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Two stains. 4 colors. Will the guilty oxide please step forward.

We are looking at two pairs of samples, they demonstrate why knowing about glaze chemistry can be so important. Both pairs are the same glazes: G2934 cone 6 matte and G2916F cone 6 glossy. The left pair has 5% maroon stain added, the right pair 5% purple stain. The red and purple develop correctly in the glossy but not the matte. Why? The Mason Colorworks reference guide has the same precaution for both stains: the host glaze must be zincless and have 6.7-8.4% CaO (this is a little unclear, it is actually expressing a minimum, the more the CaO the better). The left-most samples of each pair here have 11% CaO, the right-most have 9%. So there is enough CaO. The problem is MgO (it is the mechanism of the matteness in the left two), it impedes the development of both colors. When you talk to tech support at any stain company they need to know the chemistry of your glaze to help.

One stain produces clear in one glaze and red in another. Another stain blue and purple. Why?

Links

Glossary Glaze Chemistry
Glaze chemistry is the study of how the oxide chemistry of glazes relates to the way they fire. It accounts for color, surface, hardness, texturem, melting temperature, thermal expansion, etc.
Glossary Opacifier
Glaze opacity refers to the degree to which it is opaque. There is more than meets to eye to the subject of opacity control.
Glossary Ceramic Stain
Ceramic stains are manufactured powders. They are used as an alternative to employing metal oxide powders and have many advantages.
Recipes G2916F - Cone 6 Stoneware/Whiteware Glossy Base Glaze
Crystal clear industrial dinnerware glaze
Recipes G2934 - Matte Glaze Base for Cone 6
A base MgO matte glaze recipe fires to a hard utilitarian surface and has very good working properties. Blend in the glossy if it is too matte.
Oxides ZnO - Zinc Oxide
Oxides CaO - Calcium Oxide, Calcia
Oxides MgO - Magnesium Oxide, Magnesia
URLs http://digitalfire.com/ins/DigitalfireTechTips.pdf
Digitalfire Tech Tips PDF Handouts

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