November 21, 2012

Glaze Chemistry

Steel Wool Specks and Spots

Glaze is all chemistry. Chemistry and good record keeping too. One of our favourite glazes here at the studios was the result of accidentally adding a material twice. It turned out so nice, but we didn’t quite know how to reproduce it without lots of testing. It later became the base for the Seagull Egg gaze.
For a new series of work, we’re made up a bunch of tests and investigated some new things to make just the right glaze. Speckles are one thing we love but also hate. Often associated with heavy stoneware wares of the 60’s or just impure ingredients and contaminants. We wanted just a touch of speckley goodness. One idea we gathered from an interesting youtube video was using steel wool. The above image is a steel wool pad after a quick firing to about 1050 °C. The result is a brittle mass of blue-grey fibres that crumble at the touch. We added only a teeny bit to our glaze just 0.025 of a percent and we’ll soon see what that does. Fingers crossed. 

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