Question:

How do I apply Lustres?

Applying Mother Of Pearl

A proper finish of opal and mother-of-pearl lustre can be guaranteed with a light application.

Mark brushes

It is a good idea to set aside a specific brush for a certain type of overglaze. Mark each brush as to what they were used for and save them for that purpose.

stamping

Lustre and metallics can be applied by rubber stamping.

Applying to a textured body

When applying lustres to a textured surface, be sure to brush out the excess overglaze from the crevices while it is still wet and can be seen. If you do not it will burn off in these recessed areas during firing.

remove mistakes when using gold

It is possible to remove mistakes when using gold or lustres by using a ‘gold eraser'. It looks like a normal eraser but is chemically formulated to do the job as well as containing an abrasive.

Troubleshooting: White spots

White spots, or spots of glaze colour showing through your overglaze, are caused by moisture present on the object when the overglaze was applied.

Applying over glaze

Lustres and metallics take on the surface texture of glazes they are applied over. Satin or matte glazes will yield a dull finish and gloss glaze will yield a dull finish and gloss glaze will yield a shiny finish.

Lustre resist

Lustre resist is a product that is used for blocking out areas that you do not want to add lustre to. It fires away.

Brighter fired gold

If you want a brighter fired gold, you might try applying it over yellow instead of clear glaze.

Avoiding Pinholing

If your glaze surface has pinholes or other faults it will effect the finished overglaze

multiple applications

The use of metallic overglazes and lustres add a great deal of beauty and value to a piece. It should be noted that a piece is even more beautiful with multiple applications with firings in –between.

Re-firing

If a spot or blemish does appear on your overglazed piece when removed, do not try to patch it. Cover the entire piece with another application of colour and re-fire.

Contamination

You have heard it before, but coughing, sneezing and cigarette smoke can also put moisture on an object that is to be overglazed and may cause an imperfection.

Troubleshooting: purple spots

If you are having trouble with purple spots on your pieces that you want gold or lustres on try wearing gloves when applying

Removing unfired lustre

To remove unfired lustre that is smudged or messy, use rubbing alcohol.

Painting large areas

If you plan to cover a large area with liquid bright gold, you may have to thin it a bit in a small dish before applying.

Before applying gold

Before applying gold or any metallics, clean area with alcohol. All areas should be dry before painting with bright gold or other overglazes

Drying overglazes

Overglazes should be allowed to dry 24 hours before firing.

Removing

If you are not satisfied that you have applied the proper and even coverage, you can use lacquer thinner on a rag to remove the lustre and start over.

Application methods

Brushing is the most popular method of application but liquid bright gold, as well as other underglazes, may be applied with a brush, sponge, spray, stamp or almost any other method to secure the desired finish.

Blistering or flaking of a lustre

Blistering or flaking of a lustre is caused by too heavy an application.

multi-coloured effect in your mother-of-pearl lustre

If you want a multi-coloured effect in your mother-of-pearl lustre, it can be accomplished by firing your lustred piece with different coloured glazed pieces at the same time

Marbleizing liquid with metallics

After using a marbleizing liquid with metallics, there is a residue that remains on a piece. It can easily be removed with soap and water.

Spraying

Lustres can be used in a spray bottle or air-brush. It is necessary to follow cleaning procedures and practice to get the proper coverage.

Lustre-on-lustre

You can apply opal or mother-of-pearl lustres over a fired coat of another lustre or mettalic.

Unusual effect

An unusual effect can be achieved by applying mother-of-pearl lustre with finger tips in a swirling motion. Be sure hands are clean

Application speed

Speed is necessary when applying lustres. They dry very fast and if you take too long, they could dry, forming rings which would be unattractive.

contamination

When working with lustres, all forms of contamination must be avoided. The work area and object must be free of dust dirt and moisture

cleaning lustre

Metallic glazes such as overglazes and raku glazes, will oxidize over time. The oxidation can be cleaned with silver polish, or concentrated lemon juice. To reduce oxidation, keep pieces out of the sun.

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