I often receive emails asking about glaze problems. It seems that students on ceramics degree courses are not taught very much about science or understanding the materials, but concentrate more on learning about art and design ideas and philosophy.
In Chemistry at school, I loved the periodic table. It neatly groups the elements so that each column contains elements with similar properties which react chemically in the same way, with metals on the left and centre and non-metals on the far right. The periodic table here shows the elements found in clays and glazes. The blank spaces are elements of less interest to potters. You can find the complete periodic table here.
I have been writing a book on Science for Potters for the American Ceramic Society. Several chapters are being published in Ceramics Monthly. You can read the full article on Chemistry for Potters here Bloomfield_Feb16
Originally published in February 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly, p60-64. http://www.ceramicsmonthly.org . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.