Category: Ceramics

  • Low-fire Electric Kiln

    I’ve finally gotten a new low-fire electric kiln. This kiln is designed to fire up to 1000°C, so it’s useful only for on-glaze enamels and bisque. Total cost was 2900RMB, which is about $420USD.

  • Slow drying

    I have a couple “wet boxes”.  These are plastic bins with lids into which a layer of plaster has been poured.  The plaster is kept wet in order to maintain humidty, slowing (if not stopping) the drying process. However, I haven’t used the wet boxes in a long time.  I’ve found it much easier and […]

  • Kiln & Firing

    This page is in progress and will cover my kiln and firing.  For now it is just a place to store my notes.

  • Painted

    The history of ceramic slip decoration reaches far back into antiquity.  Much as ancient pottery emulated more valuable vessels in precious metals, white slips were often applied to darker clay bodies in an effort to increase “value”.  Many inventive uses for slips have evolved through the centuries, such as Cizhou black and white slip carving, Chinese “cut-glaze” […]

  • Colors of Celadon: Iron and Titania

    Following images from Bonham’s 2014 auction, The Feng Wen Tang Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics The best resource I’ve found about color in Chinese glazes is Nigel Wood’s Chinese Glazes.  Chapter 8, Iron in Chinese Glazes, covers iron in detail, while celadons are covered throughout the book. There’s a great range of colour in Chinese celadons.  In traditional […]

  • Glazy: One Year Old

    One year old! Exactly one year ago, Glazy registration was opened to the public. Since then, we’ve made a ton of improvements and added many more recipes. Thank you! 94% of website server fees have been paid with your generous donations. Thanks to all of you who have added recipes, photos, and contributed valuable ideas […]

  • Glaze Stone + Glaze Ash (釉果 + 二灰)

  • Simple plaster drop-out molds on the wheel

  • Razor trimming

    I’m not sure if double-edged safety razor are still available in the West, but here in Jingdezhen they are an essential trimming tool.  These razors are thin, sharp, and most importantly flexible.  Great for wheel-trimming details on small forms, or for scraping hand-built objects.  The most used brand is Flying Eagle.  I get the more expensive stainless […]

  • Glaze Transparency Test

    Recently I’ve been wondering if there’s a reliable way to test glazes for transparency.  A method that would allow one to compare results from different firings and glaze types. Paint manufacturers have a system for testing paint opacity that uses a black and white card from which a contrast ratio can be calculated. The primary manufacturer is Leneta. […]

  • Wanli Pheasant

    Single photo from iPhone with Eyeskey lens.  More details here.

  • Jun

  • Sashi-ire hana no futami 挿入花の二見

    Images of Japanese flower arrangement from the woodblock-printed book Sashi-ire hana no futami (挿入花の二見) made in 1798 by the amazing Katsushika Hokusai. Images generously made available by the British Museum.  I have cropped and adjusted levels of the original scans.  These are full-sized images, right-click to save. Two beautiful books of modern Japanese flower arrangement by Kawase Toshiro: The […]

  • Kawase Hasui

    A wonderfully romantic view of a Japanese pottery.  Link here. Ukiyo-e.org is an amazing collection of Japanese woodblock prints.

  • Brother Thomas Bezanson

    From Creations in Clay, a book of essays and photographs of Brother Thomas Bezanson’s work: For many years of my work as a potter I was concerned with learning the skills and technologies proper to the potter’s art.  I was focused on looking back to accomplishments of the past; I was open to those men and […]

  • Scanning Test Tiles

    Having purchased a scanner for digitizing my family’s old photos, I had the brilliant idea to also scan glaze test tiles.  I thought I was a genius until Matthew Katz mentioned that he had been scanning tiles for the past ten years. Matthew noted that CCD scanners have a greater depth of field, which is great for three-dimensional […]

  • Smartphone Microscopy

    Last year I purchased a USB microscope (see article).  It’s pretty fun, but ultimately I was really disappointed by the quality of the images.  The 5MP sensor seems pretty cheap and images have a lot of artifacts.  Furthermore I was never satisfied with the color. The best choice would probably be a “real” microscope with […]

  • Spraying Glaze

    Spraying glaze is a fairly complicated process.  There are craftspeople in Jingdezhen whose only job is going from workshop to workshop spraying glaze.  There are so many factors involved with spraying (the type of work, thickness of work, type of glaze, glaze consistency, air pressure, spray head type, even weather) that it requires years of experience to […]

  • Mixing test glazes

    It’s important to wear a NIOSH certified mask whenever using dry glaze materials. I guess mixing up glazes isn’t that big of a deal, but I’m sharing my technique just in case there are some absolute beginners out there. I find it easier to use a digital scale, see my article here. Glazes “don’t travel well”, in […]

  • Seeing the cones

    I’ve seen a few techniques for seeing into the kiln at high temperature.  An old friend of mine still prefers blowing into the peephole, unfortunately on more than one occasion it has resulted in the particles resting in the peephole to be blown in as well, settling on the ware.  The Jingdezhen firing masters I’ve met […]