Luster Ornaments

Luster Ornaments
Ornament on the left is done with two different halo luster colors; Halo Rose Red and Halo Surf Green
Ornament on the right is painted with plain luster (dribbled some); Rosey Red and Green

These ornaments were completed in two fires (except for the signature which was done in a subsequent fire).

I have lately been firing all my china to cone 015, higher than I used to fire.  Many china painters are starting to do this as some of the newer paints are able to take a higher fire.  I have even been firing my luster painted pieces to cone 015 (about 1450-1500 degrees Fahrenheit - 750-800 Celsius).  That is the temperature that I fired these ornaments.  But I believe that the higher fire is the reason that the green luster, applied to these ornaments, came out blue.  I used to fire lusters at about cone 018-017.

I painted the two luster colors on the ornament first, then fired them.  For the ornament that is on the left, I used Hanovia Halo Rose Red and Hanovia Halo Surf Green.  For the ornament that is on the right, I used Rynne's Rosey Red Luster and Green Luster (unknown brand name).  Both of the green colors came out more blue.  As I said above, I believe this was caused by the higher fire.  

For painting on these ornaments, I tried something that was suggested to me by my PPIO partner, Marci, some time ago.  Instead of painting the luster with a brush, I used Q-Tips.  I really like using the Q-Tips.  I think you get a smoother surface, if that is what you want.    Also, cleanup is much easier as you can just throw the used Q-Tips away.

For the ornament on the left, I applied the two Halo colors.  Then, while the paint was still wet, I touched the paint with the tip of the Q-Tip, still coated with luster.  This causes the paint to "Halo" (creates circles or rings in the paint).  The more you touch the surface, the more circles you get.  I did each color separately.  After the first color had almost dried, I turned the ornament over and applied the other Halo color, using the same procedure for application as with the first Halo color.

For the ornament on the right, I applied the first color (it does not matter which one you do first). I put it on freely so that it would flow down the side of the ornament a little. This is a little tricky, as you don't want it to run away from you and cover too much of the ornament.  Reloading the Q-Tip with more of the color and then touching it to the surface further down the side of the ornament helps the paint to flow down in a more controlled manner.  After the first color has almost dried (or completely dried) I applied the second color, using the same procedures as for the first color.  I tried, as much as possible, not to overlap the colors, as this can sometimes result in an unintentional color that is not always the effect that you want.  Sometimes, if some luster colors overlap in the same firing, an "ugly" gray color is the result in the overlapping area.

For the second fire, using Liquid Bright Gold and a pen, I made penwork "squiggles" and lines on each of the ornaments.  For much of the area, I just followed some of the halo outlines on the ornament.  I did all of this rather randomly. With the ornament on the right, I also penned in little gold stars and snowflakes.

Then I fired the ornaments to cone 015.  That was it.  Only because I forgot to sign them, I had to fire them in a third fire.  If I had not forgotten, I could have signed them for the second fire.

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