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Sealer for Raku


#1

Hello Orchidland,

This is a strange question, but I know there are some ceramic
artists who might have suggestions. I have some raku shards with
lovely colors and irridescence, but they are porous. In the effort to
seal against moisture, soil, and miscellaneous grubby slime, what
would you recommend to protect these pieces. Opticon comes to mind,
but I don’t know if it’s suitable.

Thanking you smart people in advance, Judy in Kansas, where the
daffodils and tulips are peeking up. Does this mean it’s spring???


#2
I have some raku shards with lovely colors and irridescence, but
they are porous. 

If your raku shards are multicolored and iridescent, the color comes
from copper, and behaves similarly to iridescent patina. That is to
say, anything you put over it (including finger prints) will affect
the color. You might be able to add opticon to the back to
strengthen the piece-- allowing the glue to soak in from one side.
The best use is probably to set the shards in bezels with E6000 or
epoxy supporting the back.

Noel (professional potter for 25 years before taking up jewelry)


#3

Judy, depending on what size the pieces are and how I want to use
them, I would try either Renaissance wax or embedding the pieces in
clear resin of some sort. The resin I’d try is DevCon 2-part 2-ton
epoxy with a 30-minute set up time, because I’ve used it before and
have some on hand.

About those daffodils–yes, I think spring is creeping in, very
quietly.


#4

Hi Judy;

Opticon comes to mind, but I don't know if it's suitable. 

Opticon is great for that, but I think it’s got some serious health
hazzards. Epoxy emits dangerous fumes. Standard epoxy isn’t so bad,
it’s not that volatile, but Opticon is really aromatic, it kicks off
lots of fumes. I get nervous working with the stuff. If you’ve got a
few pieces to experiment with, why not try coating and re-coating
with something like Johnson’s Paste Wax or Renaissance Wax until
they’re sealed?

David L. Huffman


#5

ah hah - makes sense, raku coloring comes from copper! Was just
about to attempt to solder a sterling bezel to the back of an already
set (by me) irredescent raku piece.

Not a good idea, I presume!

Cyndy in NC where 80+ degrees is not yet welcome.


#6
ah hah - makes sense, raku coloring comes from copper! Was just
about to attempt to solder a sterling bezel to the back of an
already set (by me) irredescent raku piece. Not a good idea, I
presume! 

The good news is, the raku would probably stand the heat/heat shock.
But it might very well lose its color.

On the other hand, FYI, sometimes raku pieces fail to get reduced
coming out of the original firing, and are bright copper-penny in
appearance (ghastly!) One sometimes-successful remedy is to play a
torch with a reducing flame over them to produce iridescent colors!

I wish I had one of those bright copper pieces around-- I’d try
iridescent patina on it.

Noel