Black Crystalline…We’re Getting There

I have been trying to develop a new glaze:  black crystalline.  It has been a bit slow going as I try to work through the chemistry of it, but I do feel as though I am on the right path.  I have been seeking some help and pointers through an online forum and just simply working through trial and error.  I will admit, this has been quite the challenge!  I am enjoying it though.  The last time I was truly trying to figure out glaze formulation and such was during my college studies.  It feels good to be at it again.  My first round of black crystalline glazes was pretty terrible.  They fluxed and just didn’t crystallized.  (By “fluxed” I pretty much mean that too much was going on in the glaze for it to do what I wanted it to do.  The color burned out and no crystals formed.) I will give you a peek at how it turned out.

See?  Doesn’t that look terrible?  It is like craters have formed on the inside.  Well after this let down, I decided it was time to hit the forum online and see if I could get some help.  I was given some pointers and tips for a good place to start.  I mixed up three new batches of glaze, all slightly different, and gave it a try.  I am now back on a good path here.  See how these compare to the first group.

This second test was definitely the best of the three.  There are actually black crystals in there.  I think this is the one I will try to further develop next.  I do love this the way it is though.  I love the warmth that is mixed in with some of the blue.  It is a neat look.  Just glad to see crystals on these and know I am headed in the right direction as far as glaze composition goes. Finally, here is test glaze number three.

I will keep working on this one until I get it just right.  I really want to achieve black crystalline!

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