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Utilisation of Andesite as a ceramic design material: Hakan Ergun and Munevver Caki explore the creative use of andesite.


AFYONKARAHISAR IS A PROVINCE LOCATED IN THE Aegean region acting as a gateway between the west and inner regions of Anatolia. It has borders with the central Anatolia and Mediterranean regions. Afyonkarahisar was initially known as Akronio according to the old Greek references. It has a rich and tumultuous history. As it is located at the crossing point, it has been home to the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Hittites passed through this city during the Arzava war time; Phrygians finally settled in Afyon, and Persians choose Apemeia as a centre.

Alexander the Great's generals accessed the battle for a share of Anatolia here (the Ipos battle); the Romans' trade roads met in Afyon. Byzantines used Amerioum as a military base of Anatolia. Afyonkarahisar is a good source of magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks geologically. High parts of the region where the metamorphic tuffs exist were used for building shelters and shrines in ancient times and then marble and other natural stones were used as a coating material for the buildings. Afyonkarahisar has a large quantity of mine reserves. Granite, basalt, andesite and trachyte are used as coating materials for buildings. (1, 2)

Rocks are grouped under broad, generalised headings and subheadings and they are classified according to their mode of formation. Andesite is an aphanitic and extrusive igneous rock composed of the Na-rich plagioclase, pyroxene and amphibole. It usually contains little or no quartz and has the same composition as diorite. The texture of andesite is generally porphyritic, with phenocrysts of feldspar and ferromagnesian minerals. The rock is named after the Andes Mountains, where volcanic eruptions have produced it in great abundance. Andesite is the next most abundant lava type after basalt and occurs most frequently along continental margins. Depending on its mineral constituents, andesite has a colour range changing from light gray to black, blackish-brown or greenish, reddish brown and pinky tones. (3-5)






Some studies have been carried out recently to use andesite as a coating material and raw material in the ceramics sector. In some of the studies, colourful earthenware and stoneware glazing were applied to the surfaces of andesite stones from the Afyon region. Moreover, an attempt was made to use the material as an artistic decorative production by underglazing and overglazing decor applications and successful results were obtained. (6)

Material and Method: Andesite tablets were gathered from the mine and cut in the factory to desired dimensions. After cleaning their surfaces, andesite tablets were surrounded by the tapes which have different thicknesses on all sides in order to obtain a reservoir for casting (Fig.1). A liquid clay is poured into the reservoir in andesite tablets and set aside until the clay becomes as hard as skin (Fig. 2).

When the liquid clay reached this state, different designs were applied to the clay using sharp tools. Then the fast drying process was started. Benefiting from the porosity of andesite stone, some cracks were allowed during the drying process. The cracks were partly oriented by changing the direction of the drier. In order to obtain small cracks, thin slips and faster drying are used; thick slips are used for larger cracks. After the cracking and drying processes were completed, some of the cracked pieces were removed from the andesite tablet surface as a part of the designing project. After completing the designing on andesite tablets, different colours of glazes were applied by spraying or by brushing. Then they were fired in 1160[degrees]C (Fig. 4).

Although natural andesite tablets are grey and porous, they turn into semi glossy, dark brown. Because of this, an interface occurs between the andesite tablet and applied clay. In the chemical analysis of andesite, it was determined that total alkali (9.17 percent) and iron Fe2O3 (8.68 percent) amounts are quite high. It is thought that these vitrifying oxides play an important role in the vitrification and colour change of andesite. Different forms were produced using natural andesite and clay (Fig. 5-7). CONCLUSION: Individual and social lifestyles are affected by changing and developing technology. As a result, people have different requirements in order to increase the quality of their lives in terms of economy, environment, culture and art. At this point, ceramics artists feel a desire and obligation to use different materials and techniques.

All desired effects related with their products are obtained by using different techniques and different materials. The body, the glaze and the colours are important elements for an artist and producer. Thus, it is concluded that andesite can be used as a design material in ceramic art due to its technical advantages. It is also suggested that andesite can be utilised in the production of artistic attractive forms.

Andesite is an aphanitic and extrusive igneous rock composed of the Na-rich plagioclase, pyroxene and amphibole. It usually contains little or no quartz and has the same composition as diorite. The texture of andesite is generally porphyritic, with phenocrysts of feldspar and ferromagnesian minerals.


(1.) Yuksel, I. and Ilasli, A., "Anadolu'nun Kilidi Afyon" (Afyon: The Lock of Anatolia:), T C Afyonkarahisar Governorship, No. 21, Volume 2, p. 45-48, Semih Ofset Inc., Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, 2004.

(2.) Buyuksagis, I S, Afyonkarahisar'in Yeralti Zenginlikleri, Afyonkarahisar Kutugu, (Geological Formation of Afyonkarahisar and Index of Afyonkarahisar) Baski Uyum Agency, No:35, Volume 1, Part 8, p 295-299, Ankara, Turkey. 2002.

(3.) Sutherland, B., Glazes From Natural Sources, A&C Black Ltd., p. 15-17, London. 2005.

(4.) Hamblin, W K, Introduction to Physical Geology, Macmillan Publishing Company, p. 71, U.S.A, 1991.

(5.) Mottana, A, Crespi, R and Liboiro, G, Guide to Rocks and Minerals, Simon & Schuster Inc., US. 1977.

(6.) Sariisik, A, Demirel, S, Gorkem, O, Ergun H, Ak, G, C, and Ergun, M., "Afyon Bolgesi Andezitlerine Seramik Sir Tekniklerinin Uygulanmasi ve Endustriyel Yeni Urun Gelistirme" (Implementation of Ceramic Glaze Techniques on Andesites of Afyon Region and Development of New Industrial Product), Afyonkarahisar: Turkey VI. Marble and Natural Stone Symposium Proceedings Book, Grup Inc., p. 107-126, Ankara, Turkey, 2008.

Munevver Caki was born in Kutahya, Turkey. She graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Chemistry and Metallurgy Faculty, Metallurgy Engineering Department, in 1983. She earned her Masters degree in 1986 and her PhD degree in 1995 from Istanbul Technical University, Institute of Science and Technology. Since 1987 she has worked as an Associate Professor at Anadolu University , Faculty of Fine Arts, Ceramic Department. Hakan Ergun was born in Kutahya, Turkey. He graduated from Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Ceramics Department in 2005. He earned his Masters degree in 2009 from Afyon Kocatepe University, Graduate School of Social Sciences. He participated in many group exhibitions in national and international events, projects and symposiums. He is currently working as a lecturer in Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramics Department.
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Author:Ergun, Hakan; Caki, Munevver
Publication:Ceramics Technical
Date:May 1, 2012
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