OUR STORY & THE PROCESS
Rod Page first developed Crystal Glazes over 45 years ago producing pottery with just a few small crystals on each pot. Over the years Rod continued to experiment, refining the process to create unique Crystalline Pottery.
The basic process involves trying to imitate the way crystals form in the natural world. The earth has been producing crystals for millennia. Diamonds and Sapphires formed from immense heat and pressure combined with slow cooling over millions of years. After forming the pots on the potter’s wheel using porcelain clay he fires them in an electric kiln to 1000°C.
Rod then coats the pot with his unique glass recipe which contains Silica and Zinc. For different colours he adds various metals to the recipe - rust for citrine, copper for jade, cobalt for sapphire and manganese for pink champagne. The pot is then returned to the kiln and fired to 1320°C. This extremely high temperature melts the glass recipe to the porcelain forming a strong vitreous body. Finally, slowly cooling the kiln over many hours to allow the silica and zinc to form zinc silicate crystal known as willemite. These crystal grow randomly to produce a truly unique piece, a work of art.
HISTORY OF CRYSTAL POTTERY
The Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD) produced ancient Chinese oil spot glazes that contained small crystals in them, although growing the crystals was unplanned and unintentional. Later in 13th century China, during the Ming Dynasty, crystals were again accidentally formed. As far as written records show, there were no other attempts to continue crystalline experimentation in the subsequent dynasties.
During the Art Nouveau movement, near the end of the 19th century, the style of a single glaze on a simple form began to have an appeal. The crystalline glaze was seen as something new, and possibly profitable, if it could be refined and controlled. Although advancements were made in Europe into the first decade of the 20th century, nearly all crystalline work stopped at the beginning of World War One.
The challenge was taken up again in the late 1980s by studio potters in the UK and North America. And also by Rod Page in Australia