Bismuth? Silver?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these Japanese and Taiwanese potters getting ridiculously iridescent Yohen style Tenmoku glazes. Just wondering out loud whether or not they use exotic materials. I recently read in John W. Conrad’s book Black Pearl and other Saturated Metallic Glazes and he mentioned the fact that chemical analysis of the original Chinese Tenmoku teabowl glazes didn’t yield any traces of silver, gold, or any other exotic materials – they did find traces of Mn and Fe, which is not at all surprising I suppose.

桶谷 寧 曜変天目茶碗 Oketani Yasushi 銀座 黒田陶苑 GINZA KURODA TOUEN
桶谷 寧 曜変天目茶碗
Oketani Yasushi
銀座 黒田陶苑

Still though, after reading Greg Daly’s book on Lustre… Seems to be that short of some super secret recipe that I’ve yet to discover (or have someone share with me) a pretty good way to go about getting glazes like that. I think I’m gonna do a mini-fundraiser and buy some Bismuth and Silver Nitrate and give it a shot. Who knows what might happen?


Bismuth Geode
Bismuth Geode

Author: mattfiske

My name is Matt and I'm a potter living in Southeast Alaska. I've been an artist/teacher/potter for the past decade, and I got my start in ceramics in high school some 18 years ago. These days I make my living selling wheel thrown pottery that sits at the intersection of ceramics/science/mineralogy/and geology.

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