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Title: New ash glazes from arable crop waste : exploring the use of straw from Pisum sativum (combining pea) and Vicia faba (field bean)
Author: Metcalfe, Carol
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 1610
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2008
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The Chinese first developed stoneware ash glazes about 3500 years ago, when their kiln technology progressed sufficiently to reach temperatures high enough to fuse such glazes. More than 2000 years went by before this knowledge reached Japan and Korea, where ash glazes were also subsequently produced. In Britain, the advent of studio pottery in the 20th century led to interest in oriental approaches to ceramics, including ash glazes. A number of studio potters used and indeed continue to use ash glazes in their work. The great majority of these glazes have, throughout history, been made of wood ash and are mainly fired to high stoneware temperatures of at least 1280°C, Cone 10. Worldwide interest in this subject continues today; however, a general increase in environmental concern, especially fuel economy, raises a number of issues for contemporary ceramic practitioners. This research addresses these issues by employing multiple methods in a „composite‟ methodology, rooted in art practice, the aims being: † To develop a range of new glazes, for lower stoneware temperature (1240°C, Cone 7) oxidised firings, using ash from arable crop waste as an environmentally sensitive ingredient. † To demonstrate and articulate the possible creative, practical and environmental benefits of the new glazes for contemporary ceramic practitioners, principally through artworks. † To offer a model for investigating the potential of a new source of ash, as a glaze material. The plant species explored are the Combining pea and Field bean, neither of which is documented in any of the contextual sources located. Both plants are widely grown as protein crops in many countries of the world and were available in North Yorkshire for this research. Glaze calculation methods and empirical approaches to glaze development have been investigated and the ashes have been analysed. From this information, glaze recipes have been developed and tested. Since the appearance of a glaze is affected by the clay body to which it is applied, the compositions of available clays have been studied and four widely differing examples chosen for the tests. Case studies have been undertaken of contemporary ceramic practitioners, whose approaches to ash glazing vary widely. These studies further develop the context for the new glazes and provide a framework within which to assess their significance. The creative potential of the glazes developed has been explored through their application in ceramic artworks, exhibited both during and at the end of the research. During the creation of these artworks, a theme emerged, closely linking them to their place of origin. In addition to the new artworks, the research contributes both a range of new ash glaze recipes and a model for exploring the potential of ash from a new source.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ceramics