Glaze formulation involves a combination of various materials, but four primary ingredients play essential roles in determining the glaze’s composition, appearance, and behavior.
Silica is the main glass-forming component of glaze. It melts at high temperatures and contributes to the glaze’s overall texture, surface smoothness, and durability.
Fluxes, such as feldspar or whiting, lower the melting point of glaze ingredients, promoting proper fusion and bonding during firing. Fluxes play a key role in determining the glaze’s stability and viscosity.
Alumina, often present in clay or added as alumina hydrate, affects the glaze’s viscosity and maturation temperature. It also contributes to the glaze’s durability and resistance to physical wear.
Colorants, including metal oxides and stains, provide the glaze with its desired color and visual character. Different colorants interact with the other ingredients to create a range of hues and effects.
These four main ingredients form the foundation of glaze formulation, allowing ceramic artists to create a wide variety of surface textures, colors, and finishes.