|Monthly Tech-Tip |
The glaze is cutlery marking (therefore lacking hardness). Why? Notice how severely it runs on a flow tester (even melting out holes in a firebrick). Yet it does not run on the cups when fired at the same temperature (cone 10)! Glazes run like this when they lack Al2O3 (and SiO2). The SiO2 is the glass builder and the Al2O3 gives the melt body and stability. More important, Al2O3 imparts hardness and durability to the fired glass. No wonder it is cutlery marking. Will it also leach? Very likely. That is why adequate silica is very important, it makes up more than 60% of most glazes. SiO2 is the key glass builder and it forms networks with all the other oxides.
Ceramic glazes that mark from cutlery are either not properly melted (lack flux), melted too much (lacking SiO2 and Al2O3), or have a micro-abrasive surface that abrades metal from cutlery.
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.
A Low Cost Tester of Glaze Melt Fluidity
This device to measure glaze melt fluidity helps you better understand your glazes and materials and solve all sorts of problems.
|Oxides||Al2O3 - Aluminum Oxide, Alumina|
|Oxides||SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide, Silica|