|Monthly Tech-Tip |
This is a cone 04 terra cotta piece. The coffee stain cannot be removed because the coffee has also leached off the surface gloss. Glazes are glass. Glass is leachable if the chemistry is out-of-balance. So is this glaze poisoning the user? No, it has an insurance policy. It is transparent, made from a mix of two frits (Ferro 3124, 3134) plus kaolin and silica. The recipe contains no heavy metal colorants or pigments and no toxic fluxes like lithium or barium. But the body is red, how can the glaze be white? A white porcelain-like engobe layer was applied at the leather hard stage and it was clear-glazed after bisque. The fix: The predominant frit, 3134, has almost no Al2O3 (the oxide most important in producing durability). So I increased the Al2O3 (doing the chemistry in my Insight-live.com account). I also began firing one cone higher, at cone 03.
Ceramic glazes can leach heavy metals into food and drink. This subject is not complex, there are many things anyone can do to deal with this issue
Liner-glazing is a very good way to assure that your ware has a durable and leach resistant surface. It also signals customers that you care about this.
Are Your Glazes Food Safe or are They Leachable?
Many potters do not think about leaching, but times are changing. What is the chemistry of stability? There are simple ways to check for leaching, and fix crazing.