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Buy good brushes, but take good care of them.  Keep them clean and keep them in their proper shape (Keep a square shader flat and square, and a pointer or liner rolled.  A good brush taken care of will last a long time. 


     A cut liner is a brush used primarily in banding work.  The hairs are cut on an angle.  When used correctly, the longer hairs are the ones that make the line, and the shorter hairs feed the color to the point of the brush to make a uniform, uninterrupted line around the edge of the china. 


     If your medium is thick it might accumulate in the hairs of the brush and make it gummy.  If this is the case, perhaps you are not cleaning all of the paint and oil out of the brushes when you quit.  Then when you paint again the thick oil in there has become gummy.  Brushes should always be cleaned well before putting them away. 


     After painting, clean brushes and then dip them slightly into the medium.  Press out the excess medium (shaping it at the same time), and leave the brush that way -- ready to pain the next time!  Brushes are expensive, but they will last a long time if taken care of. 


     If your quill splits when you put it on the handle, it was still in a brittle stage and was forced on the stick.  Place the quill portion in warm water for a few minutes until it softens, then ease it on the stick, but do not force it. 



     Enamel is a vitreous, opaque material that is fused to the surface of the chinawares by firing in the kiln.
adhere to the glaze in relief form, above the surface of the ware.  To a certain extent, Mineral colors
are transparent, whereas enamels have a body.  They are opaque and cover what is underneath them. 


     If your Enamel was flat or ran, it probably was mixed with either too much oil, or the wrong medium. 


     The medium to mix enamel is called Enamel Medium.  Mix only enough of this with your enamel so the mixture is crumbly, like pie crust.  Then mix with clean turpentine to the right consistency to apply. 


     Not all enamels are the same.  There are various kinds of enamels.  There are hard enamel, soft enamel, Relief White, Aufsetzweiss, and Enamel for glass.  Each is different.  Use the enamel that is compatible with the china you are working on (soft enamel on soft china, glass enamel for glass etc.). 


     Always allow enamels to dry at room temperature, I prefer to allow enamel work to dry four or five days prior to firing.  Enamels should appear dull when dry.  Bubbling, cracking and chipping may occur when the enamels are fired while damp, when too much oil has been used and if the firing procedure is rushed. 


Enamels are fired to cone junior cone 018 on the hard body chinawares,  junior cone 019 for the softer wares.  On porcelain bisque, Willoughby's enamels may be fired repeatedly.  When enamels are applied to a glazed surface, one firing is preferred.  


     When you are enameling on glass, use Glass Enamels.  Fire junior cone 022 following the directions for glass firing. 


     Tools used for enameling are small liner brushes, toothpicks, needles, square shader, crow quill pens or stylus. 


     Pink enamels turning purple, may be over firing.  Dull enamel, no shine after firing, may be underfired.



     There are two extremes of firing that can be observed:  an overfired kiln, and an underfired kiln.  The underfired kiln is likely to result in rough painted areas.  In addition, some of the colors may not be matured.  Pinks, rubies, etc., tend to be brickish in color, while other colors may rub off on sanding the ware or when wiped with a cloth.  The overfired kiln can be identified by the pinks, rubies, etc., tend to be purplish in color, and there might be a general loss of colors.  Iron reds are particularly sensitive to heat.  If they are fired too hot, they may turn brown, and the more yellow shades may disappear completely. 


     Bring the heat up slowly - fire slowly, cool slowly.  Do not open the kiln until the kiln is cooled down enough that you can handle the china comfortably and not have it feel hot. 


     Each kiln is different in the firing process.  The length of firing time will vary according to the firing characteristics of that particular kiln, the size of the kiln, and the load you have in it.



      When working on glass, use those materials that have been made specifically for glass.   Mix the Paints, enamel, gold, paste, and so forth, just the same as if you were going to be painting on china.  You can work the same as you do on china. 


     Use enamel that is made for glass and mix it the same as for china.  Use gold that is formulated for glass also. 


     Glass should be brought up slowly when fired and cooled slowly to be properly annealed.  Do not stilt glass. 



     Apply the cadmium reds full strength,  Thin layers of cadmium red usually burn out.  Also, the cadmium reds should not be painted over unfired compatible yellows unless you have tested this method previously. 


     Be certain to vent your kiln during the fire of cadmium/Selenium colors.  The oil mediums can create a significant reduction in available oxygen in the kiln as they burn off.  Poor kiln ventilation is also responsible for both cadmium and iron reds turning brown. 


     The cadmium/selenium colors (Bright reds, oranges, maroon, and some yellows) are often overly sensitive to heat.  It helps to apply these reds more heavily, rather than thin washes.  It is best to apply these colors after all other painting and firing is finished, and only then apply the red and fire much lower, such as a cone 018 or 017 (752-784° C / 1386-1443° F) In some cases it helps to fire extremely low, cone 019 (723° C / 1333° F. ) They may be washed out or disappear entirely if fired too hot.  





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