The exploration of how to achieve colour in basic glass mixtures such as those that we have been studying up until now is an exciting and never ending journey which can lead to an infinite variety of results depending on many factors.
It is comforting to know, however, that the the list of oxides which may be combined to produce this infinite pallette of colour effects numbers less than a dozen although the list of raw materials from which these oxides may be sourced in a glaze melt is considerably longer.
The fact is that while the number of oxides which produce a colour response is small these are not the only factors which influence colour effects in a fired glaze. The potential of any single colourant is subject to to three main variables: the combination of oxides in the base formula, the firing temperature and the kiln atmosphere. In addtion to these the claybody under the glaze and the method of application are also important factors.
The study of colour in glaze development is both exciting and seductive and while for some it can become an end in itself for most ceramic artists and potters the challenge of finding satisfactory finishes for clay forms is the ultimate objective and should not be lost sight of.
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