Wednesday, 13 April 2016

There are no shortcuts in ceramics

No one said making pottery would be easy, and from my experience, very few steps in the process are simple or straightforward. Well, that is partly what makes it so rewarding when  pleasing results finally emerge from the kiln .. a bit like getting to the pinnacle of a mountain one has tried to scale several times (not my cup of tea I hasten to add, as I can't stand heights!).

I say that because events last week tested my mettle somewhat. The electric kiln is getting on a bit now at twenty years old and having spent hours replacing all the elements a few weeks ago, it then failed on me twice within six days, both times very close to the end of a glaze firing!! The word "disappointed" doesn't quite cover it, but there was no option other than to plough on, repair the kiln, then re-pack and fire it a third time. So I was extremely relieved last Saturday that it made it to cones 9 and 10, even though it did go a little too high again. I find that with new elements, my kiln fires very quickly and even with a short soak, it's easy for the temperature to overshoot by a cone.

The pots on the top shelf tend to get a fair bit more heat work and some of the glazes were more translucent than normal. I was still happy with most of the pieces, especially this cup where the under-glaze decoration has bled slightly into the dolomite glaze:

And here are some of the other pieces from the firing:


Thanks for your visit!


Never give up, the best is yet to come


  1. I love your flecked pots, they are really cute.
    Good courage with your old kiln!

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  3. Wonderful work. I find glazing is my biggest challenge. So many variables.

    1. Thank you very much. The same for me .. one rarely gets exactly the result expected, and only very occasionally is it better than envisioned!