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hitchmss

Glaze Chemisty Education

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So, I know that many of the folks who use this forum are way, WAY more knowledgeable about glazes than I am. I have my BFA from Miami of Ohio, which has a strong arts program, but my ceramics classes never really had glaze chemistry as a "course". Yes, we learned about the materials, and some of the interactions, but most of what I have learned has been on my own reading, or through my own experience of nearly 20 years. In comparison to a ceramic engineer, I am a newbie, but in the general spectrum, I consider myself to have intermediate levels of ceramics chemistry knowledge. 

Ive loosely looked into the local programs to see about taking classes specifically on glaze chemistry, but a number of issues arise; cost, time, and availability. Ive got a full time business which makes it difficult for classes, costs can be big, and classes arent always offered.

I like reading on my own, take it at my own pace, very cheap, etc, but all of the information I read doesnt really have a correlation to the next piece of information (generally no logical flow, i.e. center, open, pulls, shaping, drying......). Since some of the information is learned/read in a sporadic manner, it can really confuse the issues quickly. Yes, there are some books which do teach "glaze chemistry" but none that I have picked up, or read, really go into all the information that I want to learn, just the basics or a little extra.

My question is, for you ceramic chemistry masters of the universe, is there a text, website, class, etc that you would suggest to truly learn about ceramic chemistry, something which is very encompassing? I assume most of you who are chemistry geniuses, that you either have chemistry degrees, which have been applied to ceramics, or have ceramics degrees (either BFA, MFA, or PHD) which offered ceramics chemistry as classes.

Has anyone thought of offering a "web" based course, or designing an educational software for learning about glaze chemistry? Tony Hansen's site is FULL of wonderfully specific information, but I think of it more as a technical reference, rather than an instructional/educational source. Id be very interested if someone could develop a software, or course which would go into numerous levels of ceramics chemistry, and would be willing to pay a few hundred or more per course if I could truly learn what I want to. Of course there needs to be in studio testing, which thankfully I have my own studio, so the necessity to have physical classrooms is nil.

What do you all think? Is there a great way to learn more about ceramics chemistry without going back to traditional school to get a degree?

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@aperhapshand This is the kind of thing I am talking about! Based on the course description, and the little sample video, I am not sure it will provide much more information than I already have, but for $300, its something that wont break the bank, and might prove to be useful.

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3 minutes ago, hitchmss said:

@aperhapshand This is the kind of thing I am talking about! Based on the course description, and the little sample video, I am not sure it will provide much more information than I already have, but for $300, its something that wont break the bank, and might prove to be useful.

@GreyBirdhas taken the course

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@hitchmss

The course is excellent and a nice balance betweeen hard chemistry and what is practical for most potters while also providing a good platform for those interested in further study. If you want to learn the nitty gritty about color, defraction, sub orbitals then this is not that course. If you want to know that these things exist and can be mastered with very specific study then you may enjoy this course. 

The clay and glaze course are specific enough to dispel many incorrect things I have seen in print. They continue with online round table discussions from around the world and many of the members share their research results which to me is a force multiplier.

just my opinion as a former junior college  adjunct instructor who also made a living in and around engineering  most of my life so take it for what it is worth. 

Edited by Bill Kielb

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35 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

@hitchmss

The course is excellent and a nice balance betweeen hard chemistry and what is practical for most potters while also providing a good platform for those interested in further study. If you want to learn the nitty gritty about color, defraction, sub orbitals then this is not that course. If you want to know that these things exist and can be mastered with very specific study then you may enjoy this course. 

The clay and glaze course are specific enough to dispel many incorrect things I have seen in print. They continue with online round table discussions from around the world and many of the members share their research results which to me is a force multiplier.

just my opinion as a former junior college  adjunct instructor who also made a living in and around engineering  most of my life so take it for what it is worth. 

If I could double like your post I would! The course sounds like a wonderful next step for my current education level, and sounds like it has more information than I surmised from the video.

It sounds too like you suggest the $500 "Full" course, vs the $300 video tutorials only?

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@hitchmss

I can say the videos are very thorough and each section is probably two hours or a total of approximately 40 hours  in thirteen weeks, so fairly serious lectures. If time is an issue you may be interested in the videos.

For true class credit (out of Alfred I believe) then the full version has labs and requires login etc....

I found it to be an informative sharing environment that could be rewound on occasion. How cool is that, restart your college professor in a different time and any space!

Just an add here we actually added some simple Visual Basic code (crude) and aesthetic spruce ups to the Katz glaze worksheet which he shares with the public on his website. We received permission from him to redistribute locally to a glaze group that evolved and I have  been using the simplest aspects of  the spreadsheet to teach newbies at our studio some of the basics in short video format on our you tube channel.

thus far I believe it has helped many new comers and I believe when they see the adjustment results to our studio glazes they perk up, pay more attention and become more interested and willing to explore rather than just mix a recipe they found online with no idea what to do with it other than mix and hope.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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Local JC doesn't offer glaze chem; there are seven to ten mid fire glazes to use, period. However, instructor got me recipes for most of them (the red, particularly). They do have an Independent Study class option; perhaps later on I'll go back for that and focus on glazes (for "my" clays).

My initial journey into glazes was eased by

  Peterson's book, The Art and Craft of Clay - her explanation of unity makes sense to me! ...there's also a rundown of ingredients in there. Good place to start, imo, and refer back to...

  Tony Hansen's website and vids, a treasure-trove.

  Steve Loucks "Easy way to adjust glazes" vid

  John Britt's book and vids

  Hasselberth's Frog Pond Pottery website - he has some recipes with commentary on thar. I hope to get hands on his book at some point...

  This forum, another treasure-trove!

There is so much to know! I'd chosen seven recipes, then acquired ingredients to make them; ahead is test, trial, adjust; I can't go back and undo the initial choices - looks like (so far), there were a few good ones (aren't I lucky?).

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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 10:01 AM, hitchmss said:

What do you all think? Is there a great way to learn more about ceramics chemistry without going back to traditional school to get a degree?

I put together a reading list a few semesters ago for those who wanted to go deeper into the science supporting glaze making, and other such parts of making pots.  At the moment, I don't know have a copy handy.  I'll try to find the document this weekend.  

My answer to hitchmss's question:  Yes, but you might be surprised about the sources that will provide you the best insights, or the "traditional school"-ing you would find the degree.   

LT

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In the meantime, you can read these sources online which I have found to be very helpful. The first two links are articles written by Matt Katz and others.  UMF may seem very difficult to understand at first but once you understand the general concepts it will be very helpful in your glaze formulation. I recommend looking at Glazy.org, especially the calculator function. Glazy is great because it tells you what oxides (silica, alumina, sodium, calcium, etc.) and how much of each is being contributed by the glaze materials. The calculator allows you to adjust material amounts and see how the chemistry changes in real time. It can all be very overwhelming but the more you read the more you will understand and have control over your glazes. 

https://www.ceramicmaterialsworkshop.com/reports--publications.html

https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/TF_BoroninGlazes_0912.pdf

http://help.glazy.org/concepts/analysis/#unity-molecular-formula-umf

https://digitalfire.com/4sight/troubleshooting/index.html

If you are more of a visual learner, it may be helpful to do a Currie grid test of a glaze you like. More information on that can be found below:

https://wiki.glazy.org/t/currie-grids/183

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@tinbucket

Here is a link to a very basic video we are starting to do for newbies in the studio. Intentionally Very simple to try and get folks thinking in terms of overall chemistry of the glaze without a bunch of chemistry actually. If you like it add it to your list of resources.

 

 

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:27 AM, liambesaw said:

@GreyBirdhas taken the course

I absolutely LOVED the course. But I am kind of a science fan. I found it to have really useful information as I was in the process of trying to develop my own glaze from a local clay source. Gave me everything I needed and more to further understand glaze materials and the chemistry that is part of glaze formulation. Even though I found the slurpy sounds almost overwhelmingly annoying, that's just my quirk, and I was able to work through it because the course had such valuable information.

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