A couple of years ago, master potter Tom Turner hosted a two-day
workshop. Fortunately, for those who were not lucky enough to attend
the workshop, he had the whole thing filmed and turned it into a DVD.
The DVD is chock full of little nuggets of wisdom that come from
Turner’s many years of making pottery. I picked out three of those
little nuggets to share with you today.
I looooooooooooove a matte glaze, but I have to admit, other than some very basic information, I didn’t really have a good understanding of what makes a glaze matte…that is, until I read a recent Technofile article in Ceramics Monthly. What’s Technofile, you ask? It is a terrific new department in CM in which a technical issue in ceramics is explained in depth by an expert. Today, as a sampling of the great stuff in Technofile, I am presenting an excerpt on matte glazes (on account of my deep affection for these surfaces!).
In today’s post, crystalline potter Diane Creber explains the basics of growing crystals and how crystalline glaze potters have been recently experimenting using reduction to enhance the pre-formed crystals in their glazes. Plus she shares a couple of great crystalline glaze recipes and a crystalline firing program for a digital controller.
Five Reasons to Convert Cone 10 Reduction Glazes to Cone 6: A Potter Shares His Rationale and His Recipes
Today, Rick Malmgren explains the benefits of firing his reduction glazes lower and shares some of his great cone 6 reduction glaze recipes.
Though many are unaware of it, poor glaze fit can reduce the strength of a fired ceramic piece to as little as one-fifth the strength of a similar piece with ideal glaze fit. While good glaze fit seldom occurs by accident, it can be planned for and controlled. Some ceramic artists use glaze fit to induce crazing as a decorative technique (crackling) while others artists may want to avoid a “crackle” glaze.
In today’s post, we are presenting a little intro to glaze mixing and testing from Richard Zakin. In it he explains how the glaze making process is easily mastered if you have the right tools, follow an ordered procedure, and take the work seriously.
Phases are specific forms of materials. The most familiar phases are solid, liquid and vapor. Any phase of a material is identical in composition and structure in all parts of that phase. For instance, a glass of water is the liquid phase of H2O, top to bottom; if it weren’t, we’d call it something else, like ice if it were solid (structural change), or lemonade if it had lemon and sugar dissolved in it (compositional change).
Beautiful, soft, muted-color brushstrokes and washes of water-soluble metal salts decorate Gary Holt’s translucent porcelain bowls and plates. The simplicity and quiet presence of his works belie the years that Holt spent experimenting and perfecting his technique. Using water-soluble metals salts (WSMS) demands excellent technical skills and careful attention to details.
Barium carbonate has long been used as an ingredient in high-fire glazes, sometimes conferring unique properties upon glazes. One of the alkaline earth carbonates, it has also been used as rat poison (large doses can be toxic to humans as well). Glazes containing it ought to be checked for barium leaching if they are intended to hold food or drink, or reserved for surfaces that do not come into contact with food. It is not my intent to present the research on barium toxicity here, but to present a course of action for replacing it in glazes.
One of the more fascinating, sometimes frustrating parts of ceramics is learning to balance the innumerable factors that affect the outcome of a firing. Glaze ingredients, the clay body used, firing cycles, atmospheres, kiln-stacking techniques and geography (to name a few variables) can all affect firing results.