helen love - Mrs

Gas / Oil,

Gunmetal blue. The patina of copper. Verdigris on the edge of green. Egyptian blue, a clear astringent colour that is the blue of the mosque. This is the blue of glaze. (Derek Jarman, Chroma)

The Glaze Library Wall and Glaze Spectrum website have come about through a series of fortunate events: a commission from Aberdeen Art Gallery to make a coloured collection of glazed tiles for their Crafting Colour applied arts room, which led to an obsession with proving that each metal oxide could produce a bright palette of colour (for example iron oxide makes bright reds, browns, yellows, and celadon blues); my easy access, as ceramics technician, to the glaze laboratory and kilns at Grays School of Art. Here I saw an opportunity to demystify glaze making for students and yet draw them into the mysteries of glaze chemistry. I wanted to show people how copper green becomes red in a gas kiln because the flame eats the oxygen from the copper oxide. After this came a vision for a beautiful, informative, intuitive and fun website that all fell into place when I met up with web design company, Design and Code; a chance meeting which would lead a fruitful collaboration.

After the serendipity came a lot of hard work (which admittedly hasn’t felt like work) and attention to detail. It took 1000 rejected glazes just to get 500 good ones, it also took individually photographing the entire collection of test tiles to realize that the photographed colours had to be absolutely true or there was no point in having them at all (This led to repeating the entire process over again with daylight bulbs and then tweaking the photos in photoshop: “ a bit bluer, a bit purpler!”). This project has also involved a lot of hard work by Design and Code. They created a beautiful font based on the iron oxide wash lettering on the tiles. They also worked to create filters which will allow people to search by firing temperature, colour, base glaze or oxide and they drove me to get out there on social media and interact with ceramics artists and students at other colleges to drum up interest and support.

So where are we now? Design and Code are currently working their coding magic and we are crowdfunding our open access website, www.glazespectrum.com, where we hope to draw the world in to the endless fascination, science and learning of ceramic glaze.

Gofundme: tinyurl.com/yc3xrp9f


Contact details:

helen love


67 sunnyside road
tinyurl.com/yc3xrp9f Ab24 3lt

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