Silicon Carbide; a sooty black substance that is used in all manner of modern things, including bullet proof vests and car brakes! So, it is surprising that we can also use it to create incredible, textured glaze surfaces.
My journey with the addictive substance of silicon carbide, has been bubbling away now for over 20 years (I started very young!). This cheeky, volatile product completely inspires me; mainly to see if I can possibly get some sort of control over it. It is always exciting opening the kiln, but when you have glazes laden with Silicon Carbide, you just never quite know what you are going to find, including the possibility of a messy puddle of frothy glaze on your kiln shelf.
Volcanic glazes, also known as Lava Glazes, are quite unpredictable to say the least. There a few different ways to get the effect, one of the most popular is Silicon Carbide, which is what I use. Generally, between 1-3% will show results.
It is incredible that at a certain temperature in the firing, a chemical reaction takes place that causes gases to bubble to the surface of the glaze, which are then sort of 'frozen’ thus creating amazing and interesting textured surfaces.