|Monthly Tech-Tip |
The mug on the left is a commercial brushing glaze. The mechanism of this effect is that the glaze is much thinner on the edges of the design, thin enough that its opacity is mostly lost. The potter is attempting to mix her own equivalent (center and right). Her glaze adds 4% tin oxide to a transparent. However, as you can see, she has added too much. Further testing using lower percentages will find the right balance between the opacity needed to cover the brown body on the flat areas and the transparency needed to expose it on the contours.
Opacity of ceramics glazes is normally achieved by adding an opacifier like tin oxide or zircon. However there are chemical profiles that can turn transparent glazes milky and make it cheaper to opacify them.
Glaze opacity refers to the degree to which it is opaque. There is more than meets to eye to the subject of opacity control.