|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Two bisqued terracotta mugs. The clay on the right has 0.35% added barium carbonate (it precipitated the natural soluble salts dissolved in the clay and prevented them coming to the surface with the water and being left there during drying). The process is called efflorescence and is the bane of the brick industry. The one on the left is the natural clay. The unsightly appearance is fingerprints from handling the piece in the leather-hard state, the salts have concentrated in these areas (the other piece was also handled, but has very little marking).
The Use of Barium in Clay Bodies
Considerations regarding the use of barium carbonate in pottery and structural clay bodies for precipitation of soluble salts.
A common problem with dry and fired ceramic. It is evident by the presence of a light or dark colored scum on the dry or fired surface.