Photos from The Spring Show & Sale at The Craft Guild of Dallas

Firing back up to temperature after salting.

Firing back up to temperature after salting.

A solution of roughly 6.5 lbs of salt dissolved in nearly boiling water was sprayed into the kiln in increments, primarily through the rear ports located above the burner ports shown.

Just after opening the door, before unloading.

Just after opening the door, before unloading.

Almost all of the large pieces warped and/or cracked, and the higher than usual quantity of salt combined with a better volatilization from the water solution resulted in some both gorgeous and repugnant glaze effects. Yet another mixed bag. Thanks a lot lot, porcelain! (said with both sarcasm and appreciation)

TCG table setup after the Friday night reception.

TCG table setup after the Friday night reception.

I wore a Sugarhill Boutique horse batik dress from ModCloth with a Cynthia Rowley blazer from TJ Maxx, mint tights from Anthropologie, and All Black eel/fish skin kitten heels to work the Friday night reception.

A close-up of the pots on display, minus back-stock and what's chilling in the Gallery.

A close-up of the pots on display, minus back-stock and what’s chilling in the Gallery.

I also have some things in the Gallery space at the front of the building and about 1/2 again as many pots holed up for re-stock and/or future events. I’ll be on hand again Sunday 5/5/2013 from 2-5 pm if you want to see something that’s not on display.

A close-up of some of the pots.

A close-up of some of the pots.

A final close-up featuring a dragon jewelry dish, necklaces, and assorted functional pots.

A final close-up featuring a dragon jewelry dish, necklaces, and assorted functional pots.

My work will remain on display through Sunday, so make plans to attend if you’re able! Hours tomorrow run from 10-6 and Sunday from 11-5. TTFN!


Salt Fired Pots in September

I got my most recent batch pushed through a cone 10 reduction salt firing at the Guild. It’s primarily more ambitious pieces and prototypes, but the nice high temperature at shut-off and good quantity of salting gave me pretty successful results overall. I think the Some Bright Green did a bit too much running, but otherwise warping and cracking didn’t plague the pots. This is an ideal situation considering I use grolleg porcelain which tends to take any opportunity to warp and/or crack.

A successful teapot, with a well-fitting lid fresh from the kiln.

The colors and textures evident in the glazes are a bit different than the palette I am accustomed to. A few re-fired bowls got some unbelievable color and crystal variation, for example. The halo and richness of hue in the teapot shown above represent the overall results well. I am happy with the blue slip decoration, both inlaid and trailed, including the few pots with sufficient glaze fluxing to make the slip bleed and run.

Part of the newest batch.

The next event I know of that I’m bringing pots to will be the Fall Sale & Show at the Craft Guild of Dallas, which arrives in early November. I plan to get some more pieces completed by then. The finished pots in my studio are beginning to overflow, however, so we’ll see.

Teapots: Bane of Sanity, to a Degree

From the time of my sophomore year in college, I have heard about the complexity and difficulty inherent in executing a successful teapot. “Phaw,” I scoffed, “the parts aren’t so hard to throw, and I’m good at centering. No biggie.” Right? I was so wrong.

Problem 1: Numerous assembled parts can become heavy. Tons-of-bricks-teapot + tea = unpleasant to lift.

Problem 2: Visual continuity of separately conceived parts (body, lid, spout, handle) is a difficult aesthetic process.

Problem 3: Warping of the body due to spout and handle pulling on the body during firing, trapping the lid forever.

Problems 4, 5: Glaze sealing the holes allowing fluid passage into the spout or glaze sealing the lid in place.

Problem 6: Successful glaze outcome. I have been progressing in this area concurrently.

And etc. I have been puttering on making teapots properly since I began the thrown pottery life, about 7 years now. I’m certainly not the best potter ever, so this duration may seem excessive, but I refused to put a teapot out there that did not satisfy my checklist for what I consider to be a successful teapot execution:

Proper overall weight, thin walls, good aesthetic relationship of all assembled/trimmed parts, nice pouring arc from spout, clean pouring cutoff, snug lid fit, and nice glaze job.

White stoneware teapot salt fired to cone 10, glazed with Ryan's Green-black. All parts thrown on the wheel except for the pulled handle.


I accidentally met all of these criteria while making a teapot for fun from a spare bag of white stoneware. It’s not absolutely perfect, and there are improvements to be made in future teapots, but this is a good prototype to lead the way.


Here's the other side of the same piece. Salt firing causes a lovely directional variation, and this glaze is quite responsive.

2/19/12 Salt Firing Unloaded

I unloaded a group firing from the salt kiln at the Craft Guild of Dallas today. I say group firing, but the load consisted predominantly of my pots. James Olney and I fired the kiln in varying states of reduction (heavy for body, light to ramp up, and medium to heavy at the high temp) until cone 9 was pretty well gone and 10 started softening. After cone 9 fell we salted in front of the burner ports, roughly 3-4 lbs total in various newspaper burritos. After the fumes cleared in the chimney exhaust, we shut the kiln down before cone 10 fell. (I wanted to go a bit more conservative with the temperature since my bright green glaze tends to run right off the pot when over-fired)

Here's an overview of the kiln load, minus 2-3 small pieces.

I had a high success rate, with a low occurrence of glaze flaws and warping. Yes, I did have 4 pieces that will need to be re-fired and/or scrapped. I also had some pieces with noticeable warping, and some periodic shmutz inside on the bottom. Salt firing will do that, and porcelain definitely has a bad reputation for going wonky. I think the bottom shelf in the back might have either been too cool or lost temperature too quickly during cooling, due to the peculiar glaze textures down there.

Nice pieces with a green hue characteristic of this glaze in a soda firing, which is a telltale sign that residual soda fumed in the kiln.

At any rate, I was delighted by the brightness of the colors on many of the pieces. The previous firing in this kiln received soda treatment, and occurred during a recent Jeff Oestreich workshop. The residual soda is likely the culprit for the brighter colors, which I am thrilled about. That same soda did opaque my liner glazes more than I’d prefer. The Shaner Clear becomes positively satin in soda, so it ended up somewhere in between with this firing. Oh well, se la vie.

Some Bright Green on the left, Chung Satin Blue on the right two, with a lot of atmospheric variation.

Ryan's Green-black glaze on a pitcher. An ideal glaze effect.

Now that my general inventory is topped off, it’s time to fill a trophy order and create a set of narrative lidded boxes for a gallery show. I also need to catch up on making some plates. I plan to get out to a craft sale or some such event soon to clear some of the new stock, also. Until next time!