A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science
Photos, instructions and a video down below!What is bentonite? Bentonite is a very fine particle clay that’s often used as a suspending agent in glazes. Glazes need clay in them to keep all the other materials suspended in the bucket. If your glaze recipe...
Glaze results on the thin side? As a studio technician at a busy pottery studio, it’s my job to mix and maintain 20 different studio glazes. I’m also the one studio users often go to for help when their glazes don’t work out as they had hoped. Every now and then...
Adding Water to Glazes I didn’t always know about measuring specific gravity. Of the 10 years that I’ve been mixing glazes, I’ve only been measuring specific gravity for 3 of them. It wasn’t a technique I learned in school. But… I had heard about it enough times that...
…And what to use if you don’t have one. I use a graduated cylinder for measuring specific gravity. A slender container is going to have smaller increments than a wide container, giving higher accuracy.
If you have too much clay in a glaze recipe, you might have issues with your glaze crawling during the firing. Crawling is where the glaze pulls away from the clay body due to a combination of shrinkage, poor adhesion and high surface tension.
Most of our glaze materials come to us in their very basic, unprocessed form. They are dug out of the ground, impurities may or may not be removed, they are ground into a fine powder, bagged and shipped to our suppliers. Working with these minerals in their raw state poses some health risks.
Made by hand. This morning I drank my coffee out of a mug I made at art school in Nelson, British Columbia. Fond memories of an important chapter of my life swirl through my head.
I see the teapot form as a 3 dimensional canvas for the ultimate creativity challenge. Sometimes I’ll sketch out a vision before I get started and other times I just go to town making various shapes and then selecting the parts that fit best together.
Clay is an exceptional teacher. While I was learning how to make forms on the potter’s wheel, or how to fire my kiln to a perfectly hot cone 6, I was also simultaneously learning some valuable virtues of living a balanced and harmonious life.