CRYSTALLINE GLAZE & PORCELAIN POTTERY RESOURCE


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Uranium Oxide Crystalline Glaze

NOTE: These pieces are very rare. I have a very limited supply of uranium oxide (U.), and I do not know if I will ever be able to get any more. While they are slightly radioactive, the uranium in these glazes is trapped in the glaze -- you are not going to ingest or breathe any of it. I, on the other hand must exercise extreme care and hygiene when I work with the raw uranium oxide, the U. glazes, and the unfired U. pieces. The color in these pictures is very accurate. The yellows are extremely vibrant. You are simply not able to buy anything like these pieces anywhere else. They are true collector's items, and conversation pieces.
All of my pieces which contain uranium have the word "uranium" clearly incised on their bottoms.
William Melstrom

 

For the Story of how I acquired Uranium Oxide, please click here:

Treasure From France

02/26/06:prices include shipping and insurance

#2 2-1/2" dia. x 4-3/4" high, $85. sold
Uranium oxide glaze vase with gold lustre interior.
There is a small amount of nickel in the glaze, which makes the crystals green.
   
#4 2-7/8" dia. x 5-3/4" high, $85. sold
A small amount of nickel in the glaze made the crystals green.
A copper glaze was added to the rim which caused it to become green.
#3 3-1/8" dia. x 6-1/4" high, $60. sold Front and back views of the same vase. This vase contains both uranium oxide and silver nitrate, and it was reduced. The area in the center of the left-hand photo was in the direct path of the flame in the reducing kiln, and it flashed to pure silver. The crystals in the right photo are metallic, iridescent and tiger-striped.
#1 2" dia. x 3-3/4" high, $34. sold I added a copper glaze to the rim, which made it turn green.
#5 2-1/4" dia. x 4" high, $34. sold

This is what all of the above vases look like lined up side-by-side. From left to right, numbers 1 through 5 .

01/26/06:


#2 2-1/4" dia. x 4-3/4" high, NFS. This is my first uranium oxide vase. There is a small amount of nickel in the glaze, which makes the crystals green. For more about this piece please click HERE.


#4 2-1/2" dia. x 5-1/2" high, $50 Sold
I learned from my first U. piece to put a little more uranium in the glazes. This is the result.

#3 2-3/4" dia. x 6" high, $75 Sold Front and back views of the same vase. I added a small amount of cobalt to the front (left photo), which made the crystals blue-green. I added a small amount of copper to the back ( right photo), which made no discernible difference. I also added a copper glaze to the rim, which made it turn green.

#5 2-1/4" dia. x 4-1/4" high, $40. Sold This vase contains both uranium oxide and silver nitrate, and it was reduced. The reduction had little effect on the background, but it caused the crystals to become a mirror-like dark metallic with multicolor iridescence. A copper glaze was added to the rim which caused it to become green.

#1 2-1/8" dia. x 4" high, $34. Sold This vase looks like U., but it is actually reduced silver nitrate. For more about this piece please click HERE.


#6 3-1/2" dia. x 3" high, NFS. Another piece that looks remarkably like uranium oxide, but which is silver nitrate, copper and a little iron. This piece has been reduced.


This is what all of the above vases look like lined up side-by-side. From left to right, numbers 1 through 6.

Two more early pieces, containing a lesser percentage of the U.. Both vases contain a small amount of nickel. Both are sold.

For the Story of how I acquired Uranium Oxide, please click here:

my french vacation

Addendum: Depleted Uranium Oxide, AKA Yellowcake, and Safety

Questions have arisen regarding the safety and wisdom of using uranium as a glaze ingredient. I do not endorse the use of uranium as a glaze ingredient in any way.

According to Ruben Cortez, Radiation Safety Officer, Environmental and Consumer Safety Section, Texas Department of State Health Services, depleted uranium oxide is not a great radiation hazard - in fact he showed me a sample of depleted uranium oxide in a glass amphora that he keeps in his office. Depleted uranium oxide makes up a very small percentage of my uranium glaze recipe. After firing, this small amount of depleted uranium is "trapped" in the vitreous glass glaze. I use my uranium glaze only on decorative vases, not on work that is likely to be used for serving food. The word "URANIUM" is clearly incised onto the bottoms of all work that I make which contains depleted uranium oxide. Uranium is ubiquitous, we are surrounded by minute quantities of it which we breathe in and ingest daily, and which we eliminate from our bodies vie our feces and urine daily.
Here is a short list of links to websites that address the issue of safety and the use of depleted uranium oxide, along with a few, brief, relevant excerpts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium
Uranium is commonly found in very small amounts in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals (including humans). Depleted uranium is used in helicopters and airplanes as counterweights on certain wing parts. Some lighting fixtures utilize uranium. A person can be exposed to uranium by inhaling dust in air, or ingesting water and food. The general population is exposed to uranium primarily through food and water; the average daily intake of uranium from food ranges from 0.07 to 1.1 micrograms per day.
http://encyclopedia.lockergnome.com/s/b/Depleted_uranium
Depleted uranium is also used in a number of civilian applications, generally where a high density weight is needed. Such applications include sailboat keels, as counterweights and sinker bars in oil drills, gyroscope rotors, and in other places where there is a need to place a weight that occupies as little space as possible. Aircraft may also contain depleted uranium counterweights (a Boeing 747 may contain 400-1,500kg). However there is some controversy about its use in this application because of concern about the uranium entering the environment should the aircraft crash, particularly as the metal is pyrophoric. This was highlighted by the collision of two Boeing 747s at Tenerife Airport in 1977 when the resulting fire consumed 3000kg of the material. Consequently its use has been phased out in many newer aircraft, for example both Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas discontinued using DU counterweights in the 1980s. An unexpected application is in Formula 1 racing cars. The rules state a minimum weight of 600kg but builders strive to get the weight as low as possible and then bring it up to the 600kg mark by placing depleted uranium where needed to achieve a better balance.
http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/news/dec04/news_20041206_001.shtml

Depleted uranium is 40 percent less radioactive than the natural uranium that we all eat, drink, and breathe daily.
http://www.deploymentlink.osd.mil/du_library/what.shtml
Each of us ingests and inhales natural uranium every day from our air, water, food, and soil. The amount varies depending on the amount found where you live, and where the food you eat and the water you drink are produced. Consequently, each of us has some uranium in our body, and we eliminate some in our urine every day.
Uranium in our Bodies
Source.................................................Amount (micrograms*)
Average Daily Intake: Liquid.................2.1
Average Daily Intake: Food (U.S.)........0.9 - 1.5
Average Daily Intake: Inhalation.............0.0010 - 0.010
Average Uranium (total) in the body.......2 - 62
*Note: 1 microgram = 0.000000035 ounces
http://www.deploymentlink.osd.mil/du_library/health.shtml
RAND, 1999. "(N)o evidence is documented in the literature of cancer or any other negative health effect related to the radiation received from exposure to natural uranium, whether inhaled or ingested, even at very high doses." Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 1999 Toxicological Profile for Uranium. "No human cancer of any type has ever been seen as a result of exposure to natural or depleted uranium."
http://www.ceramic-materials.com/cermat/education/172.html
"URANIUM and CERAMICS" by Edouard Bastarache.
http://www.glass.co.nz/uranium.htm
"Uranium, fluorescent and Vaseline Glass." Boyd Glass and Fenton Art Glass are two USA companies that produce uranium glass items today. Tests conducted by Jay Glickman (reported in his book "Yellow-Green Vaseline: A Guide to the Magic Glass) and separate tests by Frank Fenton, of Fenton Glass, have shown that the radiation levels from even large quantities of uranium glass at close quarters are no more harmful than those associated with television sets or microwave ovens.
http://www.wise-uranium.org/dviss.html#PHILMORGAN
Crystalline glaze artist Phil Morgan's application to aquire depleted uranium oxide.
There are plenty of "scare" sites dealing with depleted uranium oxide on the World Wide Web. Please educate yourself. Remember that radiation is not harmful per se. There are different types of radiation. Radiation treatments are used to treat some types of cancer and have saved lives. Let me stress that I do not endorse the use of uranium as a glaze ingredient in any way. Depleted uranium is a heavy metal, and is highly toxic when ingested. People working with uranium should educate themselves to the dangers involved. Ceramists using uranium should, at the very least, exercise the same precautions that they use when handling lead, barium or manganese, and should wear respirators and hand protection at all times. Uranium-containing glazes should never be used on functional ware.