In this post, experienced wood firing potter John Thies tells us about an instructional wood kiln he designed and shares his kiln plans. Plus, one of John’s students shares her experience using the kiln.
A potter establishes a line of ware to reflect her social values regarding how food is produced and consumed.
In today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download, the 2011 Clay Workshop Handbook: Knowledge and Techniques for the Pottery Studio, Dave Finkelnberg explains four ways to get great red glazes and shares four fabulous red glaze recipes, from low-fire to high fire reduction. Have a look and then download your free copy of the 2011 Clay Workshop Handbook! Even if you are not going to a workshop this summer, there’s something in the handbook for you!
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.
Though many are unaware of it, poor glaze fit can reduce the strength of a fired ceramic piece to as little as one-fifth the strength of a similar piece with ideal glaze fit. While good glaze fit seldom occurs by accident, it can be planned for and controlled. Some ceramic artists use glaze fit to induce crazing as a decorative technique (crackling) while others artists may want to avoid a “crackle” glaze.
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.