Like Crystals on Glass

Like Crystals on Glass

One of the questions I get most frequently is “how do those crystals grow on your pieces?”. Most people who have tried creating crystals, have given up in frustration. While I can understand the inclination to quit, I also know the joy of understanding the controlled randomness of this beautiful art. The other question I get asked often is if the crystals are completely random. Well….. yes; and no.

Crystals are formed on my work pretty much exactly as they are formed in rock. It all starts in my glazes. While all ingredients are important, there are a few that are essential. I need silica, zinc, and frit (glass ground to powder form).  Once the zinc and silica meet the right amount of heat, crystals “seed” and I can begin to grow them. Based on my temperatures and the amounts of zinc and silica I put into my glazes – along with other colorants – I can guide the number of crystals, size of crystals, and the shape of the crystals.

What this means is that each person will see something different when the look at my work. Often times, the same person will see something different every time they look at the same piece. One moment you look at a piece and think the crystals look like angels floating toward the heavens. The next hinge you know, it’s almost dinner time and you walk past the same piece and all you can see is bow tie pasta floating in boiling in water! Tell me…. what do you see?


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