Contemporary Craft

The Glaze Spectrum

In 2016, Helen Love, a ceramics technician at Grays School of Art and Glass, was commissioned by Aberdeen Art Gallery to create an original installation for their reopening. Using traditional ingredients of minerals, clays and metal oxides, she created almost five hundred ceramic test tiles covering the full spectrum and using only natural minerals, clays and metal oxides. For more than two years she did this, collecting a vast amount of data that she wanted to share with the wider world. In September 2018, to assist her in funding the research, she set up an online fundraiser campaign.

Collaborating with creative agency Design and Code, the intention was to transform her installation into an interactive website, 'The Glaze Spectrum: A Digital Library', where anyone could access the data and glaze recipes. Using eight metal oxides to create a vast spectrum of colours, the resource could become an invaluable tool for learning about the foundations of ceramic glazes. For the more advanced users, it would be a place to compare glaze features such as colours and certain firings.


On Instagram followers have been tracking the progress of her project for a while now via @glazesprectrum, as well as on Twitter, and some of the results of her research were made public on the Design and Code Glaze Spectrum website recently. To say that Helen Love is passionate about glaze chemistry is an understatement, for sure. You can assist her in furthering her research into what she has termed an edu-clay-tional resource, by visiting her Gofundme page now and contributing a donation to carry the project forward.

Already, mockups of this highly valuable resource have been made to illustrate just how useful it will become. For the non-chemists among us, the idea that Helen is able to create a searchable ceramic glaze-recipe database with all the colours of the rainbow represented, and from just eight metal oxides, probably sounds like some strange alchemy, indeed. Effectively, what she is producing is a collection on Pantone-like ceramic swatches with the recipe and firing required to replicate every colour, or, seen another way; from a web designers point of view, a ceramic version of every hexadecimal colour value available. It will be quite an achievement once the project goes live.

The Glaze Spectrum  website mockups for mobile devices, here showing the search filter options to help ceramicists find glaze recipes and data on the open source application.

The Glaze Spectrum website mockups for mobile devices, here showing the search filter options to help ceramicists find glaze recipes and data on the open source application.


The Glaze Spectrum | Website

Art Jewellery at Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo

As the press release states of Everyone Says Hello (curated by Lars Sture of Norwegian Crafts) here is an exhibition consisting of works by twenty artists from around the world who each explore diverse approaches to the making of jewellery. The exhibition presents works, it is said, that manifest the contributing artists’ different geographical, cultural and political positions, but also links them together, too. Everyone Says Hello both addresses and problematises the society in which we live, but it serves another purpose, as well. As Norwegian Crafts’ director Hege Henriksen has stated, to bring international perspectives and artists to Norway is an important part of internationalising crafts in the country: “Despite being a small field within contemporary crafts, art jewellery has many arenas and exhibition venues internationally. With this exhibition, we want to stimulate the audience and convey something about what art jewellery can be today.”

Benedikt Fischer ,  Pearly Whites.  (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

Benedikt Fischer, Pearly Whites. (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

As the organisers of the exhibition have stated, “Contemporary craft is often described as a genre of art with a close relation to everyday life. The materials at the heart of the craft field – ceramics, textiles, wood and so forth – are part of the functional and decorative objects we surround ourselves with. Jewellery is often part of this ordinary system of value – as costly and beautiful objects with exclusive connotations. In Everyone Says Hello, artists who challenge this system present jewellery that tell stories about cultural identity, challenges to the climate, political activism and gender-related politics. Together, their stories create a sometimes humorous, sometimes disturbing portrait of everyday life and the times in which we live.”

Reinhold Ziegler ,  Assembled Stone Age Paraphernalia . (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

Reinhold Ziegler, Assembled Stone Age Paraphernalia. (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

Dana Hakim ,  Crafted Fear . (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

Dana Hakim, Crafted Fear. (Photo: courtesy Norwegian Crafts)

Installation View  (Photo: Thomas Tveter).

Installation View (Photo: Thomas Tveter).

Contemporary art jewellery at Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, produced in collaboration with Norwegian Crafts.
Continues until – 24 February 2019.

Curated by Lars Sture of Norwegian Crafts, with work by: Benedikt Fischer (NL), Neke Moa (NZ), Reinhold Ziegler (NO), Helene Duckert (NO), Máret Ánne Sara (NO) and Matt Lambert (US), Ahmed Umar (NO/SD), Beatrice Brovia (SE/IT) and Nicolas Cheng (SE/HK), Camilla Luihn (NO), Katie Kameen (US), Nanna Melland (NO), Jorge Manilla (MX/BE), Lisa Walker (NZ), Dana Hakim (IL), Heidi Sand (NO), Veronika Fabian (HU/UK), Auli Laitinen (SE), Darja Popolitova (EE) og Sigurd Bronger (NO).