SEM Images of Ceramic Glazes

      These are a collection of high magnification images of the Oilspot droplets and interesting surface features that are forming on the surfaces of my ceramic glazes. I took all of these images at Utah State University, in the Core Microscopy Facility using a Quanta II Scanning Electron Microscope.
       I came to USU because I wanted to go really deep into the technical aspects of material science and glaze chemistry. I didn’t anticipate getting down to the nanoscale, though. This year I was given a scholarship to do just that – to get trained and learn how to operate a Scanning Electron Microscope so that I could research my materials and glazes with some of the most powerful microscope technology that exists. The learning curve was incredibly steep, and the deadline for my show didn’t allow for a more in-depth and rigorous suite of chemical and elemental analysis. But with that said, they did give me the keys and put me in the driver seat to do whatever I wanted.
        Being an Artist, I approached the machine from a very different point of view. I was interested in finding compositions and interesting structures – and then imaging at the highest possible resolution settings. I knew I wanted to print these things BIG, and the 24×36″ images I printed for my show took approximately 30 minutes each to scan – which was a very long time for an image. The scientist in charge of the machine thought I was crazy, and wasting my time – but when they were scaled up and printed, it proved to be worth the effort! I was very happy with how they all turned out.

Fiske Hare’s Fur Oilspot Glaze – Stoneware, Cone 11 Oxidation

 Fiske Lava Oilspot Glaze – Porcelain, Cone 12 Oxidation


Manganese Saturate Glazes – Porcelain, Cone 10 Oxidation

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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