This recipe, our code 77E14A, contains 6% red iron oxide and 4% tricalcium phosphate. But the color is a product of the chemistry. The glaze is high Al2O3 (from 45 feldspar and 20 kaolin) and low in SiO2 (the recipe has zero silica). This calculates to a 4:1 Al2O3:SiO2 ratio, very low and normally indicative of a matte surface. The iron oxide content of this is half of what is typical in a beyond-tenmoku iron crystal glaze (those having enough iron to saturate the melt and precipitate as crystals during cooling). The color of this is also a product of some sort of iron crystallization, but it is occuring in a low-silica, high-alumina melt with phosphate and alkalis present. Reducing the iron percentage to 4% produces a yellow mustard color (we thus named this "Red Mustard").
This iron crystal glaze is Ravenscrag slip plus 10% iron oxide fired to cone 10R on Plainsman H550. Since Ravenscrag slip is a glaze-by-itself at cone 10, it is an ideal base from which to make a wide range of glazes.
Ravenscrag Slip, by itself, produces a silky transparent glaze at cone 10R. It is an excellent base to which to add colorants and modifiers. This is a simple addition of 10% iron oxide (Ravenscrag Slip already contains 2% iron, making about 12% total Fe2O3). This GR10-L recipe produces a stunning crystalline fired surface on these two porcelains. This "beyond-tenmoku" effect happens because of the extra iron and a slow cooling rate. The 12% iron dissolves in the glaze melt during heatup in the firing, but during cooling, the extra 2% precipitates out to produce these surfaces. The iron also acts as a flux in reduction firing, greatly increasing melt fluidity. Take that last statement seriously: The iron is a flux and the glaze will melt much more (it can wreck your kiln shelves if it runs). That being said, Ravenscrag Slip is more melt stable than other bases, making it a more stable host for the iron addition.
|FeO - Ferrous Oxide
Iron Oxide Red
Red iron oxide is the most common colorant used in ceramic bodies and glazes. As a powder, it is available in red, yellow, black and other colors.
Iron Red Glaze
A type of ceramic glaze, typically fired around 2200F, where iron oxide in the cooling glass precipitates out to form a striking red crystalline mesh on the surface.