Mayco’s Crystal Glazes allow ceramic artists to add texture and depth to their designs with ease. Often cited as “Art in a Jar”, our Crystal Glazes are easy to use while providing outstanding results. But which one is right for you? Below you find key information for these colorful glazes.
Q. What is the difference between Jungle Gems™ and Crystalites™ glazes?
A. Prior to Mayco converting to all non-toxic glazes, Jungle Gems™ bore a health caution label. Now everything Mayco manufactures is non-toxic. When you look at the color chart you may notice that the Crystalites™ crystal sizes are a little bigger than Jungle Gems™. Both glazes are very unique in the market.
Q. What is a crystal glaze?
A. Both Jungle Gems™ and Crystalites™ have gloss glaze bases filled with pieces of frit that bloom (melt) during the firing process. As the crystals bloom, they produce dramatic, colorful effects.
Q. Can I use either Crystal glaze with Stroke & Coat® or Foundations® glaze?
A. Yes! Both of these Crystal glaze lines are compatible with Stroke & Coat® and Foundation® glazes.
Q. How do I use the Crystal glazes with Stroke & Coat®?
A. Crystalites™ and Jungle Gems™ are known as "Art in a Jar" and offer a variety of application methods.
Use the glaze by itself. Apply three coats all over the bisque and fire for the unique effects. Pretty, unique and one-of-a-kind. Example: Deano the Dinosaur
Use the glaze as an accent by applying one coat of the crystal glaze over Stroke & Coat® or Foundations® for a little pop. Example: Signs of Spring
Apply the glaze over the bisque and then cover with 2-3 coats of Stroke & Coat®. When the crystals "bloom" they push the Stroke & Coat® aside. So effectively, you have changed the background color with the crystals remaining true to color.
Q. What happens if I get the clear glaze on the Jungle Gems™ or Crystalites™ glaze?
A. Do not clear glaze. Create a "Do Not Dip" shelf. Ok, we all know it will happen on occasion, it is Murphy's Law. Clear glaze will change the color of the glaze. Sometimes it is beautiful, sometimes not so pretty. Sometimes your customer will like the results. The main thing is you don't want the crystals to fall into your dip tank and get on other projects. With two to three proper coats, you have properly glazed the piece.
Q. Are Jungle Gems™ and Crystalites™ glazes safe for dinnerware?
A. Both glazes are non-toxic. However, due to the crystals, there may be surface issues, making it difficult to properly clean. We recommend using the crystal glazes on non-food surface areas. For example the outside of a mug, outside of a bowl, rim of a plate, decorative pieces, etc.
Q. What do ‘surface issues’ mean?
A. As the crystals "bloom" it could create tiny cracks in the surface of the glaze. Food could get trapped in the cracks and cause bacteria to grow.
Q. What's the benefit of using these glazes?
A. Crystal glazes are perfect for the customer that is afraid of failure or does not feel that they can paint a stick figure. Apply three coats of the glaze and they have a great piece!
The crystals add a great design element that takes no extra time.
Apply three coats and you don't have to dip the pottery. This saves you time and money.
Combine with Stroke & Coat® or Foundations® for exciting designs.
A great up-sell product.
Good for kids and adults.
Q. How do I price or sell the glaze?
A. This is a personal choice. In the next section, we have listed how different studio owners price the glazes in their studio Pick what works best for your business model.
Q. There are so many pretty colors! How do I get started?
A. This is known as analysis paralysis! Pick twelve of your favorite colors and start there. Or an easy way is to start is with one of the kits: Crystalites™ Kit S2-KIT2 - 12, 4 oz. jars or Jungle Gems™ Kit CG-KIT2 - 12, 4 oz jars. Then go hog wild and order every color because your customers will love this glaze.
Sell the 4 oz. jars as an up-sell. I only mark mine up about 25%, they sell well and give good experiences to those who are feeling "art challenged." I run a class once a month featuring a project where they get their own jar, making sure it doesn't use the whole thing and then during the class show them other items that would coordinate with the project to plant the seed for a return visit where they can use the remainder of their jar. I have a separate display from Stroke & Coat®.
– Emily Herrington Ohland, Uniquely Yours, IN
We up sell the entire 4 oz jars, suggesting as people are waiting for coats to dry that they may want to do multiple pieces. We have lots of samples around the studio and when people ask about them, we walk them over to the display of jars and chart. We love to use the phrase that Jon Dean uses like "Art in a Jar."
– Lisa Willard Haas, Art From the Heart, VA
I have a display of pieces done with Jungle Gems™/Crystalites™. I charge a small fee to use the "specialty glazes" - $2 or $3 depending on how much is used. If the project will use the whole jar, I just sell it to them retail.
– Linda Sirianni, Dipinto A Mano, OR
Baked Goods Pottery sells the jars for $5 each. The customer can use as much or as little as they want and keep the jar. Baked Goods Pottery has a separate shelf with a painted sample in front of each jar, so the customer knows what the finish will look like after firing.
– Jim Campbell, Baked Goods Pottery, MO
These glazes have saved me with the adult customer! I show them projects with the crystal glazes and it is a sold project. The key is to have a sample of the fired glaze.
– Amie Vandamme-Garner, Firehouse Pottery, MO
Give Mayco Crystal glazes a try in your studio. You and your customers will love the results. Click on individual projects shown below for step-by-step glazing and decorating instructions featuring Mayco Crystal glazes!