I think that for most ceramic artists, some of this collected work reminds us of the maker, who is also a friend, mentor, or someone we’re inspired by (a.k.a. a ceramic crush). Some pieces are great for dinner parties, while others are our daily companions. As makers, I think we are so lucky to have this cross-over experience, of both understanding how something is created, and understanding the important role that handmade objects play. They make experiences and our environment special, they connect us to others, make us think, and inspire us in the studio.
–Jessica Knapp, editor.
The September issue always feels a little bit like the first day of a new school year for me as we get back into the rhythm of the monthly magazine schedule. This year I feel that way even more so, as I step into my new role as editor. Like Sherman, my experience in our field is as both a maker as well as an editor. It’s a privilege to come to work and research different artists, exhibitions, events, and technical topics in my chosen field. It’s also a great environment because I work with an editorial and production team made up of people who also have backgrounds in ceramics. –Jessica Knapp, editor.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Get the glaze recipe for Matt Glaze Recipe, Cone 06-04 oxidation