A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt FluidityA One-speed Lab or Studio Slurry MixerA Textbook Cone 6 Matte Glaze With ProblemsAdjusting Glaze Expansion by Calculation to Solve ShiveringAlberta Slip, 20 Years of Substitution for Albany SlipAn Overview of Ceramic StainsAre You in Control of Your Production Process?Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?Attack on Glass: Corrosion Attack MechanismsBall Milling Glazes, Bodies, EngobesBinders for Ceramic BodiesBringing Out the Big Guns in Craze Control: MgO (G1215U)Ceramic Glazes TodayCeramic Material NomenclatureCeramic Tile Clay Body FormulationChanging Our View of GlazesChemistry vs. Matrix Blending to Create Glazes from Native MaterialsConcentrate on One Good GlazeCopper Red GlazesCrazing and Bacteria: Is There a Hazard?Crazing in Stoneware Glazes: Treating the Causes, Not the SymptomsCreating a Non-Glaze Ceramic Slip or EngobeCreating Your Own Budget GlazeCrystal Glazes: Understanding the Process and MaterialsDeflocculants: A Detailed OverviewDemonstrating Glaze Fit Issues to StudentsDiagnosing a Casting Problem at a Sanitaryware PlantDrying Ceramics Without CracksDuplicating Albany SlipDuplicating AP Green FireclayElectric Hobby Kilns: What You Need to KnowFighting the Glaze DragonFiring Clay Test BarsFiring: What Happens to Ceramic Ware in a Firing KilnFirst You See It Then You Don't: Raku Glaze StabilityFixing a glaze that does not stay in suspensionFormulating a body using clays native to your areaFormulating a Clear Glaze Compatible with Chrome-Tin StainsFormulating a PorcelainFormulating Ash and Native-Material GlazesG1214M Cone 5-7 20x5 glossy transparent glazeG1214W Cone 6 transparent glazeG1214Z Cone 6 matte glazeG1916M Cone 06-04 transparent glazeGetting the Glaze Color You Want: Working With StainsGlaze and Body Pigments and Stains in the Ceramic Tile IndustryGlaze Chemistry Basics - Formula, Analysis, Mole%, Unity Glaze chemistry using a frit of approximate analysisGlaze Recipes: Formulate and Make Your Own InsteadGlaze Types, Formulation and Application in the Tile IndustryHaving Your Glaze Tested for Toxic Metal ReleaseHigh Gloss GlazesHire Me to Fix a Specific ProblemHire Us for a 3D Printing ProjectHow a Material Chemical Analysis is DoneHow desktop INSIGHT Deals With Unity, LOI and Formula WeightHow to Find and Test Your Own Native ClaysI have always done it this way!Inkjet Decoration of Ceramic TilesIs Your Fired Ware Safe?Leaching Cone 6 Glaze Case StudyLimit Formulas and Target FormulasLow Budget Testing of the Raw and Fired Properties of a GlazeMake Your Own Ball Mill StandMaking Glaze Testing ConesMonoporosa or Single Fired Wall TilesOrganic Matter in Clays: Detailed OverviewOutdoor Weather Resistant CeramicsPainting Glazes Rather Than Dipping or SprayingParticle Size Distribution of Ceramic PowdersPorcelain Tile, Vitrified TileRationalizing Conflicting Opinions About PlasticityRavenscrag Slip is BornRecylcing Scrap ClayReducing the Firing Temperature of a Glaze From Cone 10 to 6Simple Physical Testing of ClaysSingle Fire GlazingSoluble Salts in Minerals: Detailed OverviewSome Keys to Dealing With Firing CracksStoneware Casting Body RecipesSubstituting Cornwall StoneSuper-Refined Terra SigillataThe Chemistry, Physics and Manufacturing of Glaze FritsThe Effect of Glaze Fit on Fired Ware StrengthThe Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic GlazesThe Majolica Earthenware ProcessThe Potter's PrayerThe Right Chemistry for a Cone 6 MgO MatteThe Trials of Being the Only Technical Person in the ClubThe Whining Stops Here: A Realistic Look at Clay BodiesThose Unlabelled Bags and BucketsTiles and Mosaics for PottersToxicity of Firebricks Used in OvensTrafficking in Glaze RecipesUnderstanding Ceramic MaterialsUnderstanding Ceramic OxidesUnderstanding Glaze Slurry PropertiesUnderstanding the Deflocculation Process in Slip CastingUnderstanding the Terra Cotta Slip Casting Recipes In North AmericaUnderstanding Thermal Expansion in Ceramic GlazesUnwanted Crystallization in a Cone 6 GlazeVolcanic AshWhat Determines a Glaze's Firing Temperature?What is a Mole, Checking Out the MoleWhat is the Glaze Dragon?Where do I start in understanding glazes?Why Textbook Glazes Are So DifficultWorking with children
The Trials of Being the Only Technical Person in the Club
If you are the only technically oriented person in your company, school or pottery club you will get a charge out of this report from a right-brained potter always fighting to drag others into understanding glazes.
Recently I got this email from a pottery club. It really makes me think about left-brained and right-brained approaches to ceramics and how we might work together a bit better than we sometimes do.
"Several of our glazes are showing evidence of failure and I wanted to work on "fixing" some of these problems. This has lead me down an interesting and very absorbing line of research that started with digging out and dusting off my old chemistry text books. Unfortunately, the other members were not very supportive of storing the one or two small containers of glaze, loading and running the test tiles through the kiln (yes I know seems incredulous). I was working on only one glaze at a time, made a very small batch as a base from which to start.
After explaining the process, I was told basically that they just weren't willing to deal with it. Yes these are still the people who complain about crazing! I know that adding silica to the recipe works for many glazes, but without the testing process I am not at all sure how much to use or if other properties are compromised. So they succeeded in dampening my enthusiasm - well not really - just putting off the final part of the research until such time as my own studio is built and I can just do it myself! They know I have glaze calculation software and they know I have a very extensive library - I'm the "techie" in the group that everyone always asks the "why does this work this way" questions of!"
It is understandable that most potters and sculptors are right-brained, creative and intuitive. However if you are fortunate to have a left-brained analyser in your club or as a friend it only makes sense to support them (even if they are eccentric enough to be interested in ceramic chemisty and material science!). These people are going to help you make glazes that don't shiver or craze, ones that don't dissolve in acidic or hot liquids, ones that don't cutlery mark or stain. If they are really good they will be able to do these things without compromising much of the appearance or texture of the glaze and they will be able to improve application properties of your glaze slurries so that they are a joy to use. They might even be able to combine a bunch of your glazes to use a common base, then you can get rid of all those bags of materials that are only used in one recipe. I am definitely left-brained and my intiution tells me these are going to be big issues in future and potters will face increasing scrutiny for the quality of the ware they sell.
Right-brained people are usually pretty quick to offer assistance with things like how to throw, how to design, how to glaze. But are they ready to listen also, to understand how glazes work, to make changes in the way things are done? Everyone in the club will benefit and so will the people that end up using the pottery.
|By Tony Hansen
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