Crystalline Glazed Porcelain Pottery
CRYSTALLINE GLAZES truly present an artistic wedding of chemistry and nature. Although difficult to produce, the rewards can be great. Glaze crystals spontaneously form and grow in the molten glazes while the pieces are cooling in the kiln. The largest crystals take up to twelve hours to grow. The size and shape of the crystal is somewhat controllable through experience and careful attention to the firing cycle; the placement and number of crystals is not, meaning that each piece is one-of-a-kind.
GOOD MACRO CRYSTALLINE GLAZES are mesmerizing. They shimmer and shift much like holograms do, and are literally three dimensional. They develop "growth rings," halos, star-bursts and "auroras," which record changing conditions within the kiln. Chance and serendipity play a great part in crystalline-glazed compositions. I do not "seed" the crystals on the porcelain, nor can I see them growing in the kiln. A piece's relative quality can only be judged after the firing cycle is complete. Success comes with extensive record-keeping, experience, observation, and attention to detail.
TECHNICALLY, the crystals formed are "zinc-silicate" crystals. Silica is the main ingredient of all glazes and glasses (and of quartz crystals), and zinc is another main ingredient of crystalline glazes. Often, I produce secondary crystals of titanium, which appear as gold or yellow flecks, or as tiny rods or triangles in a variety of colors.
ALTHOUGH HIGHLY DECORATIVE, my porcelain ceramic pottery is fully functional. Plain-rimmed (non-gold) pieces may be microwaved. Wash in the dishwasher, or by hand with a very soft cloth. Used work will show slight wear over time.
WILLIAM MELSTROM won first place in the Tenth Annual San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts National Ceramic Competition. He received a fine arts degree with Highest Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to becoming interested in clay, he majored in Architecture at Rice University in Houston and worked as a draftsman, served in the Asian Pacific with the US Navy, and bent pipe as a Union Electrician. William's work is in permanent national public and private collections, and has been pictured in Ceramics Monthly and The Crafts Report.
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Crystalline Glaze Porcelain Pottery Contact and Order Information
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206 White Oak Drive
Austin TX 78753
Selected Exhibitions & Shows
Krystallos 2007 (Campbell Studios, Cambridge Springs, PA) Invitational Crystalline Glaze Exhibition, Sept. 15 - Oct. 14, 2007
Attachments 2007 (Armadillo Glass Studio, Austin, TX) The Six Pack Show, May 10 - 26, 2007
ceramics...on the edge (Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, Austin, TX) Work from the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts , March 30 - June 17, 2007
New Crystalline Glazes (St. Joseph Gallery, The Netherlands) Invitational International Crystalline Glaze Exhibition, April 22 - June 3, 2006
Lattice Structures (Red Star Studios, Kansas City, Missouri) Invitational Crystalline Glaze Exposition, September 2 - 25, 2005
Crystallines 2005 (Vallauris, France) International Crystalline Glaze Pottery Exposition, April 2 - May 8, 2005