Glaze Course - Lesson Summaries
Focus on Flux Oxides - Flux Blends Part 2 - Flux Triaxials
Lesson Number 29
Design for a Flux Triaxial

In the last lesson we commenced the exploration of the behaviour of flux oxides.

In order to isolate the effects that certain oxides may contribute to a glaze melt we need to remove other variables as much as possible. i.e. other than the oxide(s) we wish to study, in each experiment the remaining oxides need to be kept at the same level throughout the blend and, of course variables such as application, clay body and firing conditions must remain as constant as possible.

Last week we tried to isolate the behaviour of one oxide only using simple line blends - simple to mix and fire but somewhat more challenging to design and create.

Al2O3 SiO2 Biaxial

Flux oxides are rarely, if ever, present in a glaze melt in isolation. In order to explore the interaction of a number of flux oxides we need a more complex blend structure that can bring these together in a controlled manner. The triaxial and the quadraxial blend are ideal for this purpose.

In a previous lesson you executed a special kind of quadraxial blend called an Alumina - Silica Biaxial (Recipe Grid). In these blends the flux oxides are held constant across the blend while two oxides - Al2O3 and SiO2 are varied in a controlled manner. These blends are composites of line blends and reveal very clearly the role of Al2O3 and SiO2 in a glaze.

The flux triaxial reverses this design holding the Al2O3 and SiO2 constant across the blend while varying the levels of three flux oxides in each sample in the blend.

In this lesson we will:

  • discuss the underlying theory of triaxials based on flux oxide variations.
  • learn how to create a triaxial blend in Matrix
  • design and create two triaxial flux blends including colourants
  • mix and fire the triaxial blends.

Full lessons contain content and activities not listed above. More lessons will be added to this list as they are completed.
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Contact: Lawrence Ewing - 1015 Ellis Rd, Five Rivers, RD3, Lumsden, Northern Southland,
New Zealand