Big Ceramic Store Blog

Liquid Latex For Design and Protection

I used to use wax resist to protect certain areas while I was glazing, but that required an extra firing to burn off the resist before I could put the final glaze coat on. Not too long ago however, I discovered liquid latex, and I'm quickly falling in love!

I don't just use it for my pottery projects, but for a slew of other things as well... especially painting my granddaughters nails.

Check out some of the ways you can use liquid latex to enhance your pieces. I will warn you though... you may just find yourself using it on projects not related to pottery!

Let's start with my favorite use for the latex...

Protecting sprigs for a secondary glaze color;

I like to embellish my pots with sprigs, and often, like them to be a different color than the body of the piece. Here is a birdhouse a customer built. She wants the perch and butterflies a different color than the body, so I got out the liquid latex and went to town.

  • After bisque firing the birdhouse, I brushed a coat of the latex over the perch and butterflies.

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  • After the latex dried, I painted on the body glaze, Coyote Pansy Purple.

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  • Use a damp sponge to wipe away excess glaze from the latex covered areas

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  • Once the glaze was dry, I used a Kemper K23 6" Cleanup Tool, and traced around the edge of the latex covered areas. This allows for a cleaner line where the glaze and sprig meet.

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  • Now here's the fun part... lift the edge of the latex with your tool, the peel it away

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  • Paint your secondary color on the sprigs and fire away!

Liquid latex for design;

Layering glazes, and subtle design, are both becoming increasingly popular in the ceramic world. Try using liquid latex for both.

  • Cover areas of your green or bisque wares that you want to enhance

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  • Brush or dip in glaze, engobe, underglaze, stains, washes or oxides. For this bowl, I used Cobalt Oxide and Mayco Manganese and Iron Washes, thinned with water to varying degrees.

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There are so many ways to decorate using liquid latex, I could go on for hours! This example should give you a taste of the possibilities, but use your imagination and explore your own ideas.

Tips for using liquid latex;

  • Use food dye to tint the latex for easier view on your wares
  • Never dip into the container. Pour a small amount into a container of its own and discard the unused portion as pouring it back into the original container can contaminate it
  • Use brushes you can discard, and dip them in dish detergent mixed in water, to slow down the bristles getting gunked up

If you'd like to share your ideas, projects or submit a post for our blog, email us at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com! We look forward to hearing from you!

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