In retrospect, it all makes sense: When creating cast iron, you put iron oxide into an oxygen-less environment and heat it up at around 2400 °F (1300 °C). And, when I removed my test batches of mostly ochre pigments (all iron oxide based) from the kiln heated to within these specifications, I found that most of it had turned into iron ore. But, I’m not at all despondent because of this result; here’s why:
First, each and every bit of iron ore is totally unique! While every one of the samples could be easily categorized as simple, “iron ore” no two are the same. If you’re interested, take a close look at each crucible: A couple have shrunk (one into a quarter-sized circle); most are now gray, but a few have retained colour; one now looks like a muffin. I think this is amazing!
Second, two of the samples are still in a powder form (so, I have created two more unique colours for my current Transart project).
And, third, the bone sample (top right in the photo above) which I put into the last crucible created the most beautiful glaze … there was nothing else in the bowl except pieces of bone a friend gave me from Alberta, but it fluxed all by itself and created a really beautiful glaze that blends from an orange, into a opaque white and then into a pale green.
If I could justify it, I’d stop painting right now and spend a month just exploring that glaze!