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 Tip for Today


Common Problems with Bisque-ware

   This month we are going to try to cover some of the most common problems that occur with ceramic bisque pieces.

     The most common problem we are asked about is bisque that will not take paint in spots. If you are painting with stains you could spray the item with a few coats of porcelain spray sealer, let dry thoroughly and then finish painting your piece. If you are painting with under-glazes you can sand the area lightly with a fine grade sandpaper, this will allow the under-glaze to adhere to the item.

     Another problem we find people come across when buying bisque from auctions is that some businesses may not have standards as high as what most of us would consider acceptable. When this happens you receive your item that you wanted to glaze except it is discolored in spots or it is yellowish brown in color.

      There are two possible causes for this, the first is that your item had been stored in a damp location and mold spores have begun to grow in spots on your piece.
Re-firing this piece will restore your item and will enable you to glaze the piece. The second cause of this would be that the item had been fired at too high of a temperature. Under this scenario re-firing the item will do absolutely no good, you really have no choice except to stain the item.


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Ginger Bread Cookie Ornaments
How to Paint Realistic Looking Ginger Bread Ornaments
by Dolores Swaldi [c] 2005



The holidays are fast approaching so we thought we would do an article on something related to this time of year. We decided to share our secret on how we make our ceramic ginger bread items look like they had just come out of the oven. But before we do; I have to tell you this is top secret information, it took us many, many, many times experimenting with techniques and colors to come up with the perfect combination that makes our items look good enough to eat. But since we love our customers so much we have decided to remove this technique from the vault and share it with all of you.

Did we pique your interest yet? OK here is the technique we use. It is nothing very hard to do, and it is actually very easy to complete. There are very few steps involved, three to be exact, but they must be completed in this order for them to turn out simply delicious looking.

  1. Paint your item with French vanilla stain.

  2. Antique the item with pecan sparkle translucent stain. (Oil based antiquing stain that cleans with water and soap)

  3. For the final step you dry brush the ginger bread sections with butterscotch.

After this we color all accents with bright vibrant colors. We use bright reds, greens, yellows for the gum drops. Then we use other bright colors for the icing outlines, and other elements we would like to highlight on our ginger bread piece.

When completed this is what our ornament looks like.

We are very happy to share all of our techniques and tips that we have learned through the years with you. If you have any friends that you think may enjoy our articles please let them know about our web site, and our newsletter so they may browse and receive all of our articles and tips.

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Dolly & Ernie Ceramics is a proud sponsor of this venerable craft.
Copyright [c] 2006 Dolly & Ernie
all rights reserved.

You may link to, or publish this article in parts or in its entirety. Our only stipulation is that an emboldened  link to our web site be placed into the copied material. Click here for the html code that will provide a link to our site.


About the Author:
Dolly Swaldi is the proprietor of this web site and has
been involved in the ceramic craft for over 28 years.

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