Category Archives: glaze firing

Those Mugs – Soda

I disappeared again for a few weeks. But this weekend I took an extra day off from  work and one of the first things I did was to photograph and organize my pots. There are lots of pots and lots of photos, so I am breaking them up into a few posts, but hey, at least they’re going up, am I right?

Let’s start with those mugs from last session… I’ll post a few angles of each cup and tell you what I was “testing.” The way the soda hits clay in the firing can make it look like  completely different pots, depending on what side you’re looking at. Hence multiple photos per pot.

This is a tumbler covered with thick iron oxide wash. The inside was just clear glaze, which possibly ran on one side to create that blonde spot.

This is a modified mug. If you look closely, the handle side is more indented and differently indented than the other side. The concept is, I guess, to have a sassier looking cup. The inside was apple green glaze and the outside is just B clay that got hit with soda pretty hard, particularly on the side with the green/gray drips.

This one was dipped in yellow slip, then I painted on and dripped wax resist where the yellow is and wiped away the rest. Finally, before the first firing I made a few scrape marks with a serrated rib down the sides. After the first firing, I did a black underglaze wash to accentuate the scrape marks. The inside was plain clear glaze. Again, this is B clay.

This one is a sculpted tumbler. I threw a plain cylinder, a little bit on the thick side, and carved the design into it, adding a little bit of clay in a few spots on the bottom, but mostly just carving away. The inside is Lau Shino and the outside is just raw B clay.

This one’s a cappuccino cup. It’s raw B clay with a Tom’s Purple stripe. The inside is Rutile Blue which didn’t photograph well. I really don’t like this stripe…

Last but not least, another carved mug. I just carved in lines and smoothed them with a sponge. The outside is raw B clay and the inside is Tea Dust.

And that’s all, folks! That’s all for now.


A Bunch of Stuff Fired

I came back from my business trip on Friday, went to the studio on Saturday, and…. SO MANY THINGS GOT GLAZE FIRED! Today’s post is just going to be a bunch of pictures of the newly fired stuff – i’m too excited about it.

Cut & Modified Pots

I love how all of them turned out. That last one was supposed to be a blue/green color, but I didn’t realize that I got the wrong brand of glaze (Duncan Peacock vs. Amaco Peacock) and it was a big surprise. It looks pretty sweet, though, if i do say so myself.


Fish Necklace Holder Version 2

It turned out much better than Version 1. I can still think of a couple of improvements to this design, but it’s more or less what I was going for.

Fish Design Improvements:

  1. The way I make the fish scales looks like fish scales but the texture is backwards. The tips of scales should stick out, but on my fish the places where the scales connect is what sticks out. I’ll be working on that…
  2. The water. I will have to do a better job of smoothing out the surface b/c you can still see the outlines of my fish sketch.

One thing that I really enjoy about this piece is the variety of textures on it. The Copper Adventurine (sparkly brown) is matte, the water is very smooth, and fish have the texture of scales, but are covered in clear water glaze.


Lace Pots

I made one more bowl and a Christmas ornament. The bowl turned out exactly how I wanted it, but ornament was WAY too work-intensive and very hard to join and glaze, so I won’t be doing any more.


Other Pieces

IMG_2266This mug lid is per request of a friend of my parents. The friend requested a lid to steep tea in cups. It had to have a comfortable handle that you can get a good grip on and not drop. That loop accommodates a finger comfortably and the matte glaze will make it less slippery than a translucent glaze. Hopefully they will like it.


The dish above was an experiment. I tried to decorate it with Iron Oxide, then realized that Iron Oxide burns out, painted it with Fireluster glaze instead, and you can see there’s incomplete coverage where the black ends. I do still like the idea of the irregular carved out pattern. That looks and feels very pleasant, imo. So it seems that I will have to try this plate again.


This footed bowl turned out kind of awesome because of the interplay of the faded iron oxide pattern and the green glaze. But the glaze is a little too bright and looks overwhelming to me. Maybe a darker or less aqua shade of green would have worked better… Something is off about it. Maybe the Iron Oxide has a fall feeling to it and the bright green is more summer, so it’s confusing… Maybe there are too many competing lines/colors… Thoughts?

3-D Tetris

Until very recently in my capacity as a potter all I did was make pots. Well, of course, there’s a lot more to it. There’s a slew of studio tasks and chores that are critical to being able to make pots, chores that most hobbyist potters never have to think about. Case in point: loading the kiln.

This weekend was my first full kiln. Here are a couple of the layers:


You can see, I’m building the layers of shelves and pots around the tall pitchers, trying to utilize as much space as possible. Those cups on the right are on their own tiny shelf fragment, with extra space around the heat element. One of the bigggest challenges of this load was that there wasn’t much range of sizes. I had gaps that were big enough to fit a small piece, but no small pieces to fill the gaps.

Firing the kiln is expensive, so you always want to optimize space and pack stuff in as much as possible. However, when maximizing space you have to also… keep similar glazes together, use the same kind of stilts for similar pieces, leave enough room for the kiln furniture, leave extra space around the device that measures kiln temperature. And always make sure you leave enough room for the shelf above to clear your pieces. Every time it’s a fun challenge that has me holding my breath a lot, a 3-d puzzle, a real life game of 3-d Tetris.