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Re: Underglazes or glazes


Date: Tue Nov 23 2004 - 18:34:50 PST

There are glazes for children that are non toxic. Duncan makes a large
line of non toxic glazes. The "IN" series of glazes are all nontoxic.

Underglazes are really nice for detailing. Dots and stripes end up
looking like dots and stripes instead of blobs of fuzzy stuff when the
colors blur together at the edges. The only drawback to traditional
underglazes is that the underglazes need to be fired on before you dip
the piece in clear and fire them again...that makes 3 firings.

Concepts glazes and stroke and coat are applied to bisque, and you can
put the clear coat over them as soon as they are dry. You have to be
careful not to smear the base colors though. Blacks, in particular can
get messed up if the clear coat is too thick and rubbed around too much,
such as young kids might do. ALso, although they call concepts an
underglaze, the colors are somewhat translucent as opposed to the
opacity of traditional underglazes applied in 3 coats. This can be nice
and look like watercolor in a way if the person applying the glaze
thinks about the direction of their brush strokes, and if they have an
awareness of what thin and thicker applications will be like. It takes
a bit of practice to learn to use concepts well. One way I really like
them is on tiles that are flat, or plates. If you draw a design on the
tiles or a plate with Duncan French Expressions black squeeze glaze and
then fire it, you end up with a raised line that stays raised. After
firing on the black lines from the French Expressions squeeze
applicators, you then apply concepts or stroke and coats. We did a tile
wall in our school and a tile amphitheater this way...looks totally
awesome. The black stays raised and looks sort of like black glue
drawings and watercolor only in glaze form. It really is pretty, and
the black outlines help the kids drawings to show up better than
underglaze pencils do. Lots better contrast and a texture too since the
line is raised and somewhat beaded looking. That would be better for
4th grade and up, but it is very pretty. We drew in pencil on the tiles
and then the kids squeezed the lines on over the pencil. We fired them
and then they applied the concepts and the clear and we fired them

Confusing for a new glaze queen? Yup. If you want to keep it simple,
start with glazes. It gets pretty pricey when you start buying glazes
for one grade level, underglazes and clear for another, etc. Better
still, order a few concepts and some clear and try them yourself first.
You can layer them just like glaze colors and get some pretty textured

Linda Woods

Visit our student's web art gallery at St.John's School
 click on "Stories of SJS," click on "Arts Stories," click on Linda
Woods' name. View artwork by Lower, and Middle School students as well
as our art archives.