Question:

What is a glaze?

Essential components

The essential components of a glaze are silica, fluxes, and alumina. Silica is the basis of most glasses. The melting point of silica is over 3000oF, so we add fluxes to lower the melting point of the glaze. Alumina is needed to keep the glaze from becoming too fluid when it melts. Feldspar provides all three of these compounds and is the main ingredient in most cone 10 glazes.

Cream Apricot

Cream Apricot
Cone 03
Oxidation
Potash Feldspar 30
Whiting 30
Kaolin 30
Titanium 10
*See Disclaimer*

Feldspar

Typically when formulating a glaze we'll start with a feldspar, add a flux to lower the melting point, add clay to help keep the raw glaze in suspension and to help make the glaze adhere to the bisqueware, and add flint to keep the glaze from crazing (crackling). Colorants and opacifiers are added after the base glaze has been tested. Creating new glazes takes long hours of mixing small batches and firing them on test tiles. The choice of ingredients and proportions can be guided by calculations or by using rules of thumb and trial and error. Usually it's a little bit of both.

Tomato Red

Tomato Red
Cone 03
Oxidation
Potash Feldspar 42.52
Slica 200# 18.9
Kaolin 6.3
Magnesium Carbonate (Light) 5.51
Whiting 6.3
Bone Ash (Synthetic) 10.24
Red Iron Oxide 10.24
*See Disclaimer*

Why Glaze?

Why should we glaze our pots? Historically, most pottery was glazed to increase its function. Glazing provides a hard, water tight, scratch resistant, and sanitary surface. In addition, a properly formulated glaze also strengthens a piece of ware. Glazing gives us more control over the aesthetics of our pieces. We can decide color, surface, and any decorative elements we want to add to our work. Finally, keep in mind that we don't have to glaze our pots. Raw clay can be quite beautiful, and it can be decorated in many ways that don't require glaze.

Dry Alligator

Dry Alligator: Raku Reduction. Not suitable for tableware! Bisque fire work to 1100o C. Mix glaze same day as firing. Apply glaze thickly Dribble glaze on thickly for effects. *see disclaimer*
Gerstley Borate 52.5
Nephelene Syenite 12
Bone Ash 23.5
Copper Carb 12

Blue semi matt to glossy

Blue semi matt to glossy
Matt and best if fairly thin, glossy if too thick. 1260-1280oC in normal reduction
potash feldspar NR 39,60
china clay 18,80
quartz 14,60
whiting 22,90
titanium oxide 4,20
cobalt carbonate 1,60

Mossy Green

Mossy Green
Cone 03
Oxidation
Potash Feldspar 33
Whiting 34
Kaolin 30
Cobalt Carbonate 1.3
Red Iron Oxide 4.0
*See Disclaimer*

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