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Crystal Glazes: Understanding the Process and Materials

Section: Glazes, Subsection: General


Fara Shimbo's book on crystal glazes is the most understandable and practical we have seen. The book is full of color pictures and test tiles.

Article Text

Have you always wanted to create cyrstalline glazes? Then this is THE book. Kiln controllers were supposed to make crystal glazes easy. What happened? As usual, understanding the materials and chemistry makes all the difference. And there are so many other little things to know about clay, firing, shape of ware, application of glaze, etc. You cannot afford not to be aware of the research of Fara Shimbo.

She has made every mistake and documented every success. Page after page of beautiful color sample tile grids and exactly what you need to do to make them. Fara does not just grow crystals, she 'farms' them. She fringes them, shapes them, seeds them, mixes different types, colors them, co-ordinates them with the background, she even names them. Fara is a woman in love with crystals. She has developed a 'language of crystals' and her enthusiasm is so contagious that the readers will also entertain leaving regular pottery for the lure of crystals. The idea of concentrating on form and letting the glaze do the decorating is very compelling.

There is something for everyone in this 225 page book. Yes, there is lots of eye candy and glaze recipes but also more technical information on firing, the chemistry of crystals and color and trouble shooting than you will find anywhere else. Just wait till you see how Fara does reduction firing in an electric kiln.

This book is a landmark in ceramic publishing. Not only does it treat this complex subject in the most comprehensive way yet, but it is an *Acrobat eBook. It has no constraints on size, it is full color throughout and it is easily available and less expensive than paper books (a paper version will be available also). You can print any pages you need or take the CD to a service bureau and have them print it in color.

By Tony Hansen

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