Here at FSPG we try to get in at least one overglaze firing per session. The overglazes include lusters – gold, white gold, Mother of Pearl – and decals. This is a really great way to enhance the decorative aspect of a piece of pottery! We usually apply lustres close to the firing date, and we fire on a Saturday night so no classes are disturbed by any odours that may come from the kiln off-gassing. Application at the guild is done on Friday evening or Saturday late in the afternoon.
All these finishes are applied AFTER the piece has gone through the glaze firing, so if you want to participate in a luster or decal firing you need to have finished pieces on hand. They don’t have to be new, but they do have to be built and fired at Fort Saskatchewan Pottery Guild. NO EXCEPTIONS. If we don’t think it’s gone through our kilns we will not fire it. Period. The order of firings is BISQUE – GLAZE – DECALS – LUSTERS
Lusters are available for purchase from the guild, and we usually order them in advance of the firing by a minimum of 4 weeks so pieces can go through the entire firing process on time for the overglaze firing. Decals are a different finish, and we do not supply or find suppliers for decals. Please check with members who have used decals for good, reliable suppliers.
Application of lusters is a very smelly and olfactorily toxic business; you will need appropriate masks, and ALL lusters applied at the guild MUST be done in the spray booth with the fan running. If you are applying at home, you should always mask up, and ensure you are working in a very well ventilated area.
Lusters are applied with a small brush, either one you are willing to clean afterwards in essence, or disposable brushes you are willing to discard. The bright yellow gold luster is red and the white gold (silver) is green. Mother of Pearl lustre is blue, and you will need a separate brush for each finish. You can combine the lustres on a piece if you wish. Brush cleaning is done with essence, which is also available at the guild.
Decals are very easy to apply – much like temporary tattoos! You CANNOT apply decals and lustre at the same time on a piece – Decals are ALWAYS applied first, fired to cone 015, and lustres are a separate firing to cone 017/018 AFTER decals have been fired. Improperly or under fired decals do not develop the best colours and have a rough texture. Lustres are fired at a lower temperature, and decals present on a piece going through a lustre firing will not be affected by another firing. However, LUSTRES fired at DECAL temperatures will turn black, so make sure you apply in the right order! Bisque – Glaze – Decals – Luster. The exception to the Decals first, Lusters second rule is this: some decals are actually luster decals, and these are the only decals you can apply and fire in a luster firing.
Our next luster firing is Saturday, April 6 and we are taking orders for lusters, deadline is March 1. Your class rep can direct you to someone who can answer any questions you have.