|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Modified: 2021-07-22 10:00:43
The same chemistry as the widely used G2934 but the MgO is sourced from a frit and talc instead of dolomite. It has a finer surface, less cutlery marking and staining.
|Ferro Frit 3249||10.00|
This is an "MgO matte". High MgO content is a common matting mechanism at cone 10 but also works at cone 6. This recipe has the same chemistry as G2934, however it sources the MgO from a frit and talc rather than from dolomite. The frit has a predictable chemistry, produces a much lower LOI (3.8 vs. 13.6), a smoother fired surface and better melt fluidity to host stains (stains look fantastic in this base).
Glazes that have MgO levels this high do tend to have crawling issues inside extreme concave contours (e.g. handle joins). Make sure wet glaze slurry wets all inside angles and is not applied too thick. And make sure the glaze dries quickly (glaze inside and outsides separately if needed to avoid water logging the bisque).
WARNING: Like the original, the degree-of-matteness is very dependent on cooling rate. Fast cooling (e.g. free-fall in a lightly-loaded or smaller kiln) produces a silky matte surface. Slower cooling (e.g. a heavily loaded kiln) produces a matter and drier surface (subject to cutlery marking). Test in your circumstances to decide whether to adjust your firing to accommodate this or blend in some glossy G2926B produce the silky surface.
Fusion Frit F-69 can be used instead of Ferro Frit 3249 (actually, it is better). This recipe employs a mix of calcined and raw kaolin to keep the drying shrinkage down (to avoid cracking on drying). If you use pure kaolin it will likely crack during drying. If you do not have calcined kaolin just make your own (bisque fire a container of powder).
This glaze has a very low thermal expansion and will not craze an any common clay body. It accepts stains exceptionally well.
We recommend doing cutlery marking tests on your ware. If they mark, blend in a little transparent glossy glaze (like G2926B). This will compromise the matteness a little but will reduce the marking.
Again, although matte in appearance, this glaze has a high melt fluidity. That means that brush-on colors could bleed.
Because this contains both calcined and raw kaolins you can adjust their ratios to control the compromise between dry hardness and drying shrinkage. If better gelling response to Epsom salts (or other flocculant) is needed trade one or two percent raw kaolin for bentonite (to increase the particle surface area).
1100 water, 1000 powder to get creamy mix.
Regular 2934 (with dolomite) took more water, about 1300. Nicer surface than G2934, same matteness, better fluidity.
Joe: April 29/19 Mixed up a batch and added 10% Mason #6021 Red stain. Final totals were: G2934Y + 10% stain weighed 5045 grams.
Water weighed 5450 grams.
Let glaze sit for 3 days to saturate before adding final water to bring to a S.G. of 1.43 and viscosity was approx. 12 seconds with ford cup. At these quantities, the final ratios would be:
Glaze powder (including stain) 48%
This mixture yielded about 7.3 litres of mixed glaze. This glaze was screened 80 mesh and has no Epsom salts added.
On the right is the G2934Y matte base recipe with only 8% Cerdec Orange encapsulated stain. G2934Y employs a frit-source for the MgO (as opposed to G2934 which sources the MgO from dolomite). If this was a glossy glaze the required percentage of stain would be higher. Other colors (like yellow, red, blue, black), are equally vibrant. But not all (e.g. purple), testing is needed. The porcelain is Plainsman Polar Ice.
This is the G2934Y matte cone 6 recipe with a red stain (Mason 6021). The one on the left was fired using the C6DHSC slow-cool schedule. The one on the right was fired using the drop-and-soak PLC6DS schedule. The only difference in the two schedules is what happens after 2100F on the way down (the slow-cool drops at 150F/hr and the other free-falls). For this glaze, the fast cool is much better, producing a silky pleasant surface rather than a dry matte.
The silky matte. 11% Mason 6021 encapsulated stain has been added to each. The one on the left is G2926B glossy base (it also has 2% zircopax as a fining agent for the micro-bubbles). But in the matte base on the right, G2934Y, no zircopax is necessary. It produces a stunning surface using this and other stains (including orange, yellow, black, purple), very pleasant to touch.
Although this is a whiteware body (Plainsman M370), under the transparent liner glaze (G2926B) the color appears ivory, off white. But with 8% added zircopax the quality of the color is transformed into a white that is even better than what a much more expensive New Zealand or Grolleg kaolin porcelain would exhibit with a transparent cover glaze. The outer glaze is G2934Y matte with yellow stain. The glazes were applied inside and outside by pouring and dipping (it would not be possible to apply the yellow evenly enough by brushing).
Yes. In this case the entire outside and inside of the mug need an evenly applied coat of glaze. In production, it would not make sense to attempt this by painting. For these reasons: Cost, quality, convenience. The right pail has 2 gallons of G2934Y base with 10% Cerdec yellow stain: $135. Cost of jars with the same amount: Almost $300! And you have to paint them on in three coats with drying in between. The one in the pail is a true dipping glaze (unlike dipping glazes sold by glaze manufacturers that dry slowly and drip-drip-drip just like brushing ones). This one dries immediately after dipping in a perfectly even layer (if mixed according to our instructions). And a bonus: This pail can be converted to brushing or base-layering versions using CMC gum.
This is the G2934Y matte base with overglaze decoration fired at cone 6. Although this matte has a high melt fluidity, overglaze decoration can be successful as long as it is not applied too thick and not overfired. But in this case the glaze is thickly applied. Once the critical thickness boundary is passed, the glaze's ability to hold overglaze in place quick degrades. The G2934 recipe has less melt fluidity and fires to the same surface, it would would be a better choice as the base glaze in this case (and could be applied thicker). However this Y variation would be a good choice as the medium if you want to make your own overglaze brushable colors.
These are 10 gram GBMF test balls that we melted on porcelain tiles at cone 4 (top two) and cone 6 (bottom two). They compare the melt fluidity of G2934 (left) and G2934Y (right). The Y version sources its MgO from frit and talc (rather than dolomite). It is a much more fluid melt because the frit is yielding the oxides more readily. But Y has a key benefit: It has a much lower LOI, producing fewer entrained air bubbles and therefore fewer surface defects. And, even though it runs much more, it has the same matte surface! As long as it is applied at normal thickness, the extra melt fluidity does not cause any running. And it has another benefit: Less cutlery marking issues. It is actually a very durable and practical food surface glaze, having a low thermal expansion that fits almost any body. Although these appear glossy here, on ware they have the identical pleasant silky matte surface.
This is G2934Y (a version of the G2934 cone 6 matte base recipe that supplies much of the MgO from a frit instead of dolomite). Like the original, it has a beautiful fine silky matte surface and feels like it would not cutlery mark. But, as you can see on the left, it does! The marks can be cleaned off easily. But still, this is not ideal. The degree of matteness that a glaze has is a product of its chemistry. But can we fix this without doing any chemistry? Yes. By blending this with G2926B clear glossy (90:10 proportions) the marks are gone and the surface is only slightly changed.
They have the same chemistry, but Y, on the right, sources MgO from a frit rather than from dolomite. Y is has a more fluid melt so it is not as opaque against the black slip underneath (thus it looks better on translucent porcelains). However its surface is just slightly finer. The Y one appears darker on the porcelain tile but it is actually brighter. The Y version is more likely to fire to a functional matte because it employs a frit to source the MgO (instead of dolomite which is variable from region to region).
Mugs hand-built by Tony Hansen. This base glaze is an adjustment to the original G2934 matte. It employs a frit to source the MgO instead of dolomite. The result is a glaze that melts and flows very well, yet is matte. And it is a great host for a wide range of stains, they look better in this than in a glossy base. The only color that has not worked well so far is purple.
The body is Plainsman M390. These are commonly-used base glazes. The top one is an MgO matte, next down is a calcium matte. They react very differently to these additions. Notice also the difference when titanium dioxide is applied thickly. Tin oxide fires whiter than zircon (e.g. Zircopax). Each opacifier has issues. Tin is expensive. Titanium is difficult to mix into the slurry (screening required), not as white or opaque, variations in thickness produce more difference in results and it can turn blue. Zircon is more likely to cutlery mark, twice as much is required and it amplifies the color of any iron present.
These two Plainsman M370 mugs were fired at cone 6, the left one with G2934 matte glaze, the right one with G2934Y4 matte. They look and feel identical in the hand. The two glazes have the same chemistry. But they employ different materials to source that chemistry. The secret of of the matteness is high MgO (magnesia content). In the glaze on the left that MgO is sourced by dolomite, a lot of it. The glaze on the right sources it from a special frit, Ferro 3249. The impact of this difference is visible in the melt flows, the fritted one is obviously melting and flowing better. On other clays, especially stonewares, the G2934 can have a dry surface that cutlery marks. Thicker applications make it worse. But the Y version exhibits no such issues. Its mattness, durability, cleanability and hardness are so good that it is being used in floor tile.
This is the G2934Y satin matte glaze recipe with Mason 6600 black stain (6%). The piece on the left was fired using the C6DHSC firing schedule (drop-and-hold at 2100F then 150F/hr to 1400F). The one on the right was fired using the PLC6DS schedule (drop-and-hold at 2100F then free-fall from there). The slow cool gives the glaze on the left time to crystallize, creating a stony matte. My kilns are generally lightly-loaded, so free-fall firings drop pretty rapidly, producing the effect on the right. This phenomena is a characteristic of high MgO glazes (ones having significant dolomite, talc, Ferro frit 3249). To get a surface between these extremes we make this glaze using a 20:80 blend of G2934 base (which fires even more matte on slow-cool) and G2926B glossy. In our typical fast-cool this mix produces the degree-of-matteness I like.
These are made from Plainsman M370 casting and fired to cone 6 using the PLC6DS firing schedule. There is a caution with thin cast ware: If walls are not thick enough to provide the porosity to be able to absorb all the water from the glaze, then the slow-drying glaze could crack and produce crawling during firing. Thinner pieces (not shown) did crawl in this firing.
G2934Y is a fabulous base glaze but it is not without issues. It has significant clay content in the recipe and high levels of Al2O3 in the chemistry, these make it susceptible to crawling. While it is normally fine as is, when you add certain stains to color it (especially at significant percentages) or opacify it using zircon (this has 10%), it can become more susceptible to crawling. On this mug, the glaze layer thickens at the recess of the handle join, that produces crawling during firing. Crawling can also happen on the insides of mugs, where wall and foot meet at a sharp angle. This happens, both because the glaze cracked here during drying and because the zircon stiffens the melt, making it less mobile. Adjusting the glaze recipe so it shrinks a little less on drying is an option (by trading some of the raw kaolin for calcined kaolin). But easier is to add a little CMC gum, start by letting it settle and replacing 10% of the water with gum solution.
The body: M370. Glaze: G2934Y (with added green stain). Firing: Cone 6 drop-and-hold. Glazing method: dipping (using tongs). Thickness: The same. The difference: Wall thickness. The one on the right was cast thinner so the glaze took a lot longer to dry (the bisque lacked sufficient absorbency). Common pottery glazes contain clays which need to shrink somewhat during drying. The bond with the bisque, although fragile, is normally enough to prevent cracking during drying if: drying occurs quickly. That happens when the body has enough porosity to absorb all the water quickly. Otherwise, cracks appear and these become crawls during firing. A complicating factor is that stain and/or zircon additions make an already-crawl-susceptible glaze even worse. Solution: Heat bisque before dipping, glaze the inside and outside separately (with drying between) or increase calcined kaolin:raw kaolin ratio in the glaze.
The body is Plainsman M340S. Cone 6. Left to right: G1214Z calcium matte base glaze with 6% titanium dioxide added. GR6-A Ravenscrag base with 10% zircopax (zircon). G2926B glossy transparent base with 10% zircon (this one produces the white "Kohler Toilet Bowl" appearance we are seeking to better). G2934Y silky magnesia matte base with 10% zircon.
This silky matte glaze produces an appearance very similar to dolomite matte glazed ware fired in cone 10 reduction. The degree of matteness can be controlled by the cooling rate of the firing. Although this body is made by Standard Ceramics, the effect would be similar using speckled bodies made by other manufacturers also. These pieces made by Tom Friedman.
This contains 6% Mason 6600 black stain (Mason 6666 gives dark brown, don't use it). The base recipe, G2934, is an excellent balanced-chemistry host for a wide range of stains to produce equally stunning reds, yellows, oranges, etc. The fritted version of the recipe, G2934Y, provides an even better host. This glaze is affected by the clay it is on. The body on the right is highly vitreous, this has produced a finer texture that glistens in the light. The body on the left is a whiteware having 1% porosity (Plainsman M370). Firing schedule is also a factor, slower cooling will dull the color more. We use the PLC6DS firing schedule.
G2934Y variations for fired hardness, COE adjustment, less crawling, etc
G2934Y is a popular recipe used worldwide in industry and by potters and hobbyist. This page shows it, and four variations, that adjust for different purposes. All have the same chemistry, but source the needed oxides from different materials.
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.
Also called "middle temperature" by potters, cone 6 (~2200F/1200C) refers to the temperature at which most hobby and pottery stonewares and porcelains are fired.
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