Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exhibition by Yulia Szalay

New ceramics by Yulia Szalay

Crystalline glazed ceramics by Yulia Szalay

From November 2 -14, check Off Centre's microgallery for Yulia Szalay's spectacular new collection of crystalline glazed ceramics.

Yulia writes:
'Crystalline glazing is a highly specialized, unpredictable, challenging and labour intensive process.  For crystals to grow in the glaze all the necessary conditions need to come together with accurate heat control of the firing crystals.  The kiln is first taken up to the glaze melting point (1280 - 1300 degrees Celsius) when it begins to flow down the surface of the pots.
At this point, crash cooling to 100 degrees Celsius is necessary to stop all the glaze running off the pots.  This means that each piece needs to sit on a pedestal with a disc underneath to collect the excess glaze.  From then on, the temperature is held fairly constant for 5-6 hours to enable the crystals to grow.  Slight variations in temperature rise and fall during this time can create rings and haloes and different effects.  Each firing produces different results, often many failures.  Each piece is therefore unique and unrepeatable.
The different colours are created by using various metal oxides in the base glaze mix of zinc, silica and frit.  Cobalt for blues, copper for greens, titanium for white, manganese for mushroom pink and so on.
The big part of the fascination to me is the mystery of never knowing what results will be achieved.  When it works, it's 'Christmas' and it's magic!

Crystalline glazed ceramics by Yulia Szalay

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