Absorption

Vitrification tests are done to show that studio clays and firing processes result in a fully matured product.  For stoneware, full maturity is reached when the ware absorbs no more than 2 % – 5% (by weight) of moisture after glaze firing. Absorption is the primary determining factor for microwave safety. If the ware absorbs too much water, it may crack or even explode from the pressure of internal steam during microwave cooking.

To check CAW’s clay and process, four unglazed tiles were made from our latest brown stoneware blend, placed at extreme locations in the Phoenix kiln, and glaze fired on 12/10/10. They were immediately weighed after the kiln cooled, then submerged in water for 24 hours at room temperature; after which surface water was removed, and then the tiles weighed again.

Absorption was determined using the following relationship:

Results are below:

Based on the table, our average absorption for the current studio stoneware is 1.69 %, with the highest measurement being about 2.5% – all samples were well within the recommended limit.

Cone packs for the 12/10/10 Phoenix firing were photographed and are shown below. Cone 10 in the upper pack tipped to about 2 O’clock, while cone 10 was fully down in the lower pack.

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Interestingly, there appears to be a stronger correlation between readings in the front and back of the kiln, rather than between the top and bottom.

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