Advanced technical ceramics seem to belong to the world of science fiction, so thrilling is the output of new materials with unbelievable qualities. When I hear of plasma-sprayed ceramic coatings for bone implants, of high sensitivity ceramic sensors, of thermo-structural materials and special, ceramic laminated glasses, of elements with zirconium –yittrium, and alumina I over again get marveled and amused: Amused, because the qualities required for application in aero space, pharmaceutical, mechanical and electronic industry, require qualities, that very much the same as in the past, and remote past. If indeed, the biggest amount of archaeological findings are ceramics, it is because of its peculiar qualities:
-Outstanding performance even at medium and high pressures; – Anti-wear feature; – Resistance to acids and abrasives; – Chemically inertia – Compatibility with foods, drugs and cosmetics thanks to no release of material – Low maintenance request and extremely long life – Impermeability – Low friction coefficient
These peculiarities are even enhanced in advanced ceramic technology making ceramics irreplaceable in many fields.
Finding ways to include new materials into the clay body can be very exciting also for the artist, here aimed at an esthetic reason: to achieve strong surface and structure. In spring 2015, we are lucky enough to host a Jeff Foster, a ceramicist who has extensively experimented with the inclusion of various materials in his building processes. If you do have an interest in this thematic, check out his workshop, April 5th – 11th 2015