Painting on Glass and Porcelain. (V)

Manufacturer and builder 3, 1877

Continued from page 277.

In our preceding article we have shown the different ways of transferring the drawing on the pieces which are intended to be painted. To speak only of the trade, for outside of that all depends on the taste and talent of the artist, we will only say that his work must be free, light, and smooth in using the colors. If the pupil has carefully made the samples which we have recommended, he will know perfectly well the effeet produced by the different mixtures, and will be able to avoid those which might lessen the freshness of his colors.

Above all, we recommend the pupil to proceed freely in the sketch, passing, as in the aquanal, from the simple tints to the composed ones, beginning with the lightest; if it is convenient, it is advisable to have the painting twice in the oven, the first time when the "set" is a little advanced and when only the ground tone is laid on, without any working up, as shown in Fig 7. The first heating, which must be very moderate, is usually called "setting," because it serves only to make the color stick to the enamel and to allow of further retouching without danger of the colors put on over these rubbing off those under them. On this fixed sketch are placed the fine touches of coloring, and all required after the model Fig. 8 before the definite baking.

Some ceramic painters prefer to advance their painting as far ns possible, in order that they may have only to retouch it after the first fire. This way is certainly preferable, but we think that it ought only to be used when one has acquired a certain degree of perfection. After all, it is only a long practice which will show the best way to be followed in order to obtain the most satisfactory results.

A painting on porcelain is only successful when it has a smooth and equal glazing, without spots or other defects. To prevent the spreading of the colors, they must be put on in smooth thin tints without making them at once too thick; As to the false tints, they are often caused by wrongly mixing the colors, which react on each other and cause a partial weakening. of coloration in the tints, which ought to lie perfectly clear and bright.

If there is an opportunity, it is advisable to employ a porcelain manufacturer, who, for a small remuneration, will put your work, with what he makes for the trade, in one of his muffles. To do it yourself is difficult and very expensive.

The same must be said in regard to the ornaments, especially the golden threads, which ought to complete the decoration of a piece. This is a separate trade and one that requires a great training of the hand. To put on the gold long fine brushes of hair are used; with such an instrument and such a heavy material, it is very difficult to make those light, fine threads and the pure lines which competent gilders, know how to apply. After baking the gold is unpolished; it becomes brilliant by rubbing it with burnishers. This is usually done by women, is very hard work, and requires much care.

The few directions which we have given to decorate the hard porcelain, can also be applied to the soft porcelain or delf-ware, usually in commerce called pipe-earth. The manner of proceeding is the same; the colors only are different, at least for the soft porcelain. Most of the colors for hard porcelain can very well be used of soft porcelain. On delf-ware, that is to say, ontransparent enamel, one can pint on baked or unbaked enamel. The last requires very great dexterity, and beginners should never undertake it. The colors are pure metallic oxids, indicated by the name of "colors for a great fire," baking during twenty-five or thirty hours in a high temperature, which melts all together, and which, uniting the picture with its covering, give it a softness which nothing else can produce. The colors are used diluted in pure water and very liquid; they most be applied quickly and at once, without retouching, for all the touches with the brush show.

The colors of high temperature can also he used on baked enamel; then there is scarcely any difficulty and the result nearly as satisfactory, the enamel becoming again fused by the action of the fire. But in such a case one is never certain of the result; it often happens, in fart, that by the effect of a current of air, or by a strong flaring up of the flame, the melted enamel runs a little, and in running takes the color with it.

The painting on baked enamel with ordinary porcelain colors gives very good results, and nearly always a fine glazing; it is commonly preferred to decoration on porcelain, an it gives more freedom to the brush. The same treatment is followed as for porcelain.

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