Solar-powered glazing study produces partly cloudy results

Solar-powered glazing study produces partly cloudy results

081218_08_2.jpg
081218_08_2.jpg

Photo supplied

Jordan uses this device, made from mirors, to glaze ceramics.

ENGLISH expat Christopher Jordan perplexed ceramic experts at the National Centre for Khmer Ceramics Revival in Siem Reap last Friday when he attempted to demonstrate what he says is an ancient technique for glazing pottery using mirrors and sunlight. 

But even he admits his demonstration was far from perfect and failed to fully prove his theory ... for now.

Jordan built a solar panel device in an attempt to explain how the ancient Khmer coated large statues in glass and glazing.  He cited the example of the three-meter-high statue of Shiva from 870 AD in the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

"There's really no way to create ceramics like the Shiva statue without this technology.  No one has come up with a better solution," he said.

Jordan found his solution on the walls of a sanctuary in Egypt and now says the ancient Khmer similarly directed sunlight at several mirrors and used these mirrors as pens to "write" on the pottery

"People were sceptical about whether you could melt ceramics with mirrors," said Jordan.

After Friday's demonstration, people are still sceptical. 

On Friday, Jordan told the Post that his device reached 1,000 degrees Celsius in under a minute but needed to be 30 percent hotter to perform effectively.  Instead, the mirrored sunlight created only a few splotches of glass on the pots.

Despite the fairly sunny afternoon, Jordan claimed that "the sun wasn't hot enough". 

The centre's director, Serge Rega, said Jordan's approach was interesting but needed more research to develop the technology. 

"He only made a few glazes with solar power," said Rega.  "But this could be the beginning of something." 

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,