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.
How many times have you copied a glaze formula, only to find that it didn’t work as expected? It is not unheard of for glazes with the same formula to produce different results. While this may seem like a dead end, it does not have to be.
Mimi Obstler’s Out of the Earth, Into the Fire
studies glazes by examining the connection between the ceramic raw
materials and the surface of a ceramic form. This book presents a
twofold approach to the study of claybodies and glazes that is both
empirical and historical in nature. It is empirical because it seeks to
create and understand ceramic surfaces in terms of a hands-on
experience with the primary minerals of our earth. It follows a
historical approach in its focus on a single mineral as the core of the
glaze or the claybody.