Jump to content
beardsley

writing a glaze book

Recommended Posts

I inherited numerous glaze books from Leslie Beardsley in Ladysmith BC.  To honour his memory I am considering writing his glazes out, and creating them as a PDF for others.   I am a non-potter, but have some basic knowledge.  Is there a standardization or format that potters like their glazes written in.  Example  what comes first, does the user want to know the clay type, the Cone, the style of kiln..  ?

 

ty Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think the format of the books inherited would be a good guide. Or other glaze books on market.

copyright and intellectual property come to mind..

There was a spreadsheet format around these forums at one point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a glaze chem instructor, recipe formatting is a dicey subject. Each roll of the dice produces a different answer, depending on who you are, where you came from, and why you are here. So let's cover the basics.

The total quantity of materials in a base recipe should always total to 100 or very near to it. That 100 then can be interpreted as 100 percent, or 100 grams, or 100 ounces, pounds, or tons. Each individual material in the recipe will be measured in the same unit of measure, except for percentages as percent is not a discrete unit of quantity.  But that's where the notion of 100% becomes useful. No matter what size gross batch you wish to mix, an item that is 27.2% of the 100% total base will always be 27.2% of the gross batch. Now it is just arithmetic to make a small batch, a larger bucketful, or a barrel, and the proportions will always be correct.

There are 2 schools of thought on the 100% rule. Some believe the entire recipe, including the colorant oxides, opacifiers, suspension agents, etc. should total 100. After all, it's 100% of the whole recipe, right? Others, including me, believe the 100% should apply only to the fundamental materials (fluxes and glass formers) while the colorants, etc. are additions above the base 100%. This allows one to change the color of a glaze without changing the underlying glass, or easily analyze or compare the content of a several base glazes without needing to recalculate them to a common denominator.

Next, you have batch sizes. Many potters consistently mix each of their palette of glazes in a particular batch size based on their studio's needs. Some batches are large, others small. A potter's notebook may show a glaze that is a mainstay of the studio as having a list of materials totaling 8,743 grams while another recipe totals only 954 grams. There are no calculations to be made, just weigh out what the list says. That's what works for that potter's routine, but may not be useful for others.

Finally,  we must address the presentation order of the materials. Classical methods of using glaze chemistry to construct a glaze recipe typically start with the most complex of the raw materials, usually the feldspars or frits. These bring in the necessary fluxes and the quantities are manipulated to create the desired balance of fluxes. Single-oxide flux materials are also added at this time. Next, the clay materials are added to bring alumina up to the desired level, and finally pure silica is added until the recipe is fully balanced. Listing a recipe in this order demonstrates an intellectually rigorous development of the glaze, and many old-school potters keep doing it that way because that was what they were taught was the proper way to do things. However, that makes mixing the glaze more difficult than it needs to be. Some find it easier to stir the various materials into the water if they are added in order from largest amount to smallest, stirring the bucket after each addition. I find it best to always add the clay materials first so that the beginning slurry is immediately flocculated, and thus subsequent materials do not quickly sink to the bottom and hardpan. Then the rest of the materials in size order, largest amounts first.

Thus, my preferred format is probably different than any you might find in other potter's notebooks. You have Mr. Beardsley's books in whatever format he kept them, so you have a choice - you can simply republish them as found (and we must sort it all out), or you can do the recalculations and reformatting to suit some other standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, beardsley said:

I inherited numerous glaze books from Leslie Beardsley in Ladysmith BC.  To honour his memory I am considering writing his glazes out, and creating them as a PDF for others.   I am a non-potter, but have some basic knowledge.  Is there a standardization or format that potters like their glazes written in.  Example  what comes first, does the user want to know the clay type, the Cone, the style of kiln..  ?

 

ty Jan

So to answer your question there are some basics that may be helpful and glazy.org  may be of best help here. Most potters fire by method, then cone (temperature) and are trying to achieve a look as well as a specific texture. So not knowing the glazes you have,  let’s take cone 10 glazes (Highfire  glazes)  then oxidation or reduction, then gloss or matte, then color or effect. Sounds rather complicated for the non Potter so I think some time sorting on glazy will give you a better understanding of glazes in general.

As to the formulation, I would list exactly as he listed them just to avoid errors. Most potters will figure out their preference with respect to percentage and apportionment as well as feldspars first etc.... I forever am removing 2% bentonite from recipes where I feel it is unnecessary and was a leftover from the initial formulation process. When I do  this it is on me to ensure my thinking is correct, else I go back to the original recipe as written and verify it’s look and performance before I normalize it as I understand glaze formulation.

not sure that helps but I believe it gets you thinking how to classify them in an orderly way so you can begin assembling them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woah! That's a big can of worms. 

Here's my advice.  

1. Check out some glaze books printed in the last 10 years. To see all the different thoughts that went into it.  

2. Find a potter near you. Someone who has wood-fired, gas fired and electric fired and more. Someone who is still selling wares or teaching. 

Have this conversation with them. 

I am not familiar with LB. I really appreciate your generosity.  I really do.  There are lots of ingredients that have been taken out of glazes in the last 20 or so years. The future generation might even consider what we use a danger.

You need a partner. Without being in the ceramic world you need some help. Or at least a consultation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a specific method that I use when formatting glaze recipes, but it's not necessarily the same method others use. I always list recipes in order from complex materials to simple materials. So feldspars and frits are first, followed by 2 oxide materials (dolomite, wollastonite), followed by single oxide materials (whiting, zinc). Kaolin and flint are always last, in that order. The reason I do it that way is because that is the order in which once has to select materials when creating a recipe from a unity formula.

If you're not into glaze formulation, I think you'd be safe if you simply made sure all of your recipes total 100%, where colorants/opacifiers/bentonite (under 3%) are added in addition to the 100%.

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.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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