Tag: testing

Limestone Black Glazes

Not exactly Oil Spots in the truest sense, these two variations were concocted and tested along with the rest of my oilspots glazes. Both of these recipes utilize some local dolomitic limestone I found and incorporated into the recipes. If you want to re-create these, using a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 Dolomite and Limestone will get you very close.

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Dolomitic Limestone from Cache Valley, UT

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Epsilon Phase Iron in Tenmoku

For those of you who are really interested in Oil Spots, there’s an article from 2014 that I think is worth a long look. This particular article was what got me interested in SEM microscopy when I was in Grad School:

Learning from the past: Rare ε-Fe2O3 in the ancient black-glazed Jian (Tenmoku) wares – Nature.com

Abstract

         Ancient Jian wares are famous for their lustrous black glaze that exhibits unique colored patterns. Some striking examples include the brownish colored “Hare’s Fur” (HF) strips and the silvery “Oil Spot” (OS) patterns. Herein, we investigated the glaze surface of HF and OS samples using a variety of characterization methods. Contrary to the commonly accepted theory, we identified the presence of ε-Fe2O3, a rare metastable polymorph of Fe2O3 with unique magnetic properties, in both HF and OS samples. We found that surface crystals of OS samples are up to several micrometers in size and exclusively made of ε-Fe2O3. Interestingly, these ε-Fe2O3 crystals on the OS sample surface are organized in a periodic two dimensional fashion. These results shed new lights on the actual mechanisms and kinetics of polymorphous transitions of Fe2O3. Deciphering technologies behind the fabrication of ancient Jian wares can thus potentially help researchers improve the ε-Fe2O3 synthesis.

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Ceramic Materials Workshop – The Middle Glazes

                         It’s been pretty cool to watch Ceramic Materials Workshop develop into what it’s become. Matt and Rose Katz are building an amazing thing, and their list of glaze disciples pushing the envelope of glaze magic has grown steadily. I’d planned to become an initiate myself and take the October class… but life on a remote island in Southeast Alaska has it’s own demands on my time, attention, and energy. That said, I just got this info from CMW in my email, and it looks great – certainly in line with what Ceramic Action is all about. I’d encourage you to check it out, you can not go wrong. You can even use the code CMWRULES and get the whole shebang for 75$ (Less than the cost of my average bar tab)!!!

The Middle Glazes – The Story of Mid-Temperature Glazes

This self guided workshop is a comprehensive, 54 part study into Mid-Temperature glazes. Also known as Cone 6 or Cone 5-6, these glazes are one of the most popular firing temperatures in ceramics. They can be beautiful, enticing, engaging and incredibly frustrating. In this workshop we will explore in depth, what we know to make the most out of Mid-Temperature glazes. We will take the mystery of materials, formulas and firings and translate them for real working artists.

Topics we will Explore:

  • What is a glaze?
  • What is Cone 6?
  • Chemistry basics
  • Glaze chemistry
  • Materials
  • Understanding glaze formulas
  • Understanding cone 6 formulas
  • How temperature works
  • Glaze mapping (prediction)
  • Matte glazes and fake matte
  • Glaze durability
  • Converting Cone 10 glazes
  • Effects
  • Identifying Cone 6 glazes
  • Altering glazes
  • Problems with Cone 6
  • And even more!
For a limited time, get 25% off by using the coupon code: CMWRULES
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Linda Bloomfield – Science For Potters

Fans of the blog will have noticed a lot more activity of late. It seems like one of my favorite old adages is appropriate: Good things come to those who wait. Rather than over promising on a bunch of ideas I may or may not deliver on, I’ll go with another one of my favorite adages: Actions speak louder than words. That last one seems… pretty appropriate.

In any event, I’ve been working on putting together a recommended books section, and felt like I might as well start with one that I’m in! regardless of that last fact, it couldn’t be more appropriate to what this blog is all about.

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A few years ago when I was neck deep in my Lava Oilspot research, Linda reached out and asked me to contribute some images and information for this book. I couldn’t have been happier with how my work and images were presented. It’s got all kinds of useful information on connections between rocks, glazes, ceramics, and chemistry.

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It’s thoughtfully put together, and if you’re looking to get a handle on using wild materials or learning more about some clay chemistry, this is a great one to check out.

You can find this book here, or by clicking on the image below.

Copper Sand

 

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Remains of Maria Copper Mine, near Millford, UT

 

I talk a lot about the process of exploring and discovering in my work. Indeed, my MFA Thesis Show was all about giving a full context of how I go about adventuring, prospecting, developing, and ultimately making pots from the stuff I find.

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I love the idea of being an alchemist – and I describe myself as someone who uses mineralogy, chemistry, and fire to forge beautiful objects and glazes. But I have to admit that more than anything, discovering the really compelling stuff is mostly a matter of luck, circumstance, and time. It’s very labor intensive, and I’d guess that for every 10 rocks I bring into the studio, it’s usually only one or two that have any real practical value in my work. I suppose that given enough time and enough firings, one could utilize just about anything under the sun… but in the real world there’s just never enough time – or test tiles!

Materials
Collected and Melted Materials from near Red Lodge, MT

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