February 24, 2011
One pastime goes back Centuries, the art of pottery and glazing, and in particular the copper red glaze perfected by the Ming dynasty in the 17th century. A glaze still elusive to potters today, occurs by reducing copper(II) in a methane fired (reductive) kiln. The proper glaze recipe, applied thickness, and firing technique are all required to reduce copper(II) to copper(I) and “trap” copper in a naturally uncommon oxidation state within a glass matrix. This photograph is a copper red glaze I made and fired, the beginning of my love affair with chemistry and materials.