John Thies has been building, firing and maintaining large wood kilns for more than thirty years. For more than ten years he has been teaching group workshops with his 300-cubic-foot crossdraft noborigama-style kiln. But when many of his students asked for additional space in his kiln at other times during the year, which wasn’t possible… Read More »
Can I use my current clay body for ovenware? What is flameware? Why do you use it? Why does it work? Can you use it in a microwave oven? How does it clean up, is it dishwasher safe? Can we use it on the grill or under the broiler? Do I have to heat… 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 today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download,… Read More »
Many people may be thinking about switching their firing method from high-fire to mid-range. For instance, students who recently graduated and lost access to school gas kilns, people with a day job and those who work in their garage studios, or production potters who are concerned about fuel conservation and energy savings. This reference is intended as a tool for those people to start glaze experimentation at mid-range that can be accomplished with minimal resources.
I use one tool everyday, on every pot or sculpture, whether I made it or not. This pervasive tool is critical analysis, and I use it to assess the pot I am currently throwing, the work I made yesterday and the work I made years ago.
Phases are specific forms of materials. The most familiar phases are solid, liquid and vapor. Any phase of a material is identical in composition and structure in all parts of that phase. For instance, a glass of water is the liquid phase of H2O, top to bottom; if it weren’t, we’d call it something else, like ice if it were solid (structural change), or lemonade if it had lemon and sugar dissolved in it (compositional change).
As a studio artist, it is often hard to spend large sums of money, even if doing so would pay off in the long run, so glass artist Hugh Jenkins set out to determine just how well he could do with a home-built heat recuperator.
Of all the well-known Japanese ceramic artists of the past four hundred years, men like Raku ware’s Chojiro, the Kyoto designers and decorators Ninsei Nonomura and Kenzan Ogata, and the innovative and technically brilliant Kozan Makuzu, by far the most famous and influential has been the twentieth century folk craft (mingei) movement potter Shoji Hamada (1894-1978).
Significant cost savings can be realized by potters without access to a landfill through a variety of strategies and fuel choices. These can be divided into categories and discussed in terms of benefits and difficulties. Solid fuels are difficult, liquid fuels are moderate, and gases are easier.
Initially, I placed a 30-gallon plastic barrel outside one such diner that had agreed to save the used oil for me. My plan was to swap out the barrel every five weeks (the owner predicted it would take that long to fill the barrel) and replace it with an empty 30-gallon barrel. I learned two facts immediately: First, I couldn’t lift the full barrel of oil onto the back of my pick-up truck. Secondly, used, hot oil will melt plastic barrels.