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Frits melt so much more evenly and trouble free

Notes

These two specimens are the same terra cotta clay fired at the same temperature (cone 03) in the same kiln. The chemistry of the glazes is similar but the materials that supply that chemistry are different. The one on the left mixes 30% frit with five other materials, the one on the right mixes 90%+ frit with one other material. Ulexite is the main source of boron (the melter) in #1, it decomposes during firing expelling 30% of its weight as gases (mostly CO2). These create the bubbles. Each of its six materials has its own melting characteristics. While they interact during melting they do not mix to create a homogeneous glass, it contains phases (discontinuities) that mar the fired surface. In the fritted glaze all the particles soften and melt in unison and produce no gas. Notice that it has also interacted with the body, fluxing and darkening it and forming a better interface. And it has passed (and healed) most of the bubbles from the body.

Links

Glossary Frit
Frits are used in ceramic glazes for a wide range of reasons. They are man-made materials of controlled chemistry with many advantages or raw materials.
Glossary Phase change
Glossary Boron Frit
Most ceramic glazes contain B2O3 as the main melter. This oxide is supplied by great variety of frits, thousands of which are available around the world.
Glossary Phase Separation
Phase separation is a phenomenon that occurs in transparent ceramic glazes. Discontinuities in the internal glass matrix affect clarity and color.
Glossary Glaze Bubbles
Suspended micro-bubbles in ceramic glazes affect their transparency and depth. Sometimes they add to to aesthetics. Often not. What causes them and what to do to remove them.

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