Crystalline Glazes

Crystalline Glazes are always special. With Crystals Glazes, colour crystals move throughout the glaze during firing, creating a distinctively interesting appearance. Each result depends on the size of the crystal, slope of the piece and temperature of the fire.

The ceramic artists are aware of the colour of glaze they formulate, but what crystal formulation works on the surface of pottery is always a surprise. Crystalline glazes are fired in oxidized kiln atmosphere, mostly electric kilns and on reaching 1280 degree C, the kiln is rapidly cooled to 1100 degree C. This rapid cooling results in crystal structure formulation on the surface.

Victoria Malone, a WA artist has been producing some beautiful Crystalline glazes. Each of her series is unique and reflect her style of work. The macro-crystalline glazes, or more commonly known simply as crystalline glazes, have crystals that grow large enough to see.

The glaze on a fired pot is generally an amorphous supercooled liquid. As the glaze is melted and cooled in the kiln, glass molecules bond together in random strings. Crystals occur if the glaze is fluid enough to allow molecules to move more and hot enough long enough to allow the glaze molecules to arrange themselves in structured strings, or crystals.