View Full Version : looking for good patinas for bisque clay sculptures

10-18-2006, 10:18 PM
yikes I misspelled my title ....but maybe it made you look...LOL

I am doing a few sculptures in clay...white with grog and some red with grog.

I don't want to mess with firing glazes though doing raku would be nice....but.......

'are there any really good faux raku patina's that anyone can suggest.
I used some crackle glazing for faux finishes on walls and it is ok...but really looking for one that actually captures the beauty and glow of raku.

thanks for any suggestions , books, or links.......

10-19-2006, 06:06 PM
ok so maybe I was wrong in asking for your secret recipes.... LOL
but could anyone give me a true glaze that will come out just as it is intended.

One of the reasons I don't want to do a glaze firing is the glazes I have been using do not seem to look as good as they do in the book.
I do not have a supply source where I live and have to travel to get glazes and clays.....
while buying the glazes at the store they look fantastic on the chip but when I fire them...well....not what I expected.

I need these pieces without any gliches that is why I wondered if there was a paint technique that would give a nice but not painted look to the figures.

I thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.

10-19-2006, 07:13 PM
red with grog...why hide that lovely clay? If I have a claybody I am particularly attracted to I either glaze it with...whatever seems appropriate and wipe the glaze so the glaze only stays in the low parts or I use oxides and paint it on and wipe it off so the oxides stays in the low parts then fire them.

I love groggy claybodies and like to show them off.

I also do fake glazing with acrylics in the same paint on wipe off manner. I also like to use acrylic washes so that the clay still shows thru but the wash changes it slightly...metallic acrylics make a nice sparkley but not too sparkley wash(copper acrylic wash on terra cotta is nice). The nice thing about acrylics if you do something you don't like just fire the piece again and you have clean bisque again.

BTW, the secret to getting what you want out of a glaze is to use the same ones alot and experiment, make some pinch pots or something and play with your glazes. Get some powered oxides and add some to your store bought glazes so you make your colors more personal. I would never use the paint color right out of the tube without mixing them up a bit so I would never use just the glaze color the store supplied.

Faux Raku? not seen any.

10-20-2006, 01:34 AM
oh thank you...lots of ideas...
your right I never use paints straight from the tube....so maybe that is why I don't like the glazes...
I do little "fairy"bowls and have used the glazes on those....only trouble is I haven't found anything that I really like.
I have some dragon skin that I put on some slabs and do like that ....but the little pieces I am doing now...don't think will look so hot with dragon skin.

so put the acrylics on as a wash...of course duh!!!!!and the interferance colors probably will work nicely too. I read something about pearlex which I have tons of......so maybe that is what I need to experiment with.....

again thanks for getting my brain started. ;-)

10-20-2006, 12:32 PM
The clay I am using is low fire 04-06.....I purchase it in Austin TX from armadillo.
It is a beautiful clay and holds up very well in hand building and wheel throwing. Nice body with grog but not so much that it tears your hands up if you throw it. I think they are now selling the same clay to Axner's in Florida.

I like the color and body of the clay as all potters would...but not so sure that the sculpture piece I built looks as well blank or plain as it would with a bit of metallic on it or patina...not so much to cover up the clay body but to "enhance" so the wash idea with a bit of experimenting should help me.
Thanks BF........

10-20-2006, 06:30 PM
I just thought of something else you could try in the non glaze realm of finishing. Have you tried burnishing your sculptures with a polished stone(before bisquing) so that the clay itself has a wonderful shine?

10-21-2006, 12:15 AM
BF....I have been reading about that process and will probably do it at some point. I also want to visit a group to see and learn more about raku firing.

do you do raku firing?
do you think you would have problems from your neighbors if you did raku firing at your home?
Do you know if there are regulations I would need to check on to do a raku firing in my backyard.....or a pit firing?

Thanks for any information.

10-21-2006, 08:45 PM
I don't raku, I'm not a fan of the process. I love the crackle glazes but hate that they aren't water tight. The luster glazes aren't my fav. I prefer a large downdraft kiln but will settle for electric firing right now cause i must.

I could raku and my neighbors wouldn't mind, I'm not in any deed restricted neighborhood and yard trash fires are a way to get the neighbors togther on a cool winter's night. The peeps across the street smoke mullet once a week too. We are kinda a red neck laid back neighborhood, the dogs wear bandanas and the men rarely wear shirts(this is not a good thing :) cause beer bellys rule here.). I'm sure there are some kinda of county rules againt it but there are rules against have livestock animals in a residential neighborhood too but the neighbors in back of us used to have a goose, a goat and free roaming white rabbits no one reported them. I suppose it all depends how uppity are your neighbors. I see you are in Tennessee do they have uppity neighbors there?

I actually was thinking of pit firing some nonfuntional burnished work , we already have the holes dug for burning yard waste and i have a source of old pallets I could break down and burn.

You could invite the neighbors over for a raku party, make and fire some little things to give as party favors...neighbors rarely report parties they are at or invited to attend.

10-22-2006, 11:54 PM
I found out that the crackle faux finish looks good on clay. I used the crackle and then apshalt as the line glaze...then top with acrylic sealer....
am pleased so far....

11-05-2006, 02:59 PM
a quick follow up.
The small clay pieces went into a solo show and were well received.
I sold 6 out of 10.....all 6 were the ones that I did the faux raku finish on...

this was good....I think. LOL

11-05-2006, 11:06 PM
I have no idea where you live what the regulations are, some places require fire permits for any outdoor burning. I don't know how rural you are but where I live is very wooded and you always have to check with the town office about whether it's okay to burn, sometimes all burning is restricted if it's too dry and the risk of any spark starting a forest fire is high.

11-06-2006, 12:04 PM
Check out: http://www.modernmastersinc.com
I've used their iron w/ a rust activator paint, antique bronze and copper with good results. I usually prime the bisque fired piece with a white pigmented shelac prior to using the MM finishes (kilz spray primer).
Hope this resource is helpful. [email protected]

11-06-2006, 07:37 PM
thank you for the modern masters information...there are two stores in the area that may carry the product. I particularily liked the glass crackle. I sold 3 additional clay pieces with the faux finish....and if this keeps going in this direction probably will not need to do a raku firing...other than I just want to.

Also thank you for the information on fire restrictions. I figured there would be some...no I am not in a rural setting...I am in an urban setting and knew I would have to notify my neighbors if I did any sort of burning. I am most interested in RAKU but still not sure if I can do such on my own property.