This is the third subject I completed using lusters. It was a little more challenging, but very satisfying. It is a comtemporary underwater scene, displaying various aquarium fish and plants.
As with the other luster paintings, I first outlined the fish design on the vase. The main subjects are a fancy goldfish on one side of the vase and three angelfish on the other side. I used Michael Sullivan's Pumpkin (orange) for the two fancy goldfish and one of the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betas). Another Beta was painted with Hanovia Green and yet another with Hanovia Rose. I used Hanovia Amber on one of the other fish (not sure whether it was a Gourami or Oscar) The fins of this fish were painted with Hanovia Sapphire and I applied Hanovia Black to various detail lines on the body of the fish. On the other side of the vase, I painted the three Angelfish, using Engelhard Mother of Pearl and Hanovia Black. Another Beta was painted with Michael's Yellow. The two Discus fish were painted with Hanovia Sapphire. They are hard to see in the picture, because they are in shadow. I painted the plants with Hanovia Green. The vase was fired at cone 18.
I nearly had a bad firing on the main fancy gold fish and a couple of the Betas. The luster "bubbled" in some areas of the fish. I think this shows up in the picture. Luckily, it did not flake off, but instead produced an interesting effect on the bodies of the fish on which it appeared. On the second fire, I applied resist to the lower part of the fish and then "swirled" paths of color on the lower portion of the vase. I used the Hanovia colors of Rose, Amber, Brown, Green and Michael's Yellow. I used some of the Amber and Yellow to indicate pebbles at the base of each of the plants. After the luster had dried, I peeled up the resist. Then I added some more color to the fish. The Green I painted on the plants was very light, turning a kind of light blue color. I applied more Green, but only on part of the plant strands. Other parts I left as is, for shadowing. The vase was again fired at cone 18.
On the third fire, I outlined the design with Liquid Bright Gold. On some of the fish I indicated more detail than on others. Some were just outlined. I also traced lines around the color separations on the lower part of the vase where I had "trailed" the color strokes. I outlined the pebbles at the base of the two plants and outlined the plants too. The vase was fired at cone 18.
When it came out of the fire, the application of gold was thin in some areas, so I applied more gold where needed. Then Scotch plastic tape (like a car striping tape, but it stretches around curves very well) was put very close along the the top rim of the vase to mask an area for a gold rim. When the tape was all around the rim, I painted the open area, close to the inside of the vase, with Liquid Bright Gold. When the gold was dry, I peeled the tape off. Then I fired it again at the same cone temperature. It is hard to get the luster finish to show up well in a photograph.
This vase was sold in February 2002.