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Celadon Glaze

A type of stoneware glaze normally fired in a high temperature reduction atmosphere kiln. It is transparent and stained green or blue by the presence of iron oxide.

Key phrases linking here: celadon glaze - Learn more

Details

A green or blue-green reduction fired glaze that has been stained using iron oxide. Celadons were first developed by the ancient Chinese. The celadons that potters are accustomed to firing today are glossy transparent whereas the ancient versions were more waxy and opaque. Thus there is dispute among practitioners and purists about what exactly a celadon really should be or what glaze can truly be labelled 'Celadons'. There are many books and webpages on the subject.

Typically celadon glazes are employed on porcelain but can also be used effectively on stonewares. Modern Celadons usually possess their high gloss because of high amounts of sodium and potassium, these oxides also cause the crazing often seen. However this problem can be solved by substituting some of the Na2O with lower expansion MgO or CaO and increasing the SiO2 (using glaze chemistry of course). Celadons have traditionally been fired at cone 10 but lower temperatures are possible with the addition of more flux (e.g. Gerstley Borate).

Blue celadons typically have high sodium/potassium, high silica, not too much iron, and low titanium (Grolleg kaolin is a good option to minimize the TiO2). Some claim that a little tin oxide and/or barium carbonate will help with the blue color. Some people are investigating creating celadons for cone 6 oxidation using stains to impart the color.

Related Information

Example of a logo done using a polymer plate


A mug with an embosses logo make by a letterpress stamp

The buff stoneware mug is fired at cone 10R and celadon glazed. The recesses were colored with a tenmoku glaze (on bisque by painting it into the recesses and sponging away the high spots). An outer containment line on the plate prevented the outside line from smearing outward and it provided a definite profile for cut-out after stamping.

A down side of high feldspar glazes: Crazing!


A runny, amber, crazed glaze

This reduction celadon is crazing. Why? High feldspar. Feldspar supplies the oxides K2O and Na2O, they contribute the brilliant gloss and great color but the price is very high thermal expansion. Scores of recipes being traded online are high-feldspar, some more than 50%! There are ways to tolerate the high expansion of KNaO, but the vast majority are crazing on all but high quartz bodies. Crazing is a plague for potters. Ware strength suffers dramatically, pieces leak, the glaze can harbor bacteria and customers return pieces. The simplest fix is to transplant the color and opacity mechanism into a better transparent, one that fits your ware (in this glaze, for example, the mechanism is simply an iron addition). Fixing the recipe may also be practical. A 2:1 mix of silica:kaolin has the same Si:Al ratio as most glossy glazes, this glaze could maybe tolerate 10% of that. That would reduce running, improve fit and increase durability. Failing that the next step is to substitute some of the high-expansion KNaO, the flux, for the low-expansion MgO, that requires doing some glaze chemistry.

Close-up of cone 10R celadon bubbles suspended in the glass


This is happening because this glaze lacks flux and is not fluid enough to enable their migration. In the upper half they are more evident (double thickness).

GR10-E Ravenscrag:Alberta Slip with 10% calcium carbonate


At cone 10R this produces an overly melted glaze. It also crazes.

Ravenscrag GR10-E celadon glaze


(50:50 Ravenscrag Slip:Alberta Slip) at cone 10R on porcelain (right) and stoneware (left).

GR10-E 50:50 Alberta Slip:Ravenscrag Slip celadon at cone 10R


On a white stoneware and a porcelain. The glaze is transparent, it has depth and varies in shade according to thickness, breaking to a much lighter shade on the edges of contours.


50:50 Alberta Slip:Ravenscrag Slip cone 10R celadon on iron stoneware, buff stone and porcelain.

Just enough iron in this celadon to highlight the design


There is only 0.35% iron oxide in this recipe, as much as ten time less than normal. But this is just enough to provide a darker shadow (where the glaze is thicker) at the edges of the design. This is porcelain fired at cone 10 reduction by Janel Jacobson.

The multitude of things iron oxide can do in reduction


Glazes range from celadon to heavy iron crystal surface

Iron oxide is an amazing glaze addition in reduction. Here, I have added it to the G1947U transparent base. It produces green celadons at low percentages. Still transparent where thin, 5% is producing an amber glass (and the iron is showing its fluxing power). 7% brings opacity and tiny crystals are developing. By 9% color is black where thick, at 11% where thin or thick - this is “tenmoku territory”. 13% has moved it to an iron crystal (what some would call Tenmoku Gold), 17% is almost metallic. Past that, iron crystals are growing atop others. These samples were cooled naturally in a large reduction kiln, the crystallization mechanism would be much heavier if it were cooled more slowly.

Alberta Ravenscrag Cone 6 Brilliant Celadon


The magic of this recipe is the 5% extra frit, that makes the melt more fluid and brilliant and gives the glaze more transparency where it is thinner on edges and contours. The extra iron in the Plainsman P380 (right) intensifies the green glaze color (vs. Polar Ice on the left).

The specks are cobalt oxide agglomerates that were made by slurrying cobalt oxide and bentonite, then crushing it to sizes large enough to make the specks.

Inbound Photo Links



Ravenscrag Alberta Slip Celadon mug by Tony Hansen

Links

URLs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celadon
Celadon on Wikipedia
Glossary Ceramic Glaze
Ceramic glazes are glasses that have been adjusted to work on and with the clay body they are applied to.
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