Monday, 30 June 2014

Some new pots and glazes

Gosh, doesn't time fly? I can't quite believe it's been over two months since I posted anything here. Well, my only excuse is that I've been pretty busy, continuing to try out different methods of making, developing new glazes and testing them, all with varying degrees of success.

The matte ash glazes, based on an original recipe by Carlos Versluys, have proved to be particularly interesting, but also very challenging, as their textures and colours are affected by so many factors. So far I've produced some attractive, crackled textures by applying them thickly, but to achieve a good colour response from the clay body, I am realising that they need to be applied fairly thinly, since the glaze, especially if calcined alumina is added, is highly refractory.

But, at the risk of repeating myself, it's only by experimenting and "failing" a few times, that one can discover what the critical factors are, and narrow down the parameters within which the potential for success lies. And of course, the more things you try, the more chance there is of serendipity stepping in and offering up pleasant surprises like this one from Saturday's firing:

Vase, electric fired, 4 ins tall

This vase was coated with with white slip, and after the bisque, was glazed with a dolomite glaze ( my thanks to Rachel Wood for the recipe, found in Techniques Using Slips, by John Mathieson) dipped half way over a Japanese-style Oribe glaze. I am guessing the white dolomite has picked up some of the copper oxide from the Oribe, just enough to turn it this wonderful orange colour.

Another exciting result came from putting the same dolomite glaze over one of the matte ash glazes containing iron oxide. Fired in the electric kiln to around cone 7/8, it came out fairly crawled, revealing the cracked texture of the matte glaze beneath:

Bowl, electric fired, 4 ins wide

Someone said they thought this looked like a thin layer of snow over dry earth..

Anyway, here is another selection of pieces I've fired recently, either by electric or gas and wood:

Vase, electric fired

Close-up of above vase

Vase, raw ash glaze, fired with gas and wood

Two vases, fired with gas and wood

Container, fired with gas and wood

Squared vase, Nuka glaze, electric fired

Squared vase, Nuka glaze, electric fired

Bottle vase, dolomite glaze, electric fired

Vase, dolomite glaze, electric fired

Carved guinomi, matte ash glaze, fired with gas and wood

Carved guinomi, matte shino glaze, fired with gas and wood

Carved guinomi, matte shino glaze, fired with gas and wood
Guinomi, dolomite glaze, electric fired
Guinomi, dolomite glaze, electric fired

Sake cup, dolomite glaze, electric fired

Sake cup, dolomite glaze, electric fired
Thanks for reading.


  1. I definitly must start trying ashglazes...what you explain about matte ashglazes is very appealing...
    I'm always happy when you post new pots... I love them! :-)

  2. Thank you, so glad you like the pots :) Good luck if you try ash glazes .. they are not easy or predictable, but that is part of their appeal. Most of them work best in a reduction atmosphere.

  3. Me gusta mucho tu trabajo.
    Es digno de admirar.
    Saludos, Mark :)

    1. Hi Marga, thank you for looking and for the kind words. Greetings from England :)