What is Crystalline Glazing?
Crystalline glazing is a process where actual crystals are grown in the glaze during the firing stage, similar to how geodes and gems grow in nature. There is no way to predict where and how the crystals grow. Which makes each of my pieces completely unique and one of a kind.
I start with porcelain clay thrown on my potter's wheel, and "bisque" fired to create strength. I then mix my own glazes from raw materials and apply onto onto the clay. The pot then goes back into the kiln where the pottery is fired to well above 2000 degrees! I have to wait another 12 hours for the kiln to cool before I can open it and see what happened. (The wait drives me crazy!)
This type of glaze is very finicky. If the glaze isn't mixed exactly right, or the fire schedule not spot on, crystals may not grow. I could even do everything right and still not have crystals. Or, because of the intense firing process, the crystals could be beautiful, but the pot has cracked.
Due to the lengthy time required to master the glaze, the great care that must be taken in its mixing and firing, and the small success rate, not many potters today use this method.
However, when I open the kiln and see what happens when it works, I can't help but want do it again.