Most potters don’t give much thought to kiln wash and just use the recipe they used when they first learned about firing kilns or grab whatever happens to be in the kiln wash bucket. In today’s post, an excerpt from our new free download, Soda Firing Techniques, Tips and Soda Glaze Recipes: A Collection of… Read More »
Who can resist a beautiful bright red glaze? But red is also one of the most difficult colors to achieve in ceramic glazes. But it may not be as tough as you thought – as long as you choose the right method for your work.In this post, Dave Finkelnberg explains four ways to get great… Read More »
The cluttered, clay-dusty halls and studios of Greenwich House Pottery
(GHP) are alive with people in jeans and tee shirts, all busy
handbuilding here or throwing on the wheel there, in the background
music and/or talk and, usually, the roar of the 60-cubic-foot updraft
gas kiln as well. In this fertile contemporary creative context, it’s
hard to imagine that GHP was once a single room in which the classes
were filled with boys in knickers or women in floor-length skirts and
shirtwaists. GHP today is a prism in which, from certain angles, one
can see back into 100 years of history.
For years I have been using a multi-purpose glue to apply wadding and
shells to my pieces for wood and salt firings. These glues are very
frustrating to use because of the long drying time and the sticky mess.
Recently, all of the glue bottles were missing, so I plugged in a hot
glue gun and started gluing the wadding to my pots. It worked like a
dream! It was quick and if the wadding came off before the work was
stacked, we simply had a glue gun near the kiln to replace it. The
clean up was a whole lot easier as well. This truly is a no brainer.
This ingenious wire tool and throwing wheel adaptation is for anybody
who is tired of searching through a pool of muck or untangling a
twisted, wiry mess.
Attach a wire tool to one side of the throwing
wheel at the same height as the bat or the wheel head. Screw an eye
bolt into a thin wood block and attach the block to the splash pan
using a C-clamp or similar device. Tie the tire tool to the eye bolt
allowing enough room for the wire to stretch across the diameter of the
wheel head. The small wooden dowel used to make most wire tools can
also be easily clamped for a quick use and remove system. This simple
set-up allows for easy one-handed use and a clean cut giving a smoother
bottom for trimming!
Some of our glazes can be very runny and we need to have something to
put under them to protect our kiln shelves. We keep thin, dry
paper-clay sheets on hand to cut for placing under the pieces. A quick
brushing of kiln wash makes them slightly pliable and lay flat.
The sheets and pots are placed in the kiln and the excess sheet is cut away
between the pieces. For some of our pots, we also use a wadding made of
equal parts sand and ball clay. It is crumbly enough to grind away
easily. Between the two, we don’t have much trouble with glaze on our
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