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A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt Fluidity
A One-speed Lab or Studio Slurry Mixer
A Textbook Cone 6 Matte Glaze With Problems
Adjusting Glaze Expansion by Calculation to Solve Shivering
Alberta Slip, 20 Years of Substitution for Albany Slip
An Overview of Ceramic Stains
Are You in Control of Your Production Process?
Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?
Attack on Glass: Corrosion Attack Mechanisms
Ball Milling Glazes, Bodies, Engobes
Binders for Ceramic Bodies
Bringing Out the Big Guns in Craze Control: MgO (G1215U)
Can We Help You Fix a Specific Problem?
Ceramic Glazes Today
Ceramic Material Nomenclature
Ceramic Tile Clay Body Formulation
Changing Our View of Glazes
Chemistry vs. Matrix Blending to Create Glazes from Native Materials
Concentrate on One Good Glaze
Copper Red Glazes
Crazing and Bacteria: Is There a Hazard?
Crazing in Stoneware Glazes: Treating the Causes, Not the Symptoms
Creating a Non-Glaze Ceramic Slip or Engobe
Creating Your Own Budget Glaze
Crystal Glazes: Understanding the Process and Materials
Deflocculants: A Detailed Overview
Demonstrating Glaze Fit Issues to Students
Diagnosing a Casting Problem at a Sanitaryware Plant
Drying Ceramics Without Cracks
Duplicating Albany Slip
Duplicating AP Green Fireclay
Electric Hobby Kilns: What You Need to Know
Fighting the Glaze Dragon
Firing Clay Test Bars
Firing: What Happens to Ceramic Ware in a Firing Kiln
First You See It Then You Don't: Raku Glaze Stability
Fixing a glaze that does not stay in suspension
Formulating a body using clays native to your area
Formulating a Clear Glaze Compatible with Chrome-Tin Stains
Formulating a Porcelain
Formulating Ash and Native-Material Glazes
G1214M Cone 5-7 20x5 glossy transparent glaze
G1214W Cone 6 transparent glaze
G1214Z Cone 6 matte glaze
G1916M Cone 06-04 transparent glaze
Getting the Glaze Color You Want: Working With Stains
Glaze and Body Pigments and Stains in the Ceramic Tile Industry
Glaze Chemistry Basics - Formula, Analysis, Mole%, Unity
Glaze chemistry using a frit of approximate analysis
Glaze Recipes: Formulate and Make Your Own Instead
Glaze Types, Formulation and Application in the Tile Industry
Having Your Glaze Tested for Toxic Metal Release
High Gloss Glazes
Hire Us for a 3D Printing Project
How a Material Chemical Analysis is Done
How desktop INSIGHT Deals With Unity, LOI and Formula Weight
How to Find and Test Your Own Native Clays
I have always done it this way!
Inkjet Decoration of Ceramic Tiles
Is Your Fired Ware Safe?
Leaching Cone 6 Glaze Case Study
Limit Formulas and Target Formulas
Low Budget Testing of Ceramic Glazes
Make Your Own Ball Mill Stand
Making Glaze Testing Cones
Monoporosa or Single Fired Wall Tiles
Organic Matter in Clays: Detailed Overview
Outdoor Weather Resistant Ceramics
Painting Glazes Rather Than Dipping or Spraying
Particle Size Distribution of Ceramic Powders
Porcelain Tile, Vitrified Tile
Rationalizing Conflicting Opinions About Plasticity
Ravenscrag Slip is Born
Recylcing Scrap Clay
Reducing the Firing Temperature of a Glaze From Cone 10 to 6
Simple Physical Testing of Clays
Single Fire Glazing
Soluble Salts in Minerals: Detailed Overview
Some Keys to Dealing With Firing Cracks
Stoneware Casting Body Recipes
Substituting Cornwall Stone
Super-Refined Terra Sigillata
The Chemistry, Physics and Manufacturing of Glaze Frits
The Effect of Glaze Fit on Fired Ware Strength
The Four Levels on Which to View Ceramic Glazes
The Majolica Earthenware Process
The Potter's Prayer
The Right Chemistry for a Cone 6 MgO Matte

The Whining Stops Here: A Realistic Look at Clay Bodies
Those Unlabelled Bags and Buckets
Tiles and Mosaics for Potters
Toxicity of Firebricks Used in Ovens
Trafficking in Glaze Recipes
Understanding Ceramic Materials
Understanding Ceramic Oxides
Understanding Glaze Slurry Properties
Understanding the Deflocculation Process in Slip Casting
Understanding the Terra Cotta Slip Casting Recipes In North America
Understanding Thermal Expansion in Ceramic Glazes
Unwanted Crystallization in a Cone 6 Glaze
Volcanic Ash
What Determines a Glaze's Firing Temperature?
What is a Mole, Checking Out the Mole
What is the Glaze Dragon?
Where do I start in understanding glazes?
Why Textbook Glazes Are So Difficult
Working 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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