The charisma and vibrancy of a swimming pool design can often be defined by its glaze. With primary materials of cobalt, copper, and iron oxides there is an almost endless palette of colours to work with.
The characteristics (hue, intensity, value) of these colours can be individually developed to replicate exactly what has emerged from the design room; an entire gamut, from gloriously eye-catching and translucent to more subtle, muted tones, all designed to harmonise with the contours and modelling of the clay. Techniques such as ‘crazing’ can further the depth and personality of the colours. The finish of the glaze can then help to define the character of the pool mosaic through choice whether matt, glossy or glassy. Other than glazing, clay may be stained in its wet form or the static colour of engobe can be used to offer extra aesthetic options.
The processes that bring permanent colour to a swimming pool mosaic are high temperature (normally between 900 and 1100 degrees centigrade) chemical reactions, which means that the knowledge and experience of the craftspeople applying the materials is essential: from brushing and spray techniques during application, knowing what temperature a certain glaze will mature, to the ability of anticipating the colour of a glaze after firing. Further and very beautiful techniques come with more experience, such as the mixing and layering of alternative materials to cause fusion reactions in the kiln.
It is this intricate knowledge of glazing and colouring, and indeed each stage of the ceramic process, that makes Craig Bragdy’s artists and craftspeople stand out from others and keep producing exciting and dynamic works of art.