Egyptian Paste (aka Faience)

Experimenting in all facets of Egyptian paste, mixing clay, construction techniques, firing solutions, and finishing ie. cold working is in the scope of our discussion. Perhaps we will have time to get around to some practical uses of Egyptian paste, but mostly research into what works will with this media and what does not.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How can clay self-glaze? Efflorescence, that's how!

Every week I will introduce one little nuance on Egyptian paste. At this rate, we will acquire 52 characteristics of Egyptian paste in a year. Theoretically, anyone who can name 52 characteristics of Egyptian paste is somewhat of a master on the subject, no?
Moving on, efflorescence, is the term this week. I would describe it as a wicking of the salts in the Egyptian paste to the surface as it dries. The Egyptian paste has soluble salts in it; that is salts that are dissolved in water.
Here is an image of our miniature milking stool again; both before and after the firing to cone 06 (about 1000 C. degrees). It’s hard to see and photograph, but in the before picture there is a powder on the surface. The powder is like growing salt crystals. I’ll try to get a close-up photograph of the surface next time I fire a load of paste.

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