Brillant glazes under the microscope look like something from outer space

One of the most useful tools for the glaze technologist is a low power binocular optical microscope.  I purchased ours within days of my joining Morris & James in 1985, and it has been in constant use ever since.

For years I regretted not being able to take photographs of the fascinating and beautiful things I saw, but camera attachments were expensive and I couldn’t justify the cost.

Then a couple of years ago, I learned a trick from a technician at Auckland University - a mobile phone could take a photograph through the microscope eyepiece with no additional equipment needed.

These photographs show brilliant glazes such as our "Hollyberry” at  X20 magnification.  The vivid reds, oranges, yellows and greens  are formed in situ by a chemical reaction during the glaze firing, and show up under the microscope as beautiful swirls of colour.

- Mike Rose

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