Alchemy in the Art of Traditional Japanese Ceramics: Microstructure and Formation Mechanism of Gold-Colored Bizen Stoneware

Yoshihiro Kusano, Minoru Fukuhara, Taichi Fujino, Tatsuo Fujii, Mikio Takano, Jun Takada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The microstructure and formation process of the golden color on traditional Japanese Bizen stoneware was investigated through model experiments. The current compositional and structural research of pottery fragments has revealed that the golden color comes from Fe oxide consisting of approximately 100 nm thick agglomerates of Al-substituted hematite (α-(Fe1-xAlx)2O3, x ≈ 0.05). The color is reproducible in the laboratory by sequential heat treatments of Bizen clay pellets under oxidizing and reducing atmospheres with an amount of potassium supplied as a melting point depressant. Lustrous colors such as silver and gold in Bizen stoneware have generally been attributed to the optical interference in superficial carbon films produced by burning wood fuel. Here, we show that the golden color is caused by the formation of Al-substituted hematite, not by the formation of carbon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 8 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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