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What is a Luster?
-Lusters are overglazes applied to a glazed and fired ceramic surface.
-A luster takes on the property of the underlying surface (matte, satin, or gloss).
-Lusters are complex combinations of metallic salts, bonded to a resin, and dissolved in oil.
-Unique combinations of metallic salts provide color and iridescent effects.
-Liquid Bright Gold, Platinum, and Palladium solutions produce metallic platings.
Available in 5 gram bottles only
Handling and safety
-Lusters are safe to handle when used with reasonable care.
-Lusters and associated solvents are flammable; keep away from fire and flame.
-Lusters can be applied by brushing, sponging, spraying, stamping, and silk screening; brushing is the most common method.
-Ware and work area should be clean and dry, free from dust and moisture.
-If alcohol is used to clean the ware, allow extra drying time as alcohol contains water.
-Avoid breathing fumes, use in a well ventilated area or wear a NIOSH approved respirator.
-Avoid prolonged contact with skin; wash with soap and warm water.
-Avoid breathing fumes and kiln exhaust during the firing process.
Clean up and storage
-Mineral spirits, paint thinner, lacquer thinner, toluene (toluol), acetone, nail polish remover are cleaning agents.
-Store lusters in tightly capped glass containers.
-After use, wipe container and lid threads before capping.
-Store in a cool, dry place.
-Prolonged storage may cause the luster to thicken.
-Refrigeration will prolong shelf life.
-Use soft bristle camel or ox-hair, round or flat, brushes, and the largest size appropriate for the work to be decorated.
-Use Luster Essence for thinning colors and iridescent lusters and Gold Essence for thinning gold, platinum and palladium.
-Toluene can be used if Essence is not readily available.
-Use paper towels or lint free cloths. Do not use cloths that have been tumble dried with anti-static sheets; they will leave a film on your work that resists lusters.
-Dip a brush into the luster, avoid dipping the ferrule, give the brush a light swipe on the bottle rim.
-The brush bristles should have a “wet” appearance; avoid an overly wet or dry-brush coverage.
-A light and even coat provides the best results; experimentation will determine ideal results.
-Mother of Pearl (MOP) and Pearl should be scumbled or stippled for best iridescence.
-Thin lusters by adding one drop of Essence at a time; over-thinning a luster will result in poor results.
-Dry in a clean area, free from dust, dirt, smoke, and moisture prior to firing.
-Ventilation is key to a satisfactory result.
-The firing cone is determined by the type of glaze the luster is applied on.
-For ^06-04 glazes, fire lusters to ^019-018; -for ^6-11 glazes, fire lusters to ^018-017; -for ^13+ glazes (hard porcelain), fire luster to ^017-015; -for common glass, fire luster to ^022-020.
-For bottom-vented kilns, load pieces loosely, leaving ample space for the oils and reducing agents to burn off. Close peep holes, close lid, vent full on, fast fire to the firing cone.
-For kilns without vents, keep lid slightly ajar with the bottom peep hole open. Fast fire to the firing cone. If the kiln does not have a kiln sitter or a programmer, place a cone pack in front of a peep-hole. If this is not possible, fire until the kiln glows yellow-orange.