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Pottery/Sealing The Base Of Glazed Mugs

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Question
Hello Ti,
A potter friend has kindly given us personalised,glazed coffee mugs - but the base is unglazed and before we realised, we acquired a permanent white stain on our bedside table! Is there anything we can 'paint' beneath each mug to render it safe (or at least as safe as a common china mug!)and yet will withstand the dishwasher? Thanks, Brenda

Answer
Dear Brenda,

Thank you for your recent question. Since the cup has been glazed and fired, the easiest way to protect furniture from seepage staining is to paint enamel paint on the footing of the cup. The foot is the ring on the bottom of the cup that touches the table. It is not necessary to paint the entire bottom.

To help with coloring, I suggest you take your mug to a local department store and match the color of the mug with fingernail polish. You will want to purchase good quality nail polish so that it doesn't chip away after painting. Nail polish is enamel pain and since you are only going to need enough for the bottom of the cup foot, there is no need to purchase a large can of enamel paint.

Select the color you want, whether matching the cup or a neutral color such as black or white. You can use the brush that is in the bottle to paint the cup. Carefully paint a line of the polish on the bottom of the foot. Allow to dry for 1 hour before painting on a second coat.

Once the second coat is painted on, let the cups set for 72 hours to completely dry. The reason for the time frame for drying is the clay is bisque ware and is porous, therefore, some of the paint will pool in the tiny holes in the clay and will need time to dry completely.

After the paint is dry, the cups are ready to use and can be washed in the dishwasher and are safe for food because the enamel paint is not coming in contact with food products. Be sure and save the polish, just in case you need to ever do a touch up on the paint in case it ever becomes chipped.

By the way, to remove the water stain from your bedside table, take a cotton cloth and place it over the water stain. Using an iron, set on cotton, iron the table with several back and forth motions. Check the stain to see if it has been removed. If not, repeat. Continue until the table has been heated enough to remove the stain. Do not leave the iron on the cloth in a stationary position for too long as it will melt the finish on the table. Keep the iron moving at all times.

I hope this information helps you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service. Good luck!

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com  

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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