Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Joseph Fireborn

Recommend Me: A Glaze Material Book For Foundation Principles.

Recommended Posts

Help!

 

I have been looking at glaze books all morning online trying to figure out what I want to order.

 

I don't want a book that has recipes. I am looking for an educational book that explains in detail information about all the ins and outs of the materials commonly used in glazes. Not developing glazes, but just to throw examples out(these dont have to be in the book, this is just the type of stuff I am looking for): 

 

1. What temp does copper carbonate form the black microcrystals.

2. How does titanium aid in crystal growth.

3. Color responses and things like opacifying.

4. What temps do materials release gas, like specific numbers on each material.

 

Something like Digital fire, but more indepth?

 

I realize this might be a large ask, but I am just looking to understand a lot about the base ingredients more than glaze recipes or formulation.

 

I guess I need a potter's chemistry book really? One that explains all the common feldspars or coloring agents etc and what goes on with them at certain temps.

 

Is there anything like this out there? Surely someone has wrote something on this. Everything I find on Amazon is just about developing glazes etc. I don't need help developing glazes. I understand that process. I want to better understand the chemicals and natural feldspars and coloring agents found in the world. So I can read about them then try to run test applying what I have read and slowly develop it into the glazes that I am desiring.

 

I don't know if I am searching the wrong terms are what. But I figured you professionals could give me some guidance.

 

I realize I can run all these test myself, but I would like to at least have some baselines so I can narrow my testing down at the beginning.

 

This is the one I am leaning towards the most: https://www.amazon.com/Potters-Dictionary-Materials-Techniques-Fifth/dp/0812238109

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not everything you're looking for, but the book on my shelf that is closest is:

 

The Ceramic Glaze Handbook

by Mark Burleson

isbn 1-57990-202-2

 

This book really helped me understand the individual ingredients. The explanations are done with photos, not just words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

You are not going to find your list all in one place (unfortunately).  Digitalfire is a great resource particularly if you join.  The good side is that Digitalfire is constantly updated..... books go "stale" the minute they are printed.  As the field's knowledge base moves forward.... the stuff in books does not necessarily keep up.

 

The book you listed is a good one.  Also look at "Out of the Earth Into the Fire" -??????, "Ceramic Science for the Potter" -Lawrence, "Ceramic Glazes" - Parmelee.

 

best,

 

...................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digitalfire is a great resource particularly if you join.

 

I am a member of insight, is this the same thing? I constantly look at materials on that website, but I am just wanting a little more depth. Maybe that is up to me to figure out.

 

You are right though that books can become dated really quick. I have a bunch of programming books that are all practically useless except for the basic teachings.

 

I will look into those other books. I have a really good library system where I live and can find almost any book so far.

 

Thanks for the post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joseph, I second that book you are thinking about from Amazon that John recommended as a good one. It contains a wealth of information. Yes it's old but is full of very solid info. I can send you a few pages to get an idea if you like, just pick a topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joseph:

I went through where you are now several years back. I remember reading about crystalline glaze chemistry and the author stated "lithium has an affinity for zinc." My immediate thought was, what the H**L does that mean? Sounds all wordy and knowledgeable but in chemistry reality is was seriously wrong. Now if they would have wrote; " the band gap of lithium during disassociation produces a non-competitive electrostatic charge that would disrupt the ionic attraction between zinc and silica."  So just how deep do you want to go down this rabbit hole?

 

Hamer & Hamer is a good one... still cannot find my copy.

My favorite book on the technical aspects of glazes is not a glaze book at all: The Dictionary of Glass Techniques and Materials by Charles Bray

After all, glaze is just glass. Mr. Bray breaks down in specific terms how silica, alumina, and feldspar interact. It has more comprehensive info than any glaze book I have read.

 

Titanium is a seeding agent for crystals by the way: it does not produce crystals in and of itself. Go to my gallery and look at baby blue: the one with black specks. Each speck is a grain of titanium that I soaked in sulfuric acid so I could track how many grains actually nucleated a crystal.

 

When you start talking chemistry and glaze: there is a very long list of big words you have to learn. I would estimate somewhere in the 2000 hour range I have logged in the last 8 years reading technical/chemistry papers in relation to glaze and clay.

Covelant bonds, ionic bonds, disassociation, band gaps, reductants, oxidants, specific heat, ionization energy, kinetics, thermodynamics, reduction potentials, diffraction, polarization,.....on and on. Are you really sure you want to go down this road?

 

Nerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

 

 I remember reading about crystalline glaze chemistry and the author stated "lithium has an affinity for zinc." My immediate thought was, what the H**L does that mean? Sounds all wordy and knowledgeable but in chemistry reality is was seriously wrong. Now if they would have wrote; " the band gap of lithium during disassociation produces a non-competitive electrostatic charge that would disrupt the ionic attraction between zinc and silica."  So just how deep do you want to go down this rabbit hole?

 

The red highlighted sentence is why the blue highlighted sentence exists.

 

There are very, VERY few studio ceramic artists that go all the way down the Rabbit Hole.  The second red sentence is a sure fire way to NOT sell glaze books to potters.  :P

 

Or to get a publishing contract from a ceramic ARTS publisher.

 

William Carty from Alfred University periodically tries to bridge the ceramic engineering side of ceramics over to the studio arts side.  He gives talks at NCECA.  They are great.  They usually include one "gem" that blows away "common clay studio beliefs".  He simplifies the science a huge amount.  He still is speaking above the heads of most of the people in the room who CHOSE to be there to hear him.

 

Nerd is correct....... how much time do you want to devote to the science side of ceramics.....and how much to the art side?  Neither direction is wrong.  But that rabbit hole is a deep one.  People get their PhD's in the science side of ceramics.

 

Here's the kind of books that really get into this stuff:  http://www.springer.com/us/book/9780412131912

 

best,

 

.......................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The second red sentence is a sure fire way to NOT sell glaze books to potters.  :P

Just when I was editing the first 6000 words of my clay book, did I take a break and read this line.  Where is that delete button when I need it?

 

"the cation exchange between negatively charged"............. and this is why I should not write books..

 

Nerd

 

 

4. What temps do materials release gas, like specific numbers on each material.

Sometimes simple logic is better. When you fire clay to bisq, enough feldspar has melted to cause it to bond. The problem being that melting is not a "sudden" reaction when materials hit a certain temp. There are exceptions, but remembering which only clogs the memory pipes.

 

The key temperature you need to concern yourself with is 2050F. As Mr. Lawrence points out in his book: " Material Science for the Studio Potter"; this is the temp when metakaolin converts to spinel: which also tells you that feldspar is beginning to hit its maximum effectiveness. Silica/feldspar are actually expanding up to this point: the reason bisq is so porous. At 2050F however, the pores of the clay body begin to close and the process of vitrification begins.At 2190F, feldspar is spent; it has done all the melting it is going to do.Which is why glaze books tell you to do a long soak at this temp for a cone 6 fire. However, if you slow the kiln down at 2050F when this process first begins: it gives the clay plenty of time to off gas feldspar, gives spinel more time to develop; and vitrification values go way up.

 

When you start studying crystal development of any given metal oxide: then you need to throw out the glaze books entirely. You may have started with some FeO3, but firing to cone 6 reduced it back to good ole FeO. So you start searching FeO and find out what temps effect that specific metal.  The books call them "iron crystals", the reality is that iron is merely a colorant: crystals form primarily from silica. 99.8% of the glazes fired in this biz are covelant bonds: which simply means all the ingredients share molecules to create a polycrystalline glaze. Crystals my friend are a different breed: they are ionic bonds. Ionic bonds are held together by the electostatic forces of the molecules. They arrange themselves in a HCP (hexagonal closed pack) formation: see my avatar.

Baby Blue

 

At the nucleation sight, you can see the round speck of titanium. Titanium is the electrostatic irritant, that causes the zinc and silica to form around it. So if you want to explore crystals: then studying "ionic bonding."  Then you are going to have to study morphology: to see the different crystal shapes nature forms.I will let you off the hook however, the only two crystals formed in glazes are hexagonal and cubic. So if you want crystals; the feed stock in your glaze needs to be all hexagonal or mostly cubic. When glazes cool, they want to return to their original crystal habit. So you put very strong electrostatic materials with cubic crystals structures into a glaze with mostly hexagonal structures: then you create an ionic war- meaning there is a molecular war over which crystal structure will form.

 

Sorry..... I need to heed John's advice:  cubic lattices DO NOT have an affinity for hexagonal lattices.

 

Nerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay! 

 

Lots of great discussion here. Thanks for all the input on books and rabbit hole discussion. 

 

I should clarify that I don't plan on getting a self taught degree in chemistry and ceramic engineering. (At least not yet!)

 

I just want to understand more in depth basics then what I currently have. I think these books will be a good start.

 

Thanks for all the help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understanding Glazes by Richard Eppler & Mimi Obstler    

 

Written in 2005 and published by the America Ceramic Society. Skimmed though it over at my suppliers: seems more in line to your request. Covers each ingredient separately, some interactions between them, and several technical tables. The tables cover chemical analysis, temp ranges and blending guidelines. Covers gloss, satin and matte glazes: and formulation basics for each. A whole section on specialty glazes: lava, crackles, crystals.etc. Think this book is the right mix of technical information, glaze formulation, and chemistry.  

 

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Glazes-Richard-Eppler/dp/1574982222

 

Nerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joseph,
 
My recommended list of sources for basic glaze knowhow was posted last year here:
http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/15342-glaze-behaviour-why/?do=findComment&comment=116234
 
Robin Hopper's books "The Ceramic Spectrum" and "Making Marks" (available from CAD bookstore) are good starting points also but his approach is less chemically oriented and more experimental -- empirical.  Robin understood the chemistry but was interested in the outcome, not the process.
 
Potters seem to have concocted a pseudo-chemical glaze vocabulary that makes sense only to potters, so when reading a real chemistry textbook you need to be aware of the differences in the meaning of ordinary familiar words such as "flux," "melting," "bonding," ... ; modern silicate melt science does not use the Seger "unity formula".
 
Remember this ain't rocket science, it's just playing with mud and hot rocks.

 
LT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#4

 

 

 

About 14 - 20 % of the mass of normal soda-lime-silica batches is transferred into volatile CO2

You have that coming off the glaze which is in direct contact with the heat source. You also having it coming out of the clay, which is 6-7 times thicker than the glaze.   Starts in the 800C-870C range for the most part. Remember this is not a spontaneous melt, but one that requires time and increasing heat,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love reading up on chemistry but you can always melt some rocks and see what happens, that's the best way to do it.

 

I have been trying to think of a quick and dirty method to get a lot of results in a usable manner. I am not real interested at this time in just putting scoops of material into tiny bowls and firing them to see what happens. I know that is a more scientific way to go about it.

 

I was thinking about simply picking out a really simple clear glossy glaze, and a really simple matte clearish glaze.

 

Then adding materials at 5-10-15-20-25% increments and dipping tiles with catchers at each increment. Doing this two times for each one. One for a cone 6 no slow cool, and one with a slow cool. Then repeating the same thing for colorants, but something like 2-4-8-10-12%. 

 

This is the most basic method I could think of to get actual results. Is this the type of testing you did Joel?

 

I know you ran some currie grid test, but I find if I wanted to run grid for all the materials in my studio it would be months of mixing. Compared to a few days/weeks of hard work doing it the more simple way.

 

The problem I have with this is, that I wont get any information about what certain ingredients do with other ones. So I would have to later go back and make up test that do like. 2% copper with 2% titanium, 4% copper with 4% titanium, 2% copper with 2% zinc, etc etc.  I could easily go for years I imagine doing these test. 

 

Not sure I am wanting to go that far, that is why I was hoping a book would have some information about the reactions of materials with other known materials, so I could just pick and choose my experiments with a more fine comb. I am going to order a book pretty soon. Probably start with Out of Earth, Into the fire. Then move into Understanding Glazes. I am trying to find them at the library but it seems I am not having much luck! = ( Might have to order them.

 

What did you do Joel to experiment with materials, and did you end up using any of your information from the experiments? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about the grid after watching the video you posted with L shaped tiles. I have come round to the idea that only flat tiles are not the best way to do it. I am thinking if you could extrude L shaped tiles and have them in rows you can get both flat and vertical surfaces in the grid. Can't remember the guys name now but I liked the test tiles.

 

I think the grid method is the quickest way to get the most results. If I compare it to a line blend, you mix up 2 glazes, blend 5 times and get 5 results. The grid you mix up 4 glazes, blend 35 times and get 35 results. I think for a line blend it would be 15min for 5 results and a grid 60min for 35 results. They are vague estimates but that's 3 min a test for the line blend and 1.7min for the tile.

 

Sometimes the most basic tests of incremental additions have their place but I always think why not squeeze out the extra tests as I am measuring out glaze anyway. You get the test of 'what happens if I go from A to B' also with a C and D thrown in for half the price. 

 

An example might be using Campana Clear from JohnB 

Spodumene    11
Silica       20
Wollastonite 20
Kaolin       20
Frit 3134    21
Zinc Ox       8 

Let's see what happens with different zinc amounts and get glaze A no zinc, glaze B 15% zinc. Instead of doing a line blend I would think maybe take out all the spodumene and try that too. Now you get glaze C no zinc or spodumene, glaze A has 15% zinc, glaze D has 20% spodumene and B has both. The original glaze is probably somewhere in the middle of the tile with a whole mix of other glazes for little more effort. Maybe you also know the clear works well with 0.25% cobalt carb so after running the first tile you add cobalt to each glaze and run again to see how the changes may work with colour. Just need to make sure you mix enough of the corner glazes and know the total volume you removed.

 

These would be my thoughts on running tests with a glaze, there is no intended end point, just taking stuff out and putting too much back in to see what happens, the currie test only does this with silica and kaolin but pick whatever you like.

 

I couldn't put my finger on any knowledge I have gained but I have plenty of different surfaces to look at. I think you know most you need to about the oxides we are using but it's not until you melt them together you actually find out what happens. A lot of the time you end up with nothing much exciting but you can always go back to the tile to see the answer to your question. I find you need to ask the questions and line blends, trialax and currie grids are just quicker ways to more answers.

 

I think this is still my favourite tile. It's a 50/50 mix of whiting and soda feldspar for the flux with the typical currie varying kaolin and silica. Only 4 ingredients but so many different surfaces and textures.

gallery_23281_912_3819450.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JBaymore

Joseph,

 

Just as a "gauge" for you in your thinking about approaching this study........... 

 

In my typical first level, required, BFA degree 'Glaze Chemistry' course I teach, which lasts for 15 weeks a semester....... two formal 3 hour classes a week........ one being a "class room" session and one session solely a lab work session........ plus their homework time outside of class time............

 

They mix up and fire a LOT of tests.  All are applied onto 3-d forms... not to flat tiles.  Flat test tiles are great... if you are making tiles... or maybe plates.

 

Unfortunately... nothing takes the place of lots of hands-on testing work.  "Book-learning" is very important.... but to really understand what the books are saying.... you need objects to relate that information into context.

 

Also........ the very first testing assignment is simply to find a glaze recipe in a book, online, from a friend, etc. that you really like.  I then use that recipe they have chosen to address the concepts of "recipe" and "formula", to broadly look at raw materials and their compositions, to introduce oxide based versus materials based approaches, to introduce glaze lab working procedures, to hit stuff like the impacts of significant figures and error factors, and so on.  They mix that glaze up and apply it in different ways on 3-d forms.  THEN they will live with that recipe for a while....... working on structured variation to it to make specific changes.  And analyze those changes at both the materials level and the oxide level.

 

This is just one part of the materials course.  Yeah... they do a lot of testing.  And learn to use Insight software.

 

They can optionally also take a Level II glaze chem course.  All are required to pass the level 1 class to graduate.

 

best,

 

........................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I occasionally teach a short glaze class here at my studio. My students are mostly 40+ years old, and haven't seen a chemistry or math book in decades. I have to teach them how to convert to percentages and batches, so any really in-depth chemistry is out of the question. And to be honest, it's not my forte either. I can pretty easily figure out how to make what I need, but I don't get into hexavalent whatevers. In fact at this point there are so many glaze recipes available on the web that I primarily just alter existing formulas rather than working from scratch. The purpose of the class is simply to give them a basic understanding of how glazes work, and give them the tools to run tests in their own studios, not to go down the rabbit hole or turn them into chemists.

 

Anyway, in my class we do simple fusion buttons of all the raw materials, then we do line blends and triaxial blends to make real glazes. For all of those blends we always use 10% EPK,  20% silica, and 70% flux in each corner. That give them a lot of simple, useable glazes, and they start to see how the fluxes behave, like how powerful frits are. We also run triaxial color tests and talk about the purpose of silica and alumina in the glazes and how to adjust them using the unity formula. They get a bit flustered by unity, so we talk a lot about how to adjust without getting mathy about it. They are generally amazed at how simple a good, functional, interesting glaze recipe can be.

 

With a basic understanding of the alumina:silica:flux relationship you can do an awful lot with glazes. Throw in glaze formulation software and limit formulas and you're good to go. Anything super specific can be found on the web.

 

I should also add that for me, it's not about how interesting any one glaze is, but rather how they behave when they are layered. I never make a pot with less than 2 glazes on it, often 3 or 4. You can't replicate than kind of movement with a single glaze. Most of my glazes are very simple, 5 ingredients or so, and nothing exotic- just feldpsars, frits, dolomite, zinc, and whiting. I don't even stock wollastonite or strontium. But with just those you can create a huge range of surfaces that do some pretty amazing things when layered. All of the glazes I use are also my class glazes, so I have to make sure that they're all easy to apply and very consistent in firing results so even my beginning students can be successful with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am with Joel.  Throw out limit formula, there are toooo meannny exceptions :lol:

 

LT

 

For students who are new to glaze formulation, and who are looking to make glazes for functional work, limit formulas are very important. You have to learn the basics before you start pushing the envelope. And even then you shouldn't discount limit formulas. Pretty much any time someone posts a glaze here on the forum that's having problems, the issue is caused by something being out of limits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading all this, thinking about it a few days, I think I have came to a conclusion on how I am going to experiment from this point onward. I am not really looking for exceptional single glazes that do insane things. More looking to understand the physical differences and things that happen between the materials in glazes. 

 

I have a plan now. Thanks for all of your comments and help. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.