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copper reds / historical shard needed

updated tue 3 nov 98


Jeff Lawrence on mon 2 nov 98

Hello Clayartists!

My copper red investigation is taking on a life of its own.

At first, Ray was convincing himself that the color was Cu2O, not copper
metal. In my last debacle of a firing (thanks to the "helpers" who
serendipitously jammed the door open and broke the oxyprobe) I overreduced
heavily. Most results were brownish but Ray sampled one nice looking red
part with an orangish cast ... and found it full of copper beads, possibly
with Cu2O dissolved in them. Now he has become (if possible) even more
interested in the actual composition of the red coloration. He was gnashing
his teeth about getting an electron micrograph, to lay the question to rest
in his mind. I thought this was just wishful thinking on his part, but Ray
is a man of action.

Now, Ray's daughter Dawn just happens to run a transmission electron
microscope facility at a university. Ray has managed to intrigue her with
the question of what exactly is causing the red color. She says that if she
can publish even a blurb about it, the university would probably approve the
cost of an analysis. But in order to make it publishable, she needs an
original Chinese red shard, from which she would have to slice a small section.

I've looked without success in the local close-out stores (I mean we're
talking about damaged goods, here!) and I have a long-shot line on a shard
which I'll pursue this week. However, this is an obscure endeavor; any help
or suggestions would be appreciated.