So what is the process for creating the glazes to be applied to artefacts thrown on the pottery wheel or modelled by hand?

The starting point is the knowledge of the Aosta Valley morphology and of its type of rocks.
Once I have identified the useful type of mineral for producing glazes, I start researching the area for rock samples. Once the search is over, I gather the mineral with hammer and chisels.
I then calcine the collected material: I fire the rock at about 1000 degrees to soften it and make it more friable.
The calcined material is then ground in a home-made ball mill: hardened steel balls rotate in a closed metal cylinder with the ore and crush it.
The resulting powder is mixed with the other ingredients collected to perform numerous tests in order to obtain functional, durable and safe glazes.
I then perform a strength test on the chosen glazes, which are immersed in muriatic acid for about 24 hours to test their resistance. In any case, these glazes do not contain any harmful substances, as they are lead- and cadmium-free.
The approved glaze is then prepared in larger quantities and applied to the artefacts just before firing.
Firing which takes place in an electric oven at around 1300 degrees.

To date, here are the raw materials I collect and use in my glazes:

  • Ortogneiss
  • Calcescisto
  • Plagioclase
  • Beech ash

As for the beech ash, I use ash from the stove with which I heat the house. The ash is simply sieved to discard the larger particles.

The colours are therefore a consequence of the raw materials used.

To these ingredients, I add small percentages of copper and cobalt oxide to give a boost of colour to the glazes with green and blue tones.