Tichane’s Tests

Some of Robert Tichane’s glaze tests and reproductions of Chinese Glazes donated to the Freer and Sackler Galleries: https://archive.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/default.cfm?searchTerm=tichane&btnG.x=0&btnG.y=0&btnG=Search

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Traditional celadon

Recent firing with traditional porcelain stone glaze. In the past I’ve tried but failed to use modern materials like feldspar and kaolin to capture the beautiful, unctuous surface and depth of porcelain stone celadons. In this glaze the coloration is completely due to iron occurring naturally in the material.

Colors of Celadon: Iron and Titania

Following images from Bonham’s 2014 auction, The Feng Wen Tang Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics The best resource I’ve found about color in Chinese glazes is Nigel Wood’s Chinese Glazes.  Chapter 8, Iron in Chinese Glazes, covers iron in detail, while celadons are covered throughout the book. There’s a great range of colour in Chinese celadons.  In traditional… Continue reading Colors of Celadon: Iron and Titania

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Glazy: One Year Old

One year old! Exactly one year ago, Glazy registration was opened to the public. Since then, we’ve made a ton of improvements and added many more recipes. Thank you! 94% of website server fees have been paid with your generous donations. Thanks to all of you who have added recipes, photos, and contributed valuable ideas… Continue reading Glazy: One Year Old

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Glaze Transparency Test

Recently I’ve been wondering if there’s a reliable way to test glazes for transparency.  A method that would allow one to compare results from different firings and glaze types. Paint manufacturers have a system for testing paint opacity that uses a black and white card from which a contrast ratio can be calculated. The primary manufacturer is Leneta.… Continue reading Glaze Transparency Test

Spraying Glaze

The spray canister is attached via rubber hose. A shut-off valve to controls air flow.

Spraying glaze is a fairly complicated process.  There are craftspeople in Jingdezhen whose only job is going from workshop to workshop spraying glaze.  There are so many factors involved with spraying (the type of work, thickness of work, type of glaze, glaze consistency, air pressure, spray head type, even weather) that it requires years of experience to… Continue reading Spraying Glaze

Mixing test glazes

Carefully measure out each ingredient into the bowl, placing into separate piles so that any extra material can be easily removed.

It’s important to wear a NIOSH certified mask whenever using dry glaze materials. I guess mixing up glazes isn’t that big of a deal, but I’m sharing my technique just in case there are some absolute beginners out there. I find it easier to use a digital scale, see my article here. Glazes “don’t travel well”, in… Continue reading Mixing test glazes

Seeing the cones

I’ve seen a few techniques for seeing into the kiln at high temperature.  An old friend of mine still prefers blowing into the peephole, unfortunately on more than one occasion it has resulted in the particles resting in the peephole to be blown in as well, settling on the ware.  The Jingdezhen firing masters I’ve met… Continue reading Seeing the cones

Glazy open source ceramics recipe library

Glazy Website

I invite all of you to join Glazy, a ceramics recipe library that allows anyone to browse and add pottery recipes for free. Glazy was built using the latest open source tools, including Laravel and Bootstrap.  The database of ceramic recipes was originally seeded with data from Linda Arbuckle’s GlazeChem database and John Sankey’s glaze database. John Britt, Alisa Liskin Clausen, Terry Rorison and… Continue reading Glazy open source ceramics recipe library

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Glazy: Glaze recipes most used materials

With the data stored in Glazy it is possible to visualize recipes using graphs and charts. In the future, these visualizations and more will be added to Glazy at http://glazy.org/graphs Below are simple pie charts showing the most commonly used glaze materials for both Mid-Fire and High-Fire glazes. For those who are just starting out with glazes, these charts… Continue reading Glazy: Glaze recipes most used materials

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Orton Cone 10 Reduction Glaze Line Blends

Leach 4321 Line Blends

Leach 4321 is a simple, reliable glaze that we can use to compare coloring oxides. All of the following glaze variations can be found on Glazy:  http://glazy.org/search?search_words=leach&category=36&cone=high

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Digital Scales for Weighing Glazes

Calibrating the Ohaus SP202 and SP4001 digital scales

After years of using simple balance scales to measure out glazes, I finally decided to invest in a better setup. I couldn’t find any triple-beam scales for sale in Jingdezhen, so instead I purchased a cheap 200-gram digital scale from a local shop.  I was delighted at how much simpler and faster it was to mix up… Continue reading Digital Scales for Weighing Glazes

Simple Microscopy for Ceramics

Supereyes digital USB microscope connected to laptop and using Quicktime to view a small Qing wine cup.

The first day of Ecology class we went out to a local pond, gathered water, and returned to the lab.  I’ll never forget the amazement of viewing the water under a microscope, exploring that hidden world. I finally got my first microscope for viewing ceramics.  There are multiple hand-held digital microscopes available now, I went with… Continue reading Simple Microscopy for Ceramics

An old Porcelain Stone Mine

Unprocessed porcelain stone

It’s surprising to me how often archaeological discoveries seem to be made in Jingdezhen, but then I remember that wherever I walk in this place there are deep layers of shards beneath my feet. A friend of mine was given samples from a recently found porcelain stone mine dating from the Five Dynasties Period.  Apparently the find has not gone… Continue reading An old Porcelain Stone Mine

Triaxial testing

A lot of potters in China still seem to mix glazes the old-school way- one cup of this, two cups of that.  And strangely enough this technique seems to work pretty well for complex traditional materials.  Being a foreigner I tend to make things overly complicated.  I am also terrified of mixing up a great glaze… Continue reading Triaxial testing