In 'The complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes' John Britt presented a complete communication system so that the readers can have a better success in reproducing high fire glazes. The recipes are complemented with examples of work by contemporary potters. Detailed explanation is given for mixing, application and firing cycles for each and every glaze types. There is also a plotted graph to show it's position in relation to the alumina and silica limits. This is a meaningful visual aid if one is concerned with durability for making functional wares. I am impressed with the inclusion of the detailed gas firing cycle charts; There are no mis-interpretations of relative terms like 'light' or 'heavy'. John Britt makes sure that the readers understand the intricacies of the firing cycle in relations to the recipes. The detailed information is well laid out. and the language is not too technical. This is a useful reference book for glaze addicts of all levels.
I first discovered this book whilst studying for my ceramics degree. After going through Cooper's Book of Glaze Recipes which was a required purchase (and rightly so) I went hunting for even more. I was doing my own experiments in glazes in my second year, and haunted the glaze lab to the point that the techs had to throw me out of an evening! I found this book extremely useful as it got me exploring glaze layering and ash glazes and so on. It covers both oxidation and reduction glazes, but the proportions of the ingredients go to 3 decimal places which can be a little tricky if you don't have a very expensive set of scales. What I did was round up and down and record what I'd adjusted. Which also tought me a valuable lesson: unless it's the oxides, you don't have to worry too much about a couple grams in the large batches.
While opening "The complete guide to high-fire glazes", one is amazed at the quality of the pictures. Photos of pieces from various artists show the quality of the glazes, of which recipes are given. These pictures and tiles pictures provide comparisons between glazes, fired in different conditions, or on various clays. This is very interesting information. By focusing on a narrow range of firing temperatures, the author is thoroughly complete on this subject. He refers to a series of detailed firing curves regarding temperature rising and oxidation/reduction conditions. His style is short, precise and concentrated on the useful information. The book describes the general principles of mixing, applying and firing glazes. About each type of glazes, specific information is given, as well as tested recipes. Recipes are useful to the beginner. He will be able to try some glazes directly with a maximum of chances of success and he will begin to understand the mechanisms ruling glaze melting. The experienced ceramist will take profit from advice given in order to improve his glazes and create new ones. John BRITT brings together principles and practical experience in a very useful manner.
Excellent book. A lot of very useful tips for potters. glazes examples illustrated very well by either tiles or beautiful pieces of work. I have already tried some glazes recipes and they work. I recommend this book every one who likes to play with glazes.