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Stains are fired blends of metal and ceramic oxides that have been reground into a fine powder. Stains containing otherwise toxic oxides can be employed without significant dangers. They are most popular at lower temperatures where colors tend to be brighter. However, most stains can also be used right up to the high fire. Premixed low fire glazes are typically made by blending stains and commercial frits. And other than following firing instructions, users of these products give little thought to the technical challenges that were overcome to produce them.
Basically: the more stain you add, the darker the color will be.
For more information about stains, head on over to our How-to page. In there, you can find so many more useful tips about stains, clays, and everything else about ceramics. Tip No. 120 is particularly important about how to use stains.