Ceramic stains often referred to as ceramic pigments, have vastly opened up the color possibilities for various fields, including potters. And as we all know, adding color to your ceramic art can be tricky.
Unlike working with paints, the raw glaze you put on your prize pot or sculpture often looks completely different from the fired result. So it helps to have a good understanding of all of the options out there for ceramic artists.
Depending on the use, pigments may be used straight and just mixed with water, but they are more commonly added as colorants in clay bodies and glazes. Some pigments are formulated explicitly for clay bodies, while others are unsuitable. When used in clay, pigments are usually used in engobes and slips as a coating for clay rather than pigmenting the entire body. The exception to this would be using stains to tint porcelain for work.
Use in concentrations of 10–15% in clay, using more or less depending on the intensity needed. Add the pigment to the slip and sieve through a 120x mesh screen to ensure adequate dispersion.
Pigments can be used in underglazes for brushing onto greenware or bisque. If used only with water as a medium, some glazes may crawl, so for best results, mix the stains with a frit (for example, Ferro frit 3124). Begin with a mix of 85 frit/15 pigment and test. Transparent gloss glazes applied over the top will heighten the intensity of the colors.
When using pigments in glazes, usually in concentrations of 1–10%, a little more care must be taken because some pigment systems react with materials in a glaze. Some pigments are affected by the presence or lack of boron, zinc, calcium, and magnesia.
When using ceramic pigments alone or in combination with other pigments and/or oxides, you’ll need to test them with the frit, glaze, and slip bases you intend to use. A good starting point is either using some of the published recipes or using frits. Because pigments are expensive to manufacture, their cost is higher than that of ceramic oxides, but you’ll find most suppliers will sell ceramic pigments in quantities as small as ¼ pound.
Among various companies, our company is the leading pigment supplier that deals with a wide variety of pigments. Visit us or contact us through our official website to get a quote on your required pigments. We welcome customers throughout the world.