The best way to learn about ceramic glazes and glaze materials is to test them. By studying what happens when varying amounts of various ingredients are combined in a glaze and then fired to various temperatures, you start to understand how materials affect each other, and therefore how to troubleshoot when your results are not what you wanted. But it can be intimidating to delve into glaze chemistry. It is extremely complex, and includes the word ‘chemistry’ in its name, which to some (me included) is an immediate red flag. So in today’s post, Greg Daly gives five excellent tips for getting the most out of glaze testing. Read on, and then get out there and test!
The May 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly is out, and with it the ever popular Emerging Artists feature. 2014′s crop of artists includes 14 potters and sculptors. In today’s post, several of them share the glaze recipes they use to make their fresh and interesting work.-Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
A triaxial blend is an excellent tool for learning about glazes and materials but if you’re new to glaze testing, just the words “triaxial blend” might give you pause.
Never fear! John Britt is here to demystify the triaxial blend in today’s video post. In this clip John clearly explains how a triaxial blend is set up and shows a fired example of a triaxial blend with stains, which nails the point home. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Sometimes the glazes we use are good for one purpose, but not so good for another. A glaze might perform well when dipping or pouring, but dry so quickly when brushed the it’s nearly impossible to get an even coat. Glaze additives are the secret ingredients that can help remedy these problems. In today’s post, from the PMI archives, our own Jessica Knapp puts additives to the test. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
p.s.-This article appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. To buy this back issue in PDF format, click here!
How to Test, Tweak, & Perfect Your Glazes with John Britt
In this all-new Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video, John Britt lets you tap into his encyclopedic knowledge of ceramic glazes to build your own understanding of this complex topic. Starting with glaze testing—because testing is key to understanding raw materials and ceramic processes—John explains various testing methods that will help you get great results quickly. On disc two, John geeks out on materials, diving into the three basic components of a glaze—fluxes, glass formers, and refractories—and how various ceramic materials fit into those categories and work together to produce myriad outcomes. With this video, you’ll be able to deepen your understanding of glaze chemistry and improve your glazes at your own pace.
Glaze mixing can be daunting to the novice, especially when the recipe contains an ingredient that is unfamiliar or unavailable. But with a few simple melt tests, you can learn a lot about what materials do at your firing range and start making educated guesses as to what might make a good substitute for the unfamiliar ingredient. In today’s post, an excerpt from our new Ceramic Handbook Cone 5-6 Glazes: Materials and Recipes, Deanna Ranlett walks us through the testing she did to find substitutes for some frits. By following her lead, you can figure out substitutes for the materials you might be missing in a glaze! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Cone 5–6 Glazes: Materials & Recipes provides an easy way to create your own glazes by understanding and testing what’s already been tried. This glaze book is a first of its kind because it pulls together more than 180 glaze recipes and hundreds of variations from 30 different artists in one book.
Glazes are sometimes formulated to intentionally crawl and create reticulated surfaces resembling lichens, leopard coats, or lizard skin. Today, Robin Hopper presents a slip recipe and a base glaze recipes for such an effect, and gives examples of this slip and glaze combination with various ceramic colorants added.
Tom Turner has a new glaze video out and today I’m happy to announce that it’s available in the CAD bookstore! In this clip, Tom explains simple modifications you can make to a glaze recipe that can often lead to numerous new glaze discoveries! For example, by removing the iron from his example recipe, he comes up with a beautiful magnesium matt base glaze that could then be tested with other colorants. Have a look! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
It is especially true in the ceramics world that one person’s fault is another person’s fancy – especially when it comes to glaze “defects.” Many ceramic artists deliberately create faults in their glaze surfaces to achieve a particular aesthetic. But, of course, there are some cases in which a glaze must be perfect for reasons of safety or hygiene. So just in case glaze defects are driving you “craze-y” (sorry, I just couldn’t “resist”), today Robin Hopper gives some expert pointers on how to solve five of the most common pottery glaze problems (such as crawling, shown at left). – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.