Friday, August 14, 2009

Here's my Question

[One of them,anyway]
I love the sight of the setting sun lighting up the dried husks of wild grasses as if they were made of porcelain. Now we know [we potters,that is] that the ash from such grasses and stalks is rich in silica - rice husk ash,according to Phil Rogers' book on ash glazes,contains an astonishing 94% silica [it's the basis for the Japanese/Mashiko Nuka glaze],and wheat straw 67%. Since silica,with a pinch or two of other minerals,gives us glass [and porcelain] and seems to be alone in the mineral world in its attribute of translucency,I wonder whether the translucence of those husks in the setting sun is due to their silicate nature. So far I have asked a couple of chemists,a passing nuclear physisist and friends ceramic and/or intelligent. Not that I am in any hurry to find an answer;meanwhile I'm just enjoying the question.


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