Glaze Course - Lesson Summaries
Recipe Grids - Quadraxial Blends and Biaxial Blends - (Part 1)
Lesson Number 11
Of all the experimental and testing techniques used by potters and ceramic artists exploring glaze variations, the line blend is perhaps the most commonly used.

One our most important ceramic researchers Hermann Seger used line blends to explore the relationship between Al2O3 and SiO2 across a wide range of temperatures in the development of pyrometric cones. He used blocks of line blends extending vertically as well as horizontally developed on a carefully designed structure to reveal the subtle variations in quality that results from changes in Al:Si ratios.

While Seger, and others prior to the development of computers, had a lot of arithmetic to do in the development of their testing techniques, today researchers can generate Seger-type multiple blend tests, called biaxial or quadraxial blends, in a few minutes and can have sets of test tiles ready to fire in no time. When carefully and systematically designed these blends, sometimes called recipe grids, can be most instructive revealing the influence of the chosen materials on the quality and colour of glazes in the fired blend.

This topic is divided into two parts. This week in Part 1 we are going to have a look at how these blends are structured and how to choose which type of blend to use. In Part 2 we will learn how to use Matrix to create the data needed to create and test-fire the blend.

The image is of a recipe grid created by Hugh Prosser.

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New Zealand