Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Creative Arts


This research investigates "middle fire" ceramic glazes in the firing temperatures between 1100 and 1200 degrees centigrade (Seger cones 1 to 6). It addresses an area of firing temperatures that has been largely neglected over the centuries, in contrast to both earthenware and stoneware about which there is a vast amount of information available. The research shows, however, that there is evidence of a current growth of interest worldwide in midfiring for reasons of economy and ecology. The author's long invovement in pottery extending over forty years positions him well to develop glazes in this study which compare favourably with those in other temperature ranges.

Of added significance and originality the middle fire glazes have been developed for "once firing" or "raw glazing" where glaze is applied to the damp pot thereby eliminating the biscuit fire. Researching the literature of ceramic studio work done both in Australia and overseas has yielded no reference to this method of glaze application at the middle fire temperatures. The combination of middle firing and raw glaze application is worthy of consideration because each part of the process saves on fuel consumption. There isa saving in costs for the potter and there are benefits to the ecology with less fossil fuels used, less greenhouse gasses created and less contribution to the possible global warming.

The dissertation is of necessity a technical paper put into perspective by a brief examination of the history of glazes, as seen from the viewpoint of a potter as opposed to the traditional archaeological viewpoint. Early pottery from the Middle East, China, Japan, Korea and Europe are considered. The links between these Asian and European traditions and Australian ceramics, introduced by Bernard Leach with the publication of his APotter's Book, are described as the basis of Australian glaze traditions.

Recipes for raw glazes firing at Seger cones 1 to 6 are listed together with descriptions of the fired results and Seger formula calculations.