Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A new website and a good May firing

Well, I can barely believe it's May already, how quickly this year is flying by! After an extremely cold April in the UK, things have warmed up alot over the last few days with a beautiful, sunny weekend and now the air is even feeling quite hot and muggy.That usually means rain will soon follow, if not storms!

Here's a quick plug for my new website "Mark Smalley Ceramics".. the link for which you may have already spotted in the right hand column of the blog. At the moment I'm running it alongside the shop on Folksy, so there are different pots listed on each. Below is a screenshot of the entry page, and clicking here will open the site in an new window:

I hope you might like to visit some time. It's still a work in progress to some extent, so if there are any problems navigating or purchasing work, I'd really appreciate your feedback via a comment or e-mail, thank you.

Anyway, new pots have been made and the first electric firing of the month was pretty successful, especially as I finally achieved a grey finish which I like very much. It's actually my hybrid dolomite glaze over the black iron engobe I developed recently, and I'm delighted with the variegated, optical hues this produces. The smooth, satin surface texture is very pleasant to touch as well. The five pieces below were dipped in the engobe and bisc fired again before applying the glaze:

Espresso cup

Large coffee mug



Footed cup or bowl

In future, the engobe should work if applied to leather hard ware, perhaps even bone dry, I will have to experiment further..

The next two pieces, had the engobe sponged on which gives a fairly random, uneven application. I felt this worked rather nicely on the tall, lidded jar, but maybe less so on the tea bowl where more of the clay body shows through. A matter of personal taste perhaps..

Lidded jar

Large tea bowl

And finally, a piece I think is quite special .. a globular vase with black "Nezumi" slip and dolomite glaze. This piece received exactly the right glaze thickness and an ideal amount of heat work which has allowed some of the slip oxides to rise through to the surface of the glaze. Just occasionally the kiln gods grant you exactly the result you had envisioned before the firing!

Vase,  width approx 4 inches

Vase; glaze closeup

Thank you for reading!


Never give up, the best is yet to come


  1. beautiful work, all your hard work with glaze development is paying off, will check your new website

    1. thank you for taking the time to visit and comment, glad you like the work.