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Glossary

Word of the Day!

crazing


A network of cracks which sometimes forms in ceramic glazes; crackle. It may be desirable or not, depending on the artist's wishes. It is caused by the glaze and clay body contracting at different rates as they cool after firing. A similar pattern in the surface of oil paints is known as crackle instead of crazing. Crackle in oil paintings is less likely when the painter follows the rule of fat over lean -- when oil colors will be applied in layers (coats), the first layer should be leanest (least oil) followed by layers with progressively more fat (more oil.) Following this principle results in a work less likely to crack in aging. Similarly, in order to encourage crazing, later coats should have less oil than earlier ones. Desirable in crackle glazes, but not for functional earthenware.


xylography

A printing technique that involves carving text in relief upon a wooden block. When inked, the impression is transferred to paper. The oldest known printed works were produced by this method in Japan and China during the 8th and 9th centuries. This method of wood-block printing appeared in Europe in the 14th century and eventually inspired Johannes Gutenberg to create type pieces out of metal.

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