Whether you are a seasoned professional potter or a complete beginner, you need to know some basics about paint for ceramics before you make any purchase. It is important to be aware that the two types of glazing are quite different and require different types of paint for pottery. Here's a quick run-down of the differences.
Low fire glaze - This type of glaze is usually made from clay or fired earth. There is a low fire or medium fire glaze that is slightly more translucent and easier to apply than a high fire glaze. It is typically low in glaze concentration so it will flake and be chipless. High fire glaze is often used for mass production and is hard to find. Some manufacturers still sell this type of pottery but it can be very expensive.
Low fire clay - This glaze is not fired or heat treated. It is usually unglazed. It is the most common type of pottery clay. Low-fire pottery is often fired in an oven, under intense heat and pressure. Once fired it may take anywhere from eight to twelve hours to fully harden.
Pottery artists commonly use a variety of techniques on their pottery including stirrers, rollers, and sprayers. Each of these has its own benefits and pitfalls. For example, the stirrer is often used when ceramic pots must be quickly cooled after being worked in a ceramic oven or on a stovetop. The roller is used to paint on the glaze while it is still soft and malleable. Sprayers are used to spray glaze over ceramic surfaces while still soft and moist.
Before buying paint for pottery you should consider which technique would be best suited for your project. The difference between stoneware and ceramic can be minimal, depending on factors such as clay flow and density. Other considerations include the glaze type, including porcelain vs. glazed clay and high or low carbon dioxide glazes vs. low nitrogen or ferric oxide glazes. You will also need to decide if you want to buy ready-made or custom-made kiln-dried or fired ceramic products. Ready-made products have generally been fired in a kiln, but some potters prefer to hand kiln-dried products. If you are deciding between ready-made and custom-made options, consider your budget and how long you plan to keep your pottery vessel.
Low-Density Clay: These clays are generally sourced from mountain springs, but can also be found in other areas. High-Density Clay: These clays are obtained by processing clay at very high temperatures. Potters commonly use these types of clays in decorative pots with intricate designs and intricate details. In addition to being high-density and possessing incredible durability, these clays are also highly resistant to moisture, which makes them great choices for pottery projects that require frequent re-coating.
Decorative Painted Ceramics: Although decorative ceramic products are not typically used to create permanent designs, they do offer interesting color and texture, as well as great protection from staining and cracking. The best way to apply your paint is to use non-penetrating, oil-based paint supplies. This will allow you to avoid scratching your pottery when you are cleaning it. Pepa Espada offers a wide variety of non-penetration paint supplies for your home decorating tools.
Before applying your first layer of glaze, test a small area first. Applying the glaze too thick or thin or applying too much glaze at once can lead to a cracked glaze. The thickness and density of ceramic paints make it difficult to apply to a soft surface, so plan your project carefully. Glazing a ceramic tile floor is very different than glazing a ceramic picture frame. Before you begin decorating your home, you may want to give ceramic tiles and ceramics a try in smaller areas before attempting a large home renovation.