Digitalfire Ceramic Glossary
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There is a close link between the way glazes fire in a kiln and their chemistry. Physical properties like color, hardness, melting temperature, thermal expansion, leachability, etc are all direct products of the chemistry. Understanding the relationship between the absolute and relative amounts of the common oxides appearing in a typical glaze formula (not a recipe) to the physical presence of a fired glaze itself is the key to control. An education in glaze chemistry usually starts with a study of each of the dozen or so oxides that a fired glaze is conceptually structured from and what properties each contributes; then a study of what materials contribute what oxides and finally how to use a computer program to study existing glazes and explain their behavior and start adjusting them to alter properties or fix problems. Understanding this is well within the reach of anyone and is actually much simpler than trying to grasp the relationship between the recipe of a glaze and its behavior.
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INSIGHT is ceramic chemistry