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The Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic Glazes

Section: Glazes, Subsection: Introduction

Description

By knowing which level to view a glaze from you are much better equipped to understand and control it. The levels are process, recipe, material, oxide.

Article Text

Glazing is perhaps the most difficult aspect of ceramics and the one for which you bear the most accountability (for design,  functionality, and safety). It is important to know 'why' glazes do what they do. It is better to 'understand' and control a few glazes than struggle with many that end up controlling you. The traffic in glaze recipes and the trend toward abdicating control to suppliers and consultants, these mentalities breed ignorance and invite trouble. The answer is to formulate your own glazes.

To understand the complexities of glazes one must marshal several different viewpoints, that is, understand things on different levels. There is usually no one simple answer for formulating or fixing a glaze. We recommend you develop the ability to determine which level is most closely related to the problem at hand. Study the trouble shooting articles at the bottom on this page and note how thinking in terms of these four levels helps to formulate questions that lead to solutions.

We encourage you to learn about materials and ceramic calculations.

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By Tony Hansen




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