Our images this week show a zoomed-out view of the region of the ceramic sample containing the mullite “thicket” from last week.  I am often struck by the visual similarities between SEM images, which show very small patches of a fired ceramic surface, and aerial photographs of geographic landscape.  Cracks appear like roads or fissures in the ground; protruding crystals resemble hills, mountains, or volcanoes.  Of course, in a very rough sense, […]

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Greetings NCECA Pals! The NCECA Portland Team has been working hard to make our 2017 conference good and sustainable and we want you to go green with us! Check it out: Ideas for lessening your personal conference footprint this NCECA: 1) Take the MAX to and from the airport. There’s a MAX station right outside the doors of the Portland International Airport. The train is speedy and scenic and will take you right into the […]

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This week we feature another SEM image of the etched, fired ceramic surface we’ve been examining the past few weeks.  This view looks into a small pit/cavity with an overgrowth of plate-like crystals jumbled together with needle-like (acicular) crystals.  The needles are most likely composed of mullite, also known as porcelainite, an aluminosilicate material found commonly in fired ceramics.  A scale bar of one micron (one thousandth of a millimeter) is shown in the […]

NSJE application deadline is September 28th Are you a current undergraduate, graduate, or post-bac STUDENT? Stop procrastinating, and apply now for the National Student Juried Exhibition! This year’s exhibition will be held in conjunction with the 2017 conference Future Flux at the Hoffman Gallery at Oregon College of Art and Craft, March 4 – 28, 2017. Take the opportunity to have your work viewed by this year’s jurors, Linda Arbuckle […]

Last week we introduced the technique of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and posted an electron micrograph (SEM image) of a hexagonal alumina/hematite crystal formed in a “flashing” region on the surface of a ceramic vessel from an atmospheric firing.  We noted that SEM is capable of capturing images with resolution much finer than the limit of optical microscopy, which is roughly a few hundred nanometers.  In the gallery of images below, […]

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Today’s featured image was obtained using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  It shows a patch of micro/nano-crystals found on the etched surface of the sample discussed in last week’s post.  For scale, the edge of the hexagonal platelet located just to the right of and above center is about ten microns (one one-hundredth of a millimeter).  Those not familiar with electron microscopy may wonder why the image is monochrome and why we […]