Ceramic Enhancer Instructions


APT-II CERAMIC ENHANCER
INSTRUCTIONS

APT-II Enhancer is an acrylic emulsion additive that is food safe and non-toxic.  It cleans up with water and has an indefinite shelf life.  Usage techniques and firing methods are not altered. 

PROTECT FROM FREEZING

          APT-II Enhancer will thicken all brands of slip and clay bodies, enabling the ceramist to attach, mend and create surface decorations.  This process can be performed on greenware, bisque or finished glazed pieces.


APT-II CERAMIC ENHANCER CREATES A BETTER SLIP MENDER:

q       Bonding occurs immediately.

q       Mended area dries to the same softness as the greenware.

q       Mended area may be cleaned immediately.

q       Mended area does not shrink and leave a stress crack.

q       Colors and glazes adhere to mended area without showing a difference in color.

q       Slip mixture will adhere to glaze fired surfaces.

q       Slip mixture will not produce odors or acid fumes in kiln.


PREPARING  -  *SLIP MIXTURE
For Mending and Attaching

·        Pour fresh slip into container.

·        Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer into slip until it begins to thicken to a consistency of cake batter.

·        If *Slip Mixture becomes too thick for attaching or mending, thin back with slip - not water.  (Adding water will increase shrinkage.)

·        Unused *Slip Mixture may be stored in an airtight sealed container for several days.  Add more slip if it becomes too thick.

·        If *Slip Mixture is left open to air, it will dry and become greenware.


ADD-ONS - ATTACHMENTS - REPAIRS ON

Wet Greenware

1.                 Apply *Slip Mixture to pieces that will be attached.

2.                 Gently and firmly press pieces together (no scoring necessary).  Bonding occurs immediately.  Be sure pieces are positioned correctly.  NOTE:  Some pieces may still require propping.

3.                 Clean excess with cleaning tool or damp sponge.  Limit use of water as it causes shrinkage and stress cracks.

4.                 After greenware dries, clean as usual and fire to a greenware firing.


Dry Greenware and Bisque

1.                 Apply APT-II Ceramic Enhancer - not water directly to broken pieces.

2.                 Immediately, apply *Slip Mixture to broken pieces.

3.                 Position pieces correctly - gently and firmly press pieces together.

4.                 Immediately clean excess with regular cleaning tool or damp sponge.

5.                 Let dry - fire to the recommended greenware or bisque firing.

Stress Cracks on Greenware & Bisque

1.                 Apply APT-II Ceramic Enhancer from bottle into stress crack.

2.                 Immediately fill with *Slip Mixture.

3.                 Clean excess with cleaning tool - let dry as usual.

4.                 Re-fire to a bisque firing.

Finished Glazed Pieces

If a broken glazed piece can be re-fired, it can be repaired.

1.                 Follow the instructions for Dry Greenware and Bisque.

2.                 After mended area dries, clean excess back to original contour.

3.                 Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer (4 drops per oz.) into glaze for reglazing mended area.

4.                 Let dry - re-fire to a glaze firing.


Decorating and Sculpting with Slip

DECORATING TOOLS:  Cake Decorating Tool, Cookie Press Clay Gun, Extruder, Palette Knife, Sponge, Scafitto Tool, etc.  NOTE:  Pipe as usual when decorating - do not stretch because the clay will shrink and crack when drying.

1.                 Slip can be thickened from a pouring texture to a modeling clay texture.  Thicken slip with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to the consistency required for decorating, i.e. slip trailing, or sculpting.

2.                 If slip mixture becomes too thick for your project, thin back with slip - not water.  (Adding water will increase shrinkage of greenware decorations.)


Coloring Slip

1.                 Color slip with Strokes or Underglaze.  (Example:  2 oz. Color, 2 oz. Slip)

2.                 Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to thicken colored slip.  Determine your thickness by the amount of APT-II used for the appropriate tool.


Decorate on Wet Greenware

  • Decorations can be made from slip.  Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to thicken the slip to a consistency required.  Decorations will bond immediately to greenware.
  • Slip mixture may be colored with Stokes or Underglaze.  Decorations will fire to the color that is applied.
  • Allow normal drying time before finishing your greenware.

Decorate on Dry Greenware

1.                 Apply APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on the specific area.

2.                 Decorate immediately on the dampen area using slip that is thicken with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to the desired consistency.

3.                 If decorations are dry, dampen with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer.

4.                 Use a small amount of  *Slip Mixture as an attaching agent to attach decorations to greenware.

5.                 Press gently and firmly into place and remove any excess slip.

6.                 Allow normal drying time before firing.


Decorate on Fired Glaze Surface (Flat)

1.                 Apply APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on the specific area.

2.                 If decorations are dry, dampen with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer.

3.                 Use a small amount of *Slip Mixture to attach decorations.

4.                 Press gently and firmly into place and remove any excess slip.

5.                 Allow normal drying time before firing to a glaze firing.

NOTE:  If decorating on a movable glaze, you will need to position piece horizontally in kiln to prevent decorations from sliding.


Modeling Clay

        1.                  Thicken slip with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer
                    until it becomes extremely thick.

       2.               Optional:  If you have clay trimmings, add
                enough APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to make it  enough
                pliable to prevent cracking. 
                Wedge clay to remove air bubbles.

         3.               Place clay in a plastic zip lock bag and allow it to age
                    approximately 24 hours.  Aging causes the
                    APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to plasticize the clay.

         4.                If you work with block clay, punch holes in clay - fill
                    with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer - then wedge.
 

         5.                Clay becomes more durable with less shrinking
                    and cracking when hand forming and sculpting.
6.  The RAKU technique has proven to have a more durable piece when using APT-II Ceramic Enhancer in the clay.

Dipping Silk Flowers & Natural Objects

First, prepare the clay mixture for dipping flowers:

      1.             Mix together: 
                  
2 oz. Opaque Underglaze (color of your Choice).
                   2 oz. Slip
                   1 Tbsp.  Clear Glaze

2.                 Apply APT-II Ceramic Enhancer, drop by drop, until it thickens to a cake batter consistency.

3.                 Mix thoroughly, cover and set aside.

4.                 Brush two coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on area that will be decorated.  This will seal the area and can be easily cleaned should you spill any of the underglaze mixture.

5.                 Dip flowers and leaves into mixture and attach to greenware.

6.                 Coat decorations with APT-II Ceramic Enhancer for more durability.  A brush or spray bottle may be used.

7.                 Let dry - fire to Cone 03 or 04.  Your flowers and leaves fire to the color used.  A clear glaze may be applied and fired to a glaze firing.

NOTE:  Make sure hands are kept clean to prevent colored slip transferring to greenware in unwanted areas.


APT-II CERAMIC ENHANCER
IN COLORS AND GLAZES

When APT-II Ceramic Enhancer is added into water base colors and glazes, the colors are not changed.  APT-II causes physical changes in the glazes.

ü      Levels lead-free glazes in the firing

ü      Smoother application

ü      Color pigments bond to surface of clay for better coverage

ü      Less shading and streaking.

ü      Less pitting, bleeding and pinholes when dipping.

ü      Glaze bonds to hard spots better.

1.                 Stir in approximately 3-4 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer per ounce (12-16 drops per 4 oz. Bottle).

2.                 Apply the number of coats manufacturer recommends, and the firing instructions.


Re-glazing

When adding APT-II Ceramic Enhancer into glaze for re-glazing, the APT-II will make the new glaze adhere to the cold glaze surface.  It feels as if you were glazing on bisque and will not brush off.

1.                 Stir in approximately 3-4 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer per ounce into glaze.  Apply the number of coats required.  NO PREHEATING IS REQUIRED.

2.                 Follow the color manufacturer's instructions for firing.


TO ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR RE-GLAZING, ADD APT-II CERAMIC ENHANCER INTO GLAZE IN THE FIRST APPLICATION.


Glaze on Glaze

You can glaze over an already finished piece to change the colors or create designs by wiping away the unfired glaze in selected areas.

1.                 Stir in 3-4 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer per ounce into glaze.  (Example:  You can use black glaze on the base color - apply approximately 2 coats and let dry.  Fire to the recommended firing.

2.                 Stir in 3-4 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer per ounce into glaze.  This causes the glaze to adhere to the cold glaze surface. (Example:  You may use a red glaze on the second color.  Apply approximately 2 coats.

3.                 Creating a design:  While glaze is still damp, use a scafitto tool or banding wheel to cut through the red unfired glaze.  Let dry - fire to the recommended firing.


Airbrushing

You can accomplish a better-finished piece by adding APT-II into the raw strokes or underglaze colors before you thin with water.

1.                 Add 2-3 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer per ounce into water base color.  This will prevent the color pigments from bleeding into the clay surface.  Color will bond and does not pop off during firing.  Colors will show with fewer passes.

2.                 Follow your usual airbrush procedures.

3.                 Airbrush as usual - the APT-II will prevent the brush from clogging and will give a better finish with fewer passes of the airbrush.


Snow

1.                 Pour fired snow into container - add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer, a few drops at a time until a desired thickness is achieved.  NOTE:  If snow becomes loose while stirring, allow to set and firm back up.

2.                 Using a spoon or spatula, lift snow as if you were peaking egg whites.  The snow that is hanging from the bottom of spoon or spatula will form an icicle.

3.                 Hang icicle on tree branches or rooftops.

4.                 Let dry and fire to recommended firing.

Unfired Snow

1.                 Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer into a white stain, a few drops at a time until it thickens to the desired consistency.

2.                 Does not discolor and has the same appearance as fired snow.


Decals on Greenware (One Firing)

1.                 Clean greenware carefully.

2.                 Add into a 2 oz. Bottle of Underglaze (color of your choice):

 

a)     3 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer

b)     1 tablespoon of Satin Matte Glaze (optional in some colors - fire and test compatibility of glaze and underglaze.)

 

3.                 Sponge on 3 coats of underglaze mixture.  Let dry between each coat.

4.                 Sponge on 2 coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer to the area where decal is to be applied - let dry.

5.                 Add 1/4 teaspoon of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer in warm water.  Place a good quality decal in water until it comes loose from the backing.

6.                 Apply another coat of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer - while it is still wet, place decal on prepared area.

7.                 Carefully blot decal with a paper towel to remove bubbles.  DO NOT SQUEEGEE as this can disturb the unfired underglaze and cause an outline around the decal.

8.                 Fire to Cone 06.

9.                 Spray a matte or gloss seal to protect from being soiled.


Decals on Bisque (No Glaze)

1.                 Clean greenware as usual.

2.                 Fire greenware to regular greenware firing.

3.                 Sand bisque smooth.

4.                 Apply 3 coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer - let dry between each coat.

5.                 Soak decal in warm water with a few drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer added.

6.                 Apply one coat of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer, and while it is still wet, remove backing from decal - place on bisque and press out bubbles.

7.                 Fire to decal instructions - (016 - 018).

8.                 Background can be enhanced with color wash or stains.  Use your imagination to create your background and colors around the decal.

9.                 Spray a matte or gloss sealer on the completed piece to protect from dirt.


Reverse Decals on Fired Glaze

Create a Mirror Image with Decals:

1.                 Apply a coat of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on specific area.

2.                 Soak decal in warm water and remove backing.

3.                 Flip decal and carefully place on area while APT-II is still wet.

4.                 Press firmly and squeegee to remove any bubbles.

5.                 Apply a coat of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on decal - let dry.

6.                 Fire to decal instructions - (016 - 018).


Simulated Scrimshaw

1.     Clean greenware as usual.

2.     Draw a pattern on an area.

3.     Apply two coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer.  Let dry!  The APT-II has now created a seal on the greenware.

4.     Using a Scafitto Tool or any tool of your choice, etch into the designed area.

5.     A black underglaze was used - dilute it with just a tiny amount of water.  Lightly paint a small area then wipe off gently with a sponge.  Repeat another area until completed.  The underglaze will penetrate into the etched areas creating your design.

6.     Fire to your greenware firing.

7.     Add 4 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer into grey glaze, stir and apply three coats.

8.     Fire to the manufacturer's glaze firing.


Carving on Dry Greenware

1.     Brush two coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer on greenware.

2.     Let dry.

3.     Your greenware is now more durable while carving.

4.     Less chipping and prevents stress cracks.

Hard Spots

1.     Apply two coats of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer directly to hard spot area on the wet or dry greenware.  Let dry and fire to your greenware firing.

2.     If your bisque has a hard spot, add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer (4 drops per ounce) into a colored glaze.  This will cause the glaze to adhere to the bisque.

3.     If the hard spot is discolored and a clear glaze is required, add 2 drops of APT-II Ceramic Enhancer into white underglaze.  Brush on the hard spot - let dry.

4.     Add APT-II Ceramic Enhancer (4 drops per ounce) into clear glaze - apply the recommended number of coats.

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