You are seeing color correctly if you think you are seeing purple and orange. These are Mason Stains. I have had a nice collection of core recipes that have been consistent and popular, but I would love to keep expanding my color/glazing pallet. The tricky part for me is being able to find a way to do that without a reduction firing. Everything I fire in my electric kiln has been an oxidation firing (allowing oxygen to flow). Oxidation firings are what easily give me my greens and blues. The warmer tones like, red, orange, pinks and some purples need to be fired in reduction (reducing the amount of oxygen) to let those colors mature in the firing. Ideally I would like to complete some reduction firings in a gas kiln, but alas, I do not have such a kiln. Not yet. Until then, I plan to try this through Mason Stains.
So, how do these stains work? Well, I am still figuring that part out simply through trial and error. I believe the two most common ways of using them are mixing the stain powder with water into a slurry and brushing or spraying it on to your thrown pot while it is still wet. That is what I have done with both the violet pot and the tangerine pot. Once they are trimmed and dried out, then you bisque fire them as normal. The color will stay enact and become a part of the pot. Next you apply the crystalline base glaze over the pot (no colorants are added to the base glaze). The glaze firing will go as normal and hopefully the results will be either the violet or tangerine as the base color with white to silver crystals that grow and form over the base color. The other way to do this would be to mix a base crystalline glaze with a small percentage of the mason stain into the glaze itself to act at the colorant. I am going to try both methods, so we shall see. I think it will take a few tries before I find a consistent method that will work.
Do you like my funky jar series? I had a lot of fun making them. I love the way they all look grouped together. These are the first two stains I will be trying: violet and tangerine. They do need a second coat of stain as do the lids for these jars. I am excited to see how they will turn out in the end. I do love the way the stain looks in its raw form – almost candy-like! (Don’t eat it!)