blue

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