One of the key ingredients to painting a piece of pottery that looks beautiful and unique is the glaze you use on it. A glaze is a vitreous substance fused on to the surface of pottery to form a hard, impervious coating. The glaze we use is so versatile that it can be applied to bisque (clay that’s been fired once) or straight onto wet clay (known as greenware). There are plenty of different glazes on the market, but we only use a couple of different brands at The Bent Brush because of their quality and versatility.
One of the ones we really love is the Mayco Stroke & Coat® glaze. Mayco is a company that’s been around since 1954, and we love this glaze for its consistency and dependability. They are so versatile that we feel they provide the highest degree of success possible with very little prior knowledge about them needed. One of the wonderful things about Stroke & Coat® is that it combines the performance properties of an underglaze with the fired finish results of a gloss glaze.
Stroke & Coat® is a heavily pigmented, viscous glaze that can be used for brush strokes or opaque coverage. We use these glazes to create intricate, detailed designs and what’s great about them is that you can have them butt up to one another without colors moving. Stroke & Coat® colors are intermixable, allowing you to create custom shades of your own. Or you can thin them with water or media to create a “wash” or a watercolor style of design. Because the liquid color is consistent with the fired color, you will have no trouble visualizing the finished results as you create.
One of the things we love is that Stroke & Coat® glazes are non-toxic and food safe, which makes them safe for artists of all ages to use. Which is certainly important on Thursday mornings at 10am when we do our Paint Me a Story events for our younger patrons. We feature a different story every week, with corresponding ceramic piece to paint.
I’ll be sure to tell you about some of the awesome techniques that Stroke & Coat® can be used for over time, but for now I’ll just give you some of the more general uses. One coat of Mayco Stroke & Coat® will create a translucent finish with subsequent coats adding opacity. We suggest 2-3 coats for full opacity and all over coverage. Let the glaze dry between coats. Stroke & Coat® glazes will fire to a gloss finish without clear glaze. However, if desired, a clear glaze can be added. Mayco recommends leaving an area unglazed, such as the back or bottom of the unfired piece, to allow for out-gassing of the clay during the single-firing process. Stroke & Coat® glazes can be applied for all over coverage or in a painterly style. Stroke & Coat® can be the star or play a supporting role in endless glaze combinations.