Changing the colour of unglazed pots

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Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:30 am

Hi All,

I have my eye on an unglazed medium quality Chinese pot, but don't particularly like the colour. It is currently a fairly light brown colour and I prefer the much darker browns that one typically sees in Japanese unglazed pots. Is anyone aware of a technique I can use to colour such a pot a darker hue? I don't want to paint it with a coating, but would prefer to stain it with some sort of colourant that is absorbed into the clay.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Andrew

Andrew Legg
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:43 am

Andrew,

there are finishes that are fired on, that will do the job. You can get them from Duncan or Gare, but these are US craft pottery glazes. Perhaps you have access to something local. A fired on finish will last forever, fired as in a kiln.

Other finishes would have to be catalytic as in epoxy with pigment, or perhaps a parafin wax dissolved in mineral spirts, and pigment added, and then buffed to a satin finish.

As usual test on a piece of scrap first please.
The epoxy might end up glossy.
Best to you.
Khaimraj

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:27 am

Thanks for the info Kaimraj. If I end up actually doing this I'll be sure to post the results.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Stan Kengai on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:12 pm

You might try staining it with some strongly brewed coffee or tea. Just let the pot soak in it for a day or two. Not sure if they will stain stoneware, but it can't hurt to try.

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:42 pm

Stan Kengai wrote:You might try staining it with some strongly brewed coffee or tea. Just let the pot soak in it for a day or two. Not sure if they will stain stoneware, but it can't hurt to try.

If the pottery is high fired it shouldn't take stain.

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:29 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:
Stan Kengai wrote:You might try staining it with some strongly brewed coffee or tea. Just let the pot soak in it for a day or two. Not sure if they will stain stoneware, but it can't hurt to try.

If the pottery is high fired it shouldn't take stain.

Hey Billy,

Why do you say that? I've always been taught to keep lime sulphur off my unglazed pots "as it will stain them". If they can stain from lime sulphur then why not an intentional stain? scratch Am I missing something or am I being given dodgy info?

Cheers,

Andrew

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:49 pm

Andrew,

would it not be simpler to just brew up some strong coffee or tea and try it, see what happens over a period of say 6 months to a year ?
Khaimraj scratch

Hmm ? would the Calcium compound or the Sulphur compound do the staining or both and how to remove - Vinegar ?

Khaimraj Seepersad
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:00 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Andrew,

would it not be simpler to just brew up some strong coffee or tea and try it, see what happens over a period of say 6 months to a year ?
Khaimraj scratch

Hmm ? would the Calcium compound or the Sulphur compound do the staining or both and how to remove - Vinegar ?

Sure it would . . . . you got $70 for a test pot for me? Laughing

I'm starting to think it may just be easier to find a darker clay pot!

No idea how to remove the stains, but then again, I have yet to stain a pot, so touch wood, I'll not have to figure it out!

Cheers

Andrew Legg
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:09 pm

Andrew,

you could also just purchase an unglazed stoneware tile for about $1.00 US?
It's not only the absorption that you are testing, but resistance of the stain to UV and watering.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:13 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Andrew,

you could also just purchase an unglazed stoneware tile for about $1.00 US?
It's not only the absorption that you are testing, but resistance of the stain to UV and watering.
Later.
Khaimraj

True!

Andrew Legg
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:53 pm

Hi Andrew

I have seen some results of pots that was redyed in diffrent ways....I have not seen a result worth trying/doing...they all turned out looking cheap and ugly....like stained.
I saw one person who tried to glaze and refire a pale pot...it did not work either.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  BigDave on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:56 pm

Andrew Legg wrote:

I'm starting to think it may just be easier to find a darker clay pot!


Andrew you answered your own question !!

Just as an aside, One of our old club members had a light brown pot for a huge forest that he would turn dark brown with shoe polish, before every show he would reapply, looked very good !


I have refired many Chinese pots. They are not high fired for the most part, cone 01 at the highest, so watch for bloating if you do refire.

Good luck,
-big D

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:04 pm

Hi Big D

Can you explain how you made the glaze stick to the pot....I would like to tell my friend your answer Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  GaryWood on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:31 pm

Yvonne, I'm not dave but CMC (carboxymethylcellulose) added to the glaze helps and also sugar works. Spraying works best for me with thin coats and drying between coats. Warming the pots in the oven before spraying helps to set the first coat and the CMC or sugar will adhere to the pot and help with the running. It's a little time consuming but it can be done.
Wood

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  BigDave on Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:36 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Big D

Can you explain

It is basically a wax with color in a semi solid state. We always oil our pots before the show. It is basically the same procedure....

wax on wax off...

buff/ polish

cheers

BigDave
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:54 pm

GaryWood wrote:Yvonne, I'm not dave but CMC (carboxymethylcellulose) added to the glaze helps and also sugar works. Spraying works best for me with thin coats and drying between coats. Warming the pots in the oven before spraying helps to set the first coat and the CMC or sugar will adhere to the pot and help with the running. It's a little time consuming but it can be done.
Wood

Many thanks.

Shoewax on a pot?...I will give it a try one day Smile

kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  Andrew Legg on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:58 am

Thanks everyone for the interesting additional comments. Shoe wax sounds intriguing! time to buy a cheap unglazed pot (or tile)!

Andrew Legg
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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

Post  BigDave on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:28 pm

Andrew Legg wrote:Thanks everyone for the interesting additional comments. Shoe wax sounds intriguing! time to buy a cheap unglazed pot (or tile)!

Yeah or some shoes...


Good Luck Andrew...

big D

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Re: Changing the colour of unglazed pots

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