Titanium Dioxide

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While titanium dioxide is used in glazes as an opacifier, it is not as effective and easy-to-use as tin oxide or zircon. It can be used as an additive to enliven (variegate, crystallize) the colour and texture of glazes (rutile works in a similar manner). In moderate amounts it encourages strong melts, durable surfaces and rich visual textures.

Mechanisms

Glaze Crystallization - Crystallization

TiO2 dissolves into the melt during firing but normally re-crystallizes (or acts as a crystallization catalyst) during cooling (with rutile structure).

Glaze Matteness - Crystal Matte

Titanium can be used in glazes to produce a matte surface with increasing amounts of crystallization in amounts up to 25%. The effect works in most stoneware glazes and is better when the glaze is slow cooled.

Glaze Opacifier - White

Titanium is a crystalline mineral and encourages crystal development during cooling and freezing of the glaze melt. This generally produces opacity. However, titanium opacified glazes have a much different character than zircon or tin types. The latter produces a much more even and bright white coloration. When used as an opacifier the batch amount can range to 10% or more of the recipe.

Glaze Variegation - Titanium

Smaller amounts of titanium dioxide (i.e. 5%) added to coloured or opacified recipes can variegate the surface and make it more interesting (e.g. it alters the shape of crystals, shade of colours).

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