Category Archives: Glazes

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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Crater Glaze

I’ve been interested in and trying to make a successful volcanic glaze for a while.  I found this fabulous crater glaze recipe in an old copy of Ceramic Review 141 May/June 1993.  It was described in a feature on James Lovera – ‘About the Individual’.

Lovera was an American Potter, best know for his bowls.  His glazes interpret nature, ‘lichen series’, ‘sky series’, ‘willow bark series’ or ‘molten lava and crater series’.  He was also fascinated by Japanese people and culture.  In the CR  article, he described the followed philosophy……

“I am trying to make a complete a statement as I can, as simply as I can.  Form, line, space, surface.  When you stop and think about it, it’s all there.  I feel that when an object is broken down into its basic elements and still leave its observer in awe, the underlying principles are at one with the universe.  The unknown is the element of the individual, the mystery”

Crater Glaze – Cone 10 (I fired to cone 9 oxidation)

China Clay     42 parts

Silica     43 parts

Potash Feldspar     159 parts

Calcium Carbonate (Lime)     78 parts

Titanium Dioxide     36 grams

Silicon Carbide     21 grams

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Errmm….Hi Al, have you got an angle grinder?

Luckily he did, since all but two pots in yesterdays firing had welded themselves to the kiln shelves.  For some reason (this is a glaze I have used before and it didn’t happen last time!) the glaze ran off the pots during the firing and when I opened the kiln this morning, they were certainly not for budging.  After a severe beating with a wooden stick, some came free willingly, others came free leaving large chunks of the foot-ring still stuck to the shelf and one poor soul is not going anywhere…he is now part of the shelf…no amount of beating or grinding is going to set him free.

By some twist of fate, the only pot in the kiln that mattered came out unstuck and unscathed. A lily bowl commission for a friend’s wedding gift, I don’t actually know the bride Janet…..but I feel like I do… I very much hope she likes it…when she finally get’s it.

Am pleased with the results of some of the slips, especially the Maryport slag.  This may need a second firing, but the iron in the slag has done magical things with the turquoise glaze.

The crater glaze is amazing… it….will be brilliant over black slip.  I have been carrying the bowl around with me all day….I can’t believe it, something that came out of the kiln like it was supposed to…in fact much better than I had thought….may even tuck it under my pillow tonight…or is that taking things a bit too far?

"Help....I'm Stuck!!"......" ain't going nowhere!"

ha ha...I'm free, but oh no...I have shelf stuck to my bottom....

That's it....get to work on my bottom with the angle grinder...gently now!

Lunar Bowl. Love this crater glaze (more on this later)

Maryport Slag pot

Lily Bowl commission for Janet's wedding pressie

Vase with Stoneycroft Ghyll Slip

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Glazed over…..

Probably the most pleasing firing to date, but still some dodgy looking glazes.  Not sure if  they are failing to flourish because of the firing, which seemed to be spot on this time, or because of the preparation.  I followed the recipe to the letter, so can only assume it is the firing, or the application.  It’s all so unpredicatable.  That’s why when you do get a lovely piece like the large celedon bowl it is so rewarding.

Have another shed full of large bowls, so we keep practicing… day we will get a glaze that we love…….

'The Pack'

Heavy reduction going on

Cones - perfectly fired. Learnt good the cones diagonally.....then you can see them all through spy hole....doh!

The Opening. It takes a while for what you are presented with to sink it any good????

Large bowl. Black slip and David Leach Celedon

Buckets. The glaze on the one on the left was called 'white brain crawl'....I like it, but totally the opposite of what expected. Didn't check it was suitable for reduction firing.

Copper Red Glaze

Supposed to be pale Celedon glaze on porcelain beakers. It has worked on the front left one which was close to the burner in the kiln, which makes me think the others are under fired. Will take them to Farnham and refire.

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Wood Fired Bowl

Liberated the bowl from the wood firing kiln and very pleased with the result.  The celedon glaze is more green than I would have liked (I don’t like green!), so less red iron oxide next time.

Really like the rim, where I used black slip.  The glaze was probably a bit thin too (fine line).  The other bowl didn’t make it into the pack, so a chance to put another layer of glaze on before firing in the gas kiln on Sunday.

Great to see everyone elses work turning out so good too…..another success for Bertha chalked up.

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Phew….last firing…

Great colours appeared from our last firing of the week.  The oxidised firing produced a lovely turquoise and pink.  We managed to see the cones this time, cone 7 and 8 bent and cone 9 just going, Decided not to soak and it ended up with the pyrometer reading just a bit shy of the desired temperature.

Good test pieces, think I need to focus on the form of the pieces now to show off these glazes to their best.

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Flint (or flintstone) is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in color, and often has a glassy or waxy appearance

Flint a.k.a. silica or quartz is a prime ingredient in glaze. It is the “glass” maker. The ratio between the alumina and silica determine the texture of the glaze and the ratio between the fluxes and silica determine the melting point.

Flint Nodule


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