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Art & Archaeology

Get inked with ceramics—or maybe not

By Lisa McDonald / September 6, 2019

Titanium dioxide is the second most common pigment used in tattoo inks. Yet researchers of two studies warn nano-TiO2 could travel to your lymph nodes—and bring metal particles from the needle along with it.

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Learn about “Science for Potters” this Mother’s Day—an essential reading for ceramic artists!

By Lisa McDonald / May 14, 2019

“Science for Potters” covers those aspects of science that are useful to potters and that help to give a deeper understanding of ceramic materials and processes. Save 30 percent when you order your copy by Thursday, May 16.

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Video: A library of rare colors

By Lisa McDonald / April 3, 2019

The Forbes Pigment Collection at Harvard Art Museums has more than 2,500 pigment samples. Learn how scientists and artists use these pigments in painting restoration and authentication, as well as the unusual materials some pigments are made from.

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Video: 3D printing creates ceramic sculptures…but is it art?

By Lisa McDonald / February 6, 2019

Students at The University of Texas at El Paso created 3D-printed ceramic sculptures for an art exhibition. The project raised questions among students about if 3D-printed objects are real art.

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New study of Easter Island inhabitants suggests collaboration, not competition

By Faye Oney / August 21, 2018

A new study shows that early settlers of Easter Island collaborated with each other to build the giant moai statues that are scattered around the island. This disputes earlier theories that the inhabitants competed with each other, leading to their decline.

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Video: Extraterrestrial glass found in Africa questions theories of solar system’s creation

By Faye Oney / January 31, 2018

Scientists have discovered that glass stones found in Africa in 1996 consist of a mineral matrix and chemical element properties unlike anything in our solar system—leading them to question how our solar system originally formed.

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Halloween science: Ceramics help create the gore of early Hollywood horror flicks

By April Gocha / October 31, 2017

There’s some interesting science behind Hollywood’s many renditions of fake blood. And ceramics even helped some of the earliest horror film directors achieve the perfect consistency to fake out—and freak out—moviegoers.

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High-tech methods confirm Pliny the Elder’s observations and reveal new insights into strength of Roman concrete

By April Gocha / July 31, 2017

An international group of scientists recently found that the key to the strength of ancient Roman concrete is the presence of aluminous tobermorite, a mineral that slowly forms within voids and prevents cracks from traversing through the concrete.

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In the name of liberty, America’s favorite lady dons some serious materials science

By April Gocha / July 4, 2017

One of America’s most iconic representations of its freedom towers some 305 feet above Liberty Island in New York City, N.Y.—the Statue of Liberty. Watch this video to learn more about the unique chemistry of her materials.

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Marv Bolt pens ode to glass, the eye of science, in special issue of IJAGS

By April Gocha / May 2, 2017

In the March 2017 issue of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science, the second part of a two-part special issue series, Marv Bolt wrote a fascinating opening article all about glass’s role as the eye of science.

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