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Some like to prepare it on their own. They buy all ingredients, as if they were to bake a cake, but instead of flour they have minerals and they have oxides, and maybe a mask on their mouth since there is nothing more dangerous to the potter than the dust flying and settling over their lungs. They are going to very carefully weigh the quantities, following receipts that are maybe secret, maybe well known, maybe readjusted and new to the world. They are going to pour water on their mixture, and leave it. They are then going to mix and pay attention, as no lump has to be found. Just like your own good besciamella. Eveything has to be filtered a couple of time at least. Back and forth, from a bucket to another. Let it rest.

As home-baked cakes, these glazes may not always turn out perfect, may behave a little stranger than the already-prepared. Some others choose to buy this kind of glazes from the retailer. And there is a colour that you’re always going to recognize as being bought: the red colour on a high-fired vessel. You can recognize the brilliant and intense red, its fugitive nature, its movement on the vessel as you could still see it moving into the oven, the yellow nuances that become sometimes stronger, while sometimes they do force red to be almost orange. It’s a beautiful colour, a beautiful blank sensation. You won’t ever get, as far as I know, such a result when you’re at your workshop, weighing your ingredients and playing with your stills. At least, not with a electric oven. The red colour is a difficult colour. Often expensive, often capricious, often just won’t resist to such high temperatures as those you need when you burn stoneware, the harder and often pale clay that gets compact at 1100 C and then, won’t let out a single drop of water or wine out of its body.

That’s why looking at a vessel means looking at a chemical manifesto. It means oxides and silica embracing the clay, dancing on the surface and crystallizing after more than thousand degrees are reached, then calming down and freezing in the beauty of your coffee cup. Fascinating, isn’t it?

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