|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Before jumping to conclusions consider all the factors that relate. This is M340S, it is fired at cone 6. That temperature is a "sweet spot" for this effect, high enough for the particles to bleed and low enough that they do not bloat the body. Such bodies contain only about 0.2% of 60-80 mesh granular manganese (compare this to many glazes that employ 5% powdered manganese as a colorant). Further, the vast majority of the manganese particles are encapsulated within the clay matrix. The tiny percentage exposed at the body surface are under the glaze. It is not the manganese particles themselves that expose at the glaze surface. Rather particle surfaces that contact the underside of the glaze bleed out into it from below, doing so as a function of glaze thickness and melt fluidity. Thus, food contact with a glass surface having isolated manganese-pigmented regions is not at all the same thing as with raw manganese metal. Consider also that the total area of manganese-stained glass on a functional surface is extremely small for this effect.
This silky matte glaze produces an appearance very similar to dolomite matte glazed ware fired in cone 10 reduction. The degree of matteness can be controlled by the cooling rate of the firing. Although this body is made by Standard Ceramics, the effect would be similar using speckled bodies made by other manufacturers also. These pieces made by Tom Friedman.
In ceramics, it is used primarily in clays and glazes to achieve fired speckle (including the brick industry).