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The difference: Firing schedule!

Notes

These are the same glaze, same thickness, Ulexite-based G2931B glaze, fired to cone 03 on a terra cotta body. The one on the right was fired from 1850F to 1950F at 100F/hr, then soaked 15 minutes and shut off. The problem is surface tension. Like soapy water, when this glaze reaches cone 03 the melt is quite fluid. Since there is decomposition happening within the body, gases being generated vent out through surface pores and blow bubbles. I could soak at cone 03 as long as I wanted and the bubbles would just sit there. The one on the left was fired to 100F below cone 03, soaked half an hour (to clear micro-bubble clouds), then at 108F/hr to cone 03 and soaked 30 minutes, then control-cooled at 108F/hr to 1500F. During this cool, at some point well below cone 03, the increasing viscosity of the melt becomes sufficient to overcome the surface tension and break the bubbles. If that point is not traversed too quickly, the glaze has a chance to smooth out (using whatever remaining fluidity the melt has). Ideally I should identify exactly where that is and soak there for a while.

Links

Glossary Blisters
Blistering is a common surface defect that occurs with ceramic glazes. The problem emerges from the kiln and can occur erratically in production. And be difficult to solve.
Glossary Surface Tension
In ceramics, glazes melt to produce a liquid glass. That glass exhibits surface tension and it is important to understand the consequences of that.
Glossary Melt Fluidity
Ceramic glazes melt and flow according to their chemistry and mineralogy. Observing and measuring the nature and amount of flow is important in understanding them.
Glossary Firing Schedule
Designing a good kiln firing schedule for your ware is a very important, and often overlooked factor for obtained successful firings.
Firing Schedules Low Fire Drop-and-Hold

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