Steven Hill Oxidation Project


Steven Hill Oxidation Project

Achieving atmospheric glaze effects in electric kilns at mid-fire temperatures, through the layering of sprayed glazes. The starting point recipes are given in two discussions "Strontium Crystal Magic . . ." and "The Companion Glazes"

Members: 157
Latest Activity: Jul 12, 2018

Discussion Forum

The Companion Glazes - Modifiers and Complements to SCM

Started by George Lewter. Last reply by Norm Stuart Sep 29, 2017. 46 Replies

These are the glazes that Steven introduced us to for creating the layered effects for which he is renown. This is the place to post modifications for these glazes, and other glazes that you have found to work well with SCM and SCM for orange. …Continue

Pinholes and craters

Started by Tom Waggle. Last reply by Tom Anderson Oct 17, 2016. 22 Replies

I sent an email out to all group members. I should have just started this thread.I am using Laguna 607 cone 6 stoneware.I am getting pinholes and craters on about 1/3 to 1/2 of my pieces.I contacted Stephen Hill via email to ask him about this. He suggested that I just switch to porcelain as it is the gasses from the impure elements in stoneware body.I have adjusted my bisque schedule to slow down to 100'/hr between 1100' and 1700' ( the temp range where those organic gasses burn off). I am…Continue

SCM at cone 6. Glaze Issues, Firing Temp, and Chemistry Questions

Started by Joseph Fireborn. Last reply by Norm Stuart Jul 24, 2016. 5 Replies

This has been created to carry over the conversation that we were having on the discussion comments instead of in a topic. I have copied and pasted the discussion that I created in order of start to current. Please lets move all topics here as it would better be searchable in the future. Comment by Joseph Fireborn I have a question about SH's pots. I have tried using SCM, I get some really nice results, but the glaze surface…Continue

Strontium Carbonate and Strontium Crystal Magic

Started by George Lewter Jul 12, 2016. 0 Replies

Numerous members have used SCM and Jen's Juicy Fruit with excellent results. I believe the crystals being objected to are some kind of crystal that is growing in the melt upon cooling, not unmelted strontium poking out of the matrix. The crystals have sharp diamond reflective points which would not be present if they had been even slightly attacked by the glaze fluxes, of which there are plenty, evidenced by the fact that the glaze is very prone to running.My understanding is that …Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joseph Fireborn on May 10, 2017 at 1:28pm

Can anyone explain what the purpose of the second ramp in Steven's schedule is. Why does he go from 220F to 500F at 100F/hour. Every bisque profile I can find goes at a much faster rate of 250-300F. I assume this is a noobie proof schedule so people don't explode pots, but if your preheating for 2-3 hours I can't imagine this makes any sense. I must be missing something! Which is very well possible hah.

Comment by Tom Anderson on January 19, 2017 at 5:39pm

Steven Hill Workshop - St. Louis, Mo.  End of April

Day 1 - Friday, April 28, 2017 - 10a - 5p
Steven will throw a few pots, assemble and quick dry them.

Day 2 - Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 10a - 5p
Steven will lecture on spraying and demonstrate the techniques involved. Participants will glaze in the afternoon and we will load the kiln(s) and fire overnight.

Day 3 - Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 10a - 5p
Discussions on spraying techniques and the equipment to set up a spraying studio. Ideas for glaze experimentation after the workshop. Unload kilns and discuss results



Comment by Joseph Fireborn on July 12, 2016 at 5:05pm

I have created a discussion topic about these things we have been talking about.

>> Click here to continue this topic of firing temperature.

Let's move further conversation and test results there. = )

Comment by Teresa Wooden on July 12, 2016 at 3:15pm

Hi all, been away for awhile.  Some health problems and a major move has taken me out of the game for awhile. Glad to be back.

I fire my work according to an old firing schedule of Steven's which he gave me several years ago.  Basically it fires to cone six, but with the holds and slow cooling the heatwork causes cone nine to bend.  Cone six is flat.  SCM and several other glazes I have work fine at that schedule, but recently I had to switch clay bodies and chose a cone six body... so I have tried to bring the actual firing temp down.  I am finding that SCM and a few other glazes do not melt at the lower temp.  My glazes don't look the same.  I am going back to the beginning and will be testing some alterations.  One thing I wonder is, since Custer Feldspar changed a couple years ago whether it may be altering the glaze.  It was one reason why I had to change clay bodies.   Another factor is that SCM needs to be applied very lightly...if applied thickly it looks unmelted and makes a mess.  Sometimes I draw a pencil mark down the side of a pot (especially porcelain..white on white) so that I can tell when I have sprayed just enough to cover the mark.   I will be sure to report back when/if we find any alternatives.  Peace to all.

Comment by Norm Stuart on July 12, 2016 at 12:25am

I would definitely would like to know what Cone is required to make Strontium Crystal Magic fire like Cathy Rehbein's work. I know from experience it's obviously much hotter than Cone 6 - the same with Jen's Juicy Fruit which is a non-event at Cone 6 oxidation.

Especially given the fact that this is at least nominally a Cone 6 website.

I found kitchen white vinegar easily bubbles off the CO2 from strontium carbonate, making it into strontium acetate which decomposes into Strontium Oxide at 459 F, much lower than Strontium Carbonate - although no one agrees on what that temperature is exactly.

I'm going to try this lower melting strontium in some glazes to see if they look different than the one which use strontium carbonate. The drawback is 43 grams of strontium acetate dissolve in a liter of water, so that will produce a different result as well. I different result I suspect may be quite useful based on the ceramic makers who put strontium frit into their clay bodies.

I've spent a lot of time reworking alleged Cone 6 glazes so they actually fire well at Cone 6. Pete Pinnells Weathered Bronze Green was one of them. Pete says it was originally a Cone 10 glaze and one of his students found it also "worked" at Cone 6. I found "worked" was too subjective and likely the result of an inaccurate kiln temperature which had to have been hotter than the student thought.

Making Weathered Bronze Green into a true Cone 6 glaze required the addition of 20% Ferro Frit 3269. After that addition it looks as beautiful as when it's fired to Cone 10. It only stands to reason it couldn't possibly look the same after firing to Cone 6 without a change in the recipe.

Comment by Norm Stuart on July 11, 2016 at 3:36pm

Robert - In my experience Strontium Carbonate doesn't incorporate well into glazes at Cone 6.

There are special Strontium Frits available,  especially used for glazes at Cone 2 and below, but these are quite costly.

I'm actually headed to the studio right now to try vinegar and HCl on strontium carbonate. As for migrating into the bisque, that has benefits as well. Just add more strontium chloride.

Comment by Joseph Fireborn on July 11, 2016 at 3:26pm
I am new to this stuff haven't done chemistry in 15 years. I did add the vinegar to the strontium carbonate and it immediately foamed up and had a reaction like you stated. I did wear a safety mask. I will probably mix up the batch of scm with the acetate tonight and spray it in a few days.
Comment by Robert Coyle on July 11, 2016 at 3:14pm

I'm not sure what people are looking for here. both Strontium acetate or chloride are bot very soluble in water, so they should be absorbed into the clay body and leave not much in the glaze.

Comment by Norm Stuart on July 11, 2016 at 2:39pm

Acids combine with stronitum carbonate to bubble off the carbon dioxide (the carbonate). What you end up with depends on the type of acid used.

Vinegar (acetic acid) creates strontium acetate.  Nitric acid would create strontium nitrate, sulfuric acid strontium sulfate etc.

If Vinegar is strong enough to get the reaction with strontium carbonate going you'll immediately see foaming as you add the vinegar to the strontium carbonate and the carbon dioxide and water vapor bubble off. It should look just it does when you add vinegar to baking soda.

If vinegar is not strong enough to start the chemical reaction on its own, you'll need to heat the mixture over a stove, use a stronger concentration of acetic acid, or more realistically use a stronger acid like hydrochloric acid (called Muriatic Acid at a pool supply store) packing enough energy to break off the CO3 as CO2 and water vapor.

As it sounds like you're new to chemical reactions, always add a strong acid or strong base to the chemical to be added. Never add the chemical to be reacted, in this case strontium nitrate to the strong acid or strong base. This could generate too much heat in that localized area causing the acid or base to boil and splash back at you. Always wear safety glass or goggles. I just picked up 8 of them from Amazon for $2 each for studio members using our new glass saw and glass grinder.

Stuff is real cheap on Amazon as they've recently relaxed the requirements for direct ship from China. Rather than buy a Bohl glass circle cutter for $85 I purchased a nearly identical Chinese version for $5.90, which included the shipping cost from Shenzhen?! Shenzhen is on the border with Hong Kong and is the official exit point for most goods produced through-out China, on their way to the rest of the world.

From memory I think Catherine Rehbein fires her SCM to cone 8, but you'd have to confirm this with her.

Comment by Joseph Fireborn on July 11, 2016 at 10:23am

So soaking strontium carbonate doesn't sound that hard. Do you think it would fully absorb into the vinegar? Or do you think if I evaporated the vinegar it will return to a type of powder?

I guess I will have to test and see. Im thinking I will mix a 2 test batchs of SCM, and a control batch. I will put the stront carb into the vinegar and let it soak overnight. I will then just directly pour one into the glaze mixture and then adjust flocculation with darvans. Then I will take another vinegar batch and try to dry it out and see what happens. If I can dry it out I will run another test using that SCM batch, and I will run a control batch just to compare. I will run the test using currie grid to see if there are some interesting results that I might be missing. 

It will be a few days before I can run the grid test, I grid tiles drying right now, but how long do you think I should soak the SCM? 24 hours 36 hours? 48 hours?

I have a friend who does a lot of experimental stuff with glazes I will contact him and see if he has any opinion. 

Catherine Rehbein's work is really nice and colorful, and your right it is glossy and not a sandy matte look like SH's work.


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