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Jessica Knapp peels away the graffito paper from a piece of pottery.

Carbon Copy: Transfer Paper Makes it Easy to Transfer Customized Underglaze Images

Posted On July 2, 2014 12 Comments
From screenprinting to decals, there are many ways to transfer imagery onto pottery. There’s a nifty commercial product out now, which acts kind of like a rice paper decal, only you can customize the image. Graffito Paper, as it’s called, is kind of like the clay world’s equivalent to carbon paper. Basically, you lay the… Read More »

Using Glaze Additives to Make Average Glazes Great

Posted On March 31, 2014 5 Comments

Sometimes the glazes we use are good for one purpose, but not so good for another. A glaze might perform well when dipping or pouring, but dry so quickly when brushed the it’s nearly impossible to get an even coat. Glaze additives are the secret ingredients that can help remedy these problems. In today’s post, from the PMI archives, our own Jessica Knapp puts additives to the test. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

p.s.-This article appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. To buy this back issue in PDF format, click here!


15 Low-Fire Glaze Recipes from the Pros: Recipe Cards for Low Fire Pottery Glazes

Posted On August 12, 2013 3 Comments

Good news for those of you who use earthenware and low-fire glazes in your studio! We’ve gathered some of our favorite earthenware glaze recipes in a convenient recipe-card format, perfect for printing and taking to the pottery studio. If you are interested in building a collection of beautiful low-fire ceramic glazes, or adding variety to the one you already have, you’ve found the perfect resource. If you’ve been looking for a new low fire glaze recipe to use as a base glaze for functional work or for some different surfaces in the low fire temperature range, here’s a great assortment of low fire glazes to start with, from textured to matt, and from majolica to glossy transparent glazes. If you already have a repertoire of glazes and want to mix it up a bit, try out a few of these. Adding different colorants to the glaze bases extends the possibilities for new discoveries even further.

se Pyrofoto to transfer high-contrast images to glaze-fired pieces. It was successful with glazes and underglazes, applied over glossy to satin surfaces. The fired result can be muted, as in the example above here, or more vibrant, depending on the amount of colorant added to the glaze.

Image Transfer with Pyrofoto: Another Cool Way to Put Images on Pottery

Posted On August 15, 2011 17 Comments

There are various processes for transferring images to clay, from photocopy transfers, silkscreening and stencils, to laser transfer decals and commercially made decals. Pyrofoto is a product that works with the traditional photography concepts of exposing a surface to light through a negative, then developing, processing, and fixing the image. Our own Jessica Knapp put Pyrofoto to the test, and in today’s post, she tells us all about the process and her results.


Microwave Kilns: Great Tools for Testing Low-Fire Lusters, Enamels, and China Paints

Posted On November 22, 2010 19 Comments

Many people know that a microwave oven can be used to dry clay quickly when you’re in a pinch. Dielectric heating (the type used in a microwave oven) is also used in industry to fire ceramics for high-tech applications. This option is also available on a small scale to the studio potter, at least for firing tests and small objects using a microwave kiln. In today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download the 2011 Buyers Guide to Ceramic Arts Supplies: A Studio Reference for Purchasing and Using Ceramic Supplies and Pottery Tools, Jessica Knapp tells you all about this alternate use for old microwaves!

Pottery Making Illustrated January/February 2010

Posted On December 23, 2009 0 Comments

Theme: Challenging Techniques

We’re starting off the New Year with a few challenging techniques you can really sink your teeth into (yuck! now that would leave a bad taste in your mouth!). On the cover of this issue we feature Hiroe Hanazono and her wonderful double-walled cast vessels. And though it’s freezing cold out there right now (in our neck of the woods anyway) her ice cream sundae set will be the perfect thing for the summer—you just have to get started soon because the process is involved. Another challenging technique in this issue, called zogan yusai, comes from Mashiko potter Fumiya Mukoyama. Montana artist Lauren Sandler then demonstrates a slab and coil building method using a leather-hard mold form then applying terra sigillata to convey complex images. And finally, Michelle Erickson has reverse engineered an historic technique for throwing agateware. You’ll find this and much more in our first issue of the year . . . read on!

Buy this back issue – $3.99 (PDF only)


Intrigued by soda-fired surfaces?

Posted On September 28, 2009 Comments Off on Intrigued by soda-fired surfaces?
Then Soda, Clay and Fire by Gail Nichols is an indispensable resource on the materials, processes and aesthetics of soda fired pottery! Nothing matches the rich, vibrant texture and colors of soda firing. The orange peel, the flashing of the flame, the various effects of soda during the firing—they all add to the beauty and… Read More »

Soda Firing Techniques, Tips and Soda Glaze Recipes

Posted On September 28, 2009 0 Comments

With so many different firing techniques available to choose from, all with their own set of requirements, it can be difficult decide which is best for your work, or intimidating to experiment with a new one. High-temperature atmospheric firing techniques, like soda, salt, wood and reduction, can be the most challenging to learn because of the many variables involved. To help you get started with soda firing, we’ve put together Soda Firing Techniques, Tips and Soda Glaze Recipes as a free gift. Inside, you will find articles and images from Ceramics Monthly that demonstrate the exciting aesthetic possibilities with soda firing and share practical technical information, soda glaze recipes, atmospheric slip recipes, soda glazing techniques and tips for firing a soda kiln.


Matt Glaze Recipe, Cone 06-04 oxidation

Posted On June 28, 2009 1 Comment

Get the glaze recipe for Matt Glaze Recipe, Cone 06-04 oxidation


Posted On May 29, 2009 0 Comments
Titanium ore, used as source of titanium dioxide, contains iron, other trace minerals—gives tan color, promotes crystallization giving mottled multicolor effects in some HT glazes, or in overglaze stain (very refractory, use sparingly). Gives rich mottled medium blue in some HT glazes. Dark rutile contains higher percentage of iron. Source: Clay: A Studio Handbook