|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Two clear glazes fired in the same slow-cool kiln on the same body with the same thickness. Why is one suffering boron blue (1916Q) and the other is not? Chemistry and material sourcing. Boron blue crystals grow best when there is plenty of boron (and other power fluxes), alumina is low, adequate silica is available and cooling is slow enough to give them time to grow. In the glaze on the left B2O3 is higher, crystal-fighting Al2O3 and MgO levels are a lot lower, KNaO fluxing is significantly higher, it has more SiO2 and the cooling is slow. In addition, it is sourcing B2O3 from a frit making the boron even more available for crystal formation (the glaze on the right is G2931F, it sources its boron from Ulexite).
Boron blue is a glaze fault involving the crystallization of calcium, boron and silicate compounds. It can be solved using ceramic chemistry.
Ceramic glazes form crystals on cooling if the chemistry is right and the rate of cool is slow enough to permit molecular movement to the preferred orientation.
Clouding in Transparent Glazes
There a many factors to deal with in your ceramic process to achieve transparent glazes that actually fire to a crystal-clear glass
A natural source of boron, it melts at a very low temperature to a clear glass.