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Member Since 23 Apr 2016
Offline Last Active Today, 09:48 AM

Topics I've Started


19 March 2017 - 03:51 PM

Colemanite in glazes is notorious for causing problems, spitting/blowing off the pot surface. I understand that this is due to rapid decomposition of the material when heated (is that right?).


So, is there a case for calcining colemanite to reduce this problem? If so, at what temperature?


I'd be happy to use a calcium borate frit instead, but don't have easy access to such a beast in my little European corner.


Anyone tried it?

Unearthing Armenia’S Giant, Ancient Earthenware

14 February 2017 - 02:53 PM

I found this Smithsonian article interesting.


Unearthing Armenia’s Giant, Ancient Earthenware

Parian Ware Body

25 January 2017 - 05:26 AM

Every so often, I get excited about a new technique. My latest thrill is Parian ware - the cool marble surface is like nothing else (except perhaps cool marble!)

I've searched both this forum and elsewhere for references to Parian ware bodies, and found very little. It's essentially a porcellaneous body, but heavier on the fluxes, which fires to a beautiful marble sheen. No glaze required!

So, I fired a test piece yesterday. The result is very encouraging - the body is vitrified, semi-translucent, a pleasing off-white, and 'rings' nicely - no warping. But the sheen is not quite developed yet - you can just see the beginnings of a bloom. It's nearly there.

The obvious answer is to fire a little higher, or soak a little longer - the test went to a good cone 6. But I am wondering whether I can introduce a small percentage of a frit into the body, to lower the melt a little?

If so, how much to start with? 5%? 10%? And which frit?

The Parian body has a reputation for having a relatively wide firing range as far as porcelain type bodies go - am I sacrificing this by thinking about adding a frit? And what would I be doing to the translucency? Or the castability?

The body is very simple:

China Clay - 40%
Soda Feldspar - 60%

...and deflocculants, to form a casting slip. It's a variation of a Val Cushing recipe.

Or perhaps I could just up the proportion of Feldspar a little?

I have another recipe I have yet to try, from Hamer & Hamer, again for cone 6:

China Clay - 33%
Cornish Stone - 66%

Any thoughts gratefully received!

Mary Wondrausch

27 December 2016 - 08:51 AM

(Site Admins - I don't quite know where to put this post, so please move if it you feel it would be better elsewhere!)


Mary Wondrausch, extraordinary slipware potter, died on Christmas Day. She was 93 (I think...).


Utterly painterly, truly inspirational, a lovely, lovely person. I think it counts as a good life well spent!


A short film:


Mary Wondrausch


(Plenty more video clips of Mary all over the place.)


I have a lovely bowl of hers, in use, as she would have wanted!

Clay College

07 December 2016 - 01:06 PM

This will be of interest to UK potters in particular, but everyone else (I hope) in passing.

Those in the UK will know that many of the Arts colleges have been closed, and of those that remain, many have closed their ceramics departments. As a result, getting a formal education in ceramics has become extremely difficult.




Clay College Stoke will be an independent college offering a skills based, full-time ceramics course taught by potters who make a living from their work.




A short film:


Clay College - Stoke