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Making a Currie Standard Recipe Grid
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The Currie Standard Recipe Grid is a 5 x 7 biaxial blend constructed under certain strict guidelines. This biaxial blend has been promoted by Ian Currie as a method for the systematic study of glazes firstly in his book "Stoneware Glazes - A Systematic Approach" (Bootstrap Press) and more recently in "Revealing Glazes - Using the Grid Method" (Bootstrap Press). You can learn more about this approach at Ian's web site

The usefulness of this approach to the study of glazes is well recognised and Matrix provides a facility for the generation of such a blend as an addition to its custom blend creation processes.

What is a Currie Standard Recipe Grid

The Standard Recipe Grid is a 5 x 7 biaxial blend in which kaolin and silica materials are used to vary the Al2O3 and SiO2 content across the 35 recipes in the blend.

The grid is essentially a series of line blends in which silica material is increased horizontally and kaolin is increased vertically.

The grid is based on a particular recipe and is designed to generate a range of different quality melts. Each recipe in the blend has the same flux content. Differences in the quality of the fired glazes results from variation in Al2O3 (vertically) and SiO2 (horizontally) only.

Under Ian Currie's guidlines the Standard Recipe Grid uses only kaolin as a source of additional Al2O3 and silica material as a source of SiO2. This enables easier comparison of one grid with another in which case the different flux groups would be responsible for differences in the melts across the grid.

How a Standard Recipe Grid is Constructed

A Standard Recipe Grid is based on a particular recipe from which four corner recipes are created starting first with the Corner C.

Corner C Created by removing all non-flux source materials from the original recipe and converting the quantities to total 100.
Corner A Created by taking 60% of each Corner C recipe quantity and adding 40% kaolin to the recipe.
Corner D Created by taking 50% of each Corner C recipe quantity and adding 50% silica material to the recipe.
Corner B Created by taking 30% of each Corner C recipe quantity and adding 25% kaolin and 40% silica material to the recipe.

The blend is then generated within these corner recipe parameters.

How to Generate a Standard Recipe Grid Using Matrix

The first step is the selection of the recipe on which to base the grid. We can use the Cone 10 Glaze recipe as an example.

From the Recipe to Formula environment click on the the Blends tab.

Next click the Create a Currie Standard Al2O3 / SiO2 Recipe Grid button. This opens the window shown in Fig.1.

Fig.1 Creating a Currie Standard Recipe Grid.

Selecting the Base Recipe

Standard recipe grids are generated from a particular recipe which you must have already saved as an individual file. The creation of the grid commences with the selection of the base recipe.

Click the Select Base Glaze button and choose the recipe from the Individual Recipes folder.

Matrix immediately generates the corner recipes and they are displayed together with the base recipe.

The base recipe is also displayed on a graph which locates its position in relation to all of the other recipes which will be generated when the Make the Blend button is clicked. The graph shows the % of clay and silica material in each of the recipes in the grid. This graph is useful if you wish to design a blend which has a different range than the full Standard Recipe Grid created in this process.

Selecting the Type of Recipe Grid

Matrix offers two types of recipe grid. The Currie Standard Recipe Grid requires the inclusion of a china clay (kaolin) in the recipe. The Matrix Al/Si Recipe Grid will allow any clay to be used.

  • Matrix Al/Si Recipe Grid.
    This is the default setting. If there is a clay already in the base recipe then with this setting Matrix accepts that clay for generating

  • Currie Standard Recipe Grid
    With this selection Matrix ignores the presence of a clay and silica in the recipe and will ask you to choose a china clay and silica material for inclusion in the blend.

Making the Blend

Fig.2 Confirmation that the recipe grid has been created.

When the base recipe has been selected click the Make the Blend button.

Matrix generates the blend and then displays the information window shown in Fig.2

After clicking the OK button all of the buttons in the Recipe Grid window become active. The buttons perform the same functions as those in the Blends environment.

Checking the Individual Recipes in the Recipe Grid

After the Make the Blend button has been clicked the sample recipes in the full grid have been generated. You can view any of the generated recipes by clicking on a sample number on the Recipe Location Graph.

Checking the Al2O3 and SiO2 Range in the Recipe Grid

Fig.3 The recipe grid dislayed on an Al:Si graph

Click the button to open the Al:Si Graph (Fig.3)

While the graph shown in Fig.1 focuses on material quantity %'s in the recipe grid the Al:Si Graph displays the grid Al2O3 and SiO2 formula values.

The blue rectangle shows limit values for the current temperature setting in the Recipe to Formula environment.

The red square locates the base recipe Al2O3 and SiO2 formula values.

Base Recipes that have No Clay or Silica

Sometimes you may wish to generate a recipe grid from a recipe that has no clay and/or silica materials included. In such cases Matrix informs you that a clay and/or silica is need to to enable the generation of the recipe grid.(Fig.4)

Fig.4 Matrix reacts to a base recipe which contains no clay or no silica.

Fig.4 Shows a recipe selected which has no clay. When you click the OK button in the Warning Dialog the Material Selection window opens for you to choose the kaolin you wish to have included in the recipe grid. A similar event occurs if there is no silica material in the base recipe.

Changing the Sample Volumes

The default setting for Matrix Recipe Grid blends is the generation of sample recipes made up to a volume of 96 mls. In some cases you may wish to generate samples with smaller volumes e.g. if the materials in the blend are very expensive.

Matrix will generate a blend with volumes of either 96 mls or 48 mls. You can select the 48 mls option by selecting from the Sample Vol. menu before clicking the Make the Blend button.

Changing the Dillution Factor

Occasionally the base recipe you are working with may generate a recipe grid which is very thick in its consistency making it difficult (particularly in the Corner A and B recipes) to physically dispense the blend samples using the volumetric approach.

Matrix will generate a blend with in which the recipes are thinner in consistency. The Dillution Factor text box allows you to enter values which will generate thinner samples. The default setting is 100% If you wanted samples that are half as thick you could enter make the Dillution Factor 50%.

Saving the Recipe Grid Worksheet and Recipes

The recipe grid worksheet and recipes may now be saved using the buttons in the Save panel. More ...

Printing the Recipe Grid Worksheet and Recipes

You will also want to print out the worksheet data so that you can mix the blend. You may also want to obtain a printout of the recipe grid recipes and formulae using buttons in the Print panel.

Physically Making the Blend

To physically making the blend you will need to print the worksheet data.

Click the Worksheet Data button in the Print panel to get the printout you need. You can take this printout to your glaze mixing lab and prepare the grid recipes and test tiles for firing.

Assessing the Blend After Firing

After you have fired the blend you will want to refer to the individual recipes representing the glazes on the test tiles.

Click the Blend Recipes button in the Print panel to get the printout which includes all recipes and their unity formulae.

Follow these links for more information about:


Overview | Creating a Blend | Line Blends | Triaxial Blends | Quadraxial or Biaxial Blends |
Currie Standard Recipe Grids
| Saving a and Printing Blend Data | Viewing Blend Data on Screen | Volumetric Blending