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  • Writer's pictureN L Ceramics

A Little bit of Bling is a Glorious Thing – How to add Gold Lustre to porcelain miniatures.

This week I finally had time and confidence to put gold lustre onto some of my special porcelain miniatures. They have been waiting for quite a while as I gather information, and build my confidence in undertaking this new quest in my ceramic adventures. Gold Lustre is very expensive, because it is actually 24 carat gold, chemically treated so it is in a liquid that can be painted onto ceramic and fired back to its beautiful original metal. What ever chemical process it has undertaken makes it very toxic, and I had to do a lot of preparing before I decided to try it out. It is also ridiculously expensive, so I wanted to make sure I got it right, rather than waste time, money, precious metals and potentially harm my lungs and the environment.

So here you are, how to gold lustre the N L Ceramic way. Wear gloves, a proper breathing mask, make sure the windows and door is open in your studio, before you even start. Clean everything you want to lustre so it is dust free and dry. The to be extra careful wipe the surface to be lustred with alcohol. Use only clean brushes with a fine point. It is like working with runny nail varnish, so apply it as you would if you were painting a design on your nails. It takes a few minutes to dry, so don’t touch or you will smudge it (but I found a wipe with alcohol removed residue).

Place your lustred pieces in your kiln as if they are going into a glaze firing. Make sure oxygen can get to the lustre. I put the lid onto one of my mini jars and the lustre inside came out a dull mat gold colour, where as the rest were super shiny (that one will go back into the kiln the next lustre firing I do).

I fired my lustre (bought from at 100oC per hour up to 700oC with no soak and a natural cool down (very quick in my tiny test kiln). Watch the video and enjoy the shiny results.

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