|Monthly Tech-Tip |
These 1 mm-sized crystals were found precipitated in a couple of gallons of glaze containing 85% Ferro Frit 3195. They are cubical, hard and insoluble. Why and how to do they form? Many frits are slightly soluble, the degree to which they are is related to the length of time the glaze is in storage, the temperature, the electrolytes and solubles in the water, interactions with other material particles present and the diligence of the manufacturer in mixing, correctly achieving the target chemistry and firing. The solutes interact or saturate to form insoluble species that crystallize and precipitate out as you see here. These crystals can be a wide range of shapes and sizes and come from leaded and unleaded frits. In industry this issue is not generally a problem because glazes are used soon after being made.
These flakes have been screened from a highly-fritted boron glaze mixed using hard water and stored for a year. They formed as a film across the top of the settled surface and on the walls of the bucket. Frits are stoichiometric, they should not dissollve, but they do. Perhaps this is evidence that frit makers are unable to precisely control production parameters.
Potters often store glazes for long periods so tiny spherical precipitate particles can form. These were found in a months-old bucket (about 2 gallons). These can appear over time, depending on factors like temperature, electrolytes in your water or solubility in the materials (likely, the frit is slightly soluble). The glaze slurry should be screened periodically (or immediately if you note the particles when glazing a piece). This is an 80 mesh sieve. Note the brush, using one of these gets the glaze through the screen much quicker than using a rubber spatula. The loss of material on the screen is tiny and inconsequential to the glaze.
It also contains less than 10% borax frit and some Cornwall stone.
Crystals or crystalline particles will often form over time in ceramic glaze slurries that contain slightly soluble materials.
|Materials||Ferro Frit 3195|
Ooids in Glazes