Category Archives: Experiments

Maryport Docks Turquoise

Loved the colour of this boat moored at Maryport docks.  Mixed a turquoise, barium based glaze, which is opaque.  It worked particularly well over the iron rich slip, which emulated the rust leaching through on the hull.

Turquoise Barium Glaze with the iron rich Maryport slag slip underneath

Turquoise is good, but vessels is too plain and needs more work (a second firing I think at least)


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Filed under Experiments, Glazes, Inspiration

“What is the crazy pot woman doing now?!”

…..well, I don’t need a squirrel questioning my antics…..I’m quite capable of wondering this myself sometimes.

I have been trying to recreate a vessel seen in an old version of Daniel Rhodes’ book on Kilns, given to me by pottery guru friend Desmond.

It was a picture of someone loading a large brick built kiln and on top of the car were these wonderfully shaped pots.  I know understand them to be rhubarb forcers, which is a bit of a coincidence considering my involvement with rhubarb lately.  Anyway, this is not a rhubarb forcer, I certainly don’t need any help with that, but an interpretation of the form.  I have coated the outside with the black slip I made a few weeks ago, but with the addition of silicon carbide.  I read something a while ago that mentioned silicon carbide slip and thought I would give it a try.  The desired result is a textured volcanic finish, once the silicon carbide reacts with the glaze on the glost firing. So, watch this space and let’s see what happens……

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Harbour ‘Slip’

So, I have a lunch box full of clay from our trip to Chichester Harbour the other weekend. I’ve got no idea what will happen to it when it is fired, it could disintigrate, flop, burn away…..explode!  It will have a high salt content, so I am hoping for something interesting.

Salt fumes have a dramatic effect on clay under heat, the sodium acts as a flux and reacts with the silica in the clay body, enhancing it’s colour.  At high temperatures, over 1280°C (2350°F), salt becomes an active vapour throughout the kiln interior.  This coats and corodes the elements in an electric kiln because a dilute form of hydrochlic acid is given off as a vaporous by-product.

I have made a couple of test pieces, which I will fire in Desmond’s gas kiln.  One simple pinch pot and one stoneware body covered with a slip made from the dug up clay……

Stoneware body, with Harbour Slip

Pinch Pot...eyes off that flapjack in the background. (not made by me....I only deal with making things out of mud!!)

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Chunky Black – Glaze Tests

Glaze test were out of the kiln when I got to pottery this morning.  The test pieces were a creation that didn’t quite make it, but the contrast of the white and black clays were perfect for checking out how glazes would react before comitting them to a pot I actually like.  Am intrigued, excited, inspired with the results.  The glazes have behaved very differently on the chunky black clay, due to the high levels on iron and magnesium in the clay body.  I am used to their results on white stoneware, so it was a revelation that they would react so differently.  The Shino glaze was particulary impressive……proof that you are constantly being challenged, bemused and thrilled when working with ceramics.

I have a plan for a pot for this Shino glaze……

Shino Glaze - fabulous thick, matt, metalic finish, speckled with orange on the black clay. High gloss, orange/white (depending on thickness) on the white stoneware.

Richard's glaze (RM01). Thin metalic glaze on the black, but pools of turquoise where glaze is thicker. Shimmery, mottled white (purple/turquoise) on white stoneware.



Gareth's Red Glaze. Faint pools of white on black clay in depressions where deeper, but pretty much no effect on the black clay (slightly glossy), signs of red on white stoneware where glaze has pooled.

Leach Talc Dolomite Glaze. Normally white on white stoneware, effect on black clay is mottled white and dark brown. Lovely effect, like this a lot. It has run off the rim, so the black clay is poking though the rough edge.

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