All Blog Posts (130)

Alaska Claycation 2017 Wrapped Up

I had intended to post frequently during the retreat, but we stayed so busy with our activities that I kept putting it off. Then suddenly, it was over. The Gallery Lodge in Kasilof, Alaska was a magnificent location for our event, and the accommodations were first class.

Dot was in the…


Added by George Lewter on August 23, 2017 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Claycation is a Happening Thing

Arrived in Anchorage yesterday and the drive down to Kasilof was spectacular. Dot's Gallery Lodge is far better than I was expecting. We'll use the garage as our studio, but she has a new studio under construction that will be a strong community gathering point for many years. I'm so glad I met her in Fort Lauderdale two years ago. Watch this space for more as we have our Alaska clay experience. The retreat starts tomorrow.…


Added by George Lewter on August 14, 2017 at 12:36pm — No Comments

Here Kitty Kitty

I often decorate my pots with brushwork.  Pursuing an ultra thin line, I've found my cat's whiskers work the best.  They're not purrfect (that's right, I said it), but they produce some interesting results.  

Taped individually to a stick, I dip the whisker into some fairly viscous underglaze, then…


Added by Erik Evans on August 11, 2017 at 10:31pm — No Comments

Impressions of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center and Its Sponsored Studio Tour Feb. 2017

In February I heard about a major ceramic studio tour in Phoenix AZ, and decided to make an overnight trip to visit the studios and to take in the ASU Ceramic Research Center Museum, with what is widely recognized as the best collection of ceramic art, from the 1950s through the present, in the United States. I was amazed by the variety and quality…


Added by George Lewter on March 20, 2017 at 3:55am — 2 Comments

Personal Pitcher 710 Standard Clay, Metallic Green Glaze

It's so nice to be able to make a personal pitcher using a one piece template, an Intaglio mat for patterning and a tried & true… Continue

Added by Barbara Hanselman on February 15, 2017 at 12:49pm — 7 Comments

Some thoughts about bowls

Been a while since I have posted here. You may find some of my recent posts of interest.

best, Preston

Added by E. Preston Rice on February 14, 2017 at 10:06am — No Comments

A journey...

A journey of a thousand blogs..., uh..., begins with a blog, though I suppose this is really more of a test drive ;).

I'm finally getting around to experimenting with glazes a bit..., moving beyond the recipes provided by my instructor.

I've been looking forward to this a long time..., anticipating it.  So naturally...

When came the time to combine the dry with the wet..., what do I do?

I invert the proportion of glaze materials to water..., so end up with 4 times…


Added by John Saare on January 27, 2017 at 11:12pm — 8 Comments

Clay Tips for Studio Potters

Why aged clay is smoother?


Stoneware in particular changes characteristics over time, but all clays do to some degree. The common thought is because of bacterial growth (fungus/mold, etc. Bacterial growth is a reflection of how much organics is in the clay itself (ball clay primarily). If you are getting a lot of bacterial growth on your clay: it indicates high levels of organics: which means you need to bisq slightly higher, or with a hold to burn them off…


Added by Tom Anderson on December 18, 2016 at 5:12pm — 14 Comments

Sardines and Tubes

Flat fish, swimming free on a dinner table, their goggly eyes staring, their mouths half smiling, their tails flicking and their bodies tattooed became the obsession of the end of summer.  Alongside a forest of unassuming tubular forms, each slightly beckoning or retreating, pensive or impatiently looking skywards.  The colours of the sea and the sky.  The porcelain shattered in inexplicable ways.  The glazes blistered or ran or jumped over obstacles and bridged ravines at will.  The winter…


Added by Olinda Everett on November 9, 2016 at 5:29am — No Comments

Stoneware Clay Study

After finishing my porcelain clay study, I have moved on to stoneware bodies. At this point, all I am doing is studying PSD (particle size distribution). Typically commercial stoneware bodies run between 10-20% large particle size ( mesh 30-70). I will not bore you with a photo gallery, but just the difference between 20% hawthorne 35m and 50% hawthorne bond 35m is very revealing. I have seen numerous clay recipes with 40-50% large clay particles in their recipe.…


Added by Tom Anderson on October 22, 2016 at 11:16am — 6 Comments

Porcelain Clay/COE Issues

I have been testing porcelain bodies for nearly two years. Recently I purchased a 1600X lab scope to help me see what I had long suspected.

This first image was taken of the clay/glaze interface: the dark area is glaze (cobalt.) The body has a strong glassy matrix and is fully vitrified: so I had to…


Added by Tom Anderson on September 20, 2016 at 10:26pm — 17 Comments

How I Make Glaze Test Tiles

I must admit, I've never been terribly disciplined about my test tiles through the years.  I'm pretty good about taking careful notes; too many times I've been burned by shoddy notes.  However, I do tend to slap those careful tests on whatever's laying around.  The result is a box full of…


Added by Erik Evans on September 14, 2016 at 8:09pm — 1 Comment

Adjustable Slump molds

I got a chance to try one last winter at MIY Ceramics and Glass in Hollywood, Florida, and knew I wanted one of my own. 

This is set up to make a platter or shallow bowl with a mouth 12" long by 8" wide. The depth is 1 3/8". The mold sections slide in pairs allowing you to set any…


Added by George Lewter on May 31, 2016 at 6:47pm — 2 Comments

How I Mix Bentonite / Store a Glaze That Settles

If you ever used bentonite, you know it's a bear to mix into a glaze.  It tends to clump together in solution.  It doesn't want to play well with others.  I've tried a number of things over the years to get around this.  I thought I'd share this latest method that works for me:

I first look for the dry clay in my recipe, usually EPK.  Even if it's a small percentage of my recipe, I measure this out first, and place it in a resealable plastic bucket (I bought mine in the paint…


Added by Erik Evans on May 12, 2016 at 10:30pm — 6 Comments

The secret of Magnetic organization from our friend Lawrence Weathers

What I need now is a device which prevents studio members from dropping tools and valuable extruder parts in our washing tub which collects clay and heavy metals from glaze for disposal.

Going through the muck prior to disposal is always a treasure hunt.

Never Misplace a Tool Again!

by  …


Added by Norm Stuart on April 28, 2016 at 12:30am — 3 Comments

Glaze Ladling Techniques

This is an interesting tutorial, of sorts, illustrating the finer points of using a glaze ladle. If nothing else, it demonstrates that something so humble can be finessed into an art form. I dig that.

Added by Erik Evans on April 14, 2016 at 1:19am — No Comments

thermo readings

Well this is pretty annoying... Just for laughs I compared a brand new K  thermocouple with the one in my kiln. The one in the kiln still has lots of metal fused at the junction so i figured that they would be pretty much the same.

SURPRISE! one read 34.6 mv and the other 36.4mv. So I thought i would try a third as a tie breaker... 33.9 mv.  The third one was just a wire probe rather than the beefy kiln probes. but it was a K. type

we're talking about a 300 deg F+ spread at…


Added by Robert Coyle on March 12, 2016 at 5:11pm — 8 Comments

'phew, glad that's done.....

So my buddy & I just finished the last of these urns.  They are for a certain building over in Fort Collins, Colorado. They ordered 10 of them total.  We ended up making 19 total when all was said and done & delivered. We had breakage issues and a few glaze issues that we had to work through. In the beginning I was helping throw sections, but in the end I just helped get the clay wedged and took the torch to the sections and then I fired them & glazed them.  Just glad it's all…


Added by Jeff Poulter on March 8, 2016 at 1:11pm — 2 Comments

Mother of Pearl Glaze

Anyone know of a "mother of pearl glaze" listed from Glazemixer?or one that is similar?

Added by Charna Schwartz on October 9, 2015 at 10:42pm — 2 Comments

Test tiles....

So the last couple of weeks during some down time at work, I was able to mix up a bunch of glazes and do some test tiles...  Now how do I get them home w/o ruining them!?!…


Added by Jeff Poulter on September 14, 2015 at 6:17pm — 1 Comment


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Use These Links to Support Us

Members have had great things to say about John Britt's new book, Mid-Range Glazes. Click the image to buy from

Purchase Glazes Cone 6 by Michael Bailey, The Potters Book of Glaze Recipes by Emmanuel Cooper, or Making Marks by Robin Hopper, all available at amazon.comMastering Cone 6 Glazes by John Hesselberth & Ron Roy is now out of print.

Harbor Freight is a great place to find unbeatable prices for better HVLP spray guns with stainless steel parts and serviceable economy models, as well as detail guns, all tested by our members for spraying glazes, as well as compressors to power the guns. As yet no one has tested and commented on the remarkably inexpensive air brushes at harbor freight.

The critter siphon gun is a spray alternative that is well liked by some of our members, and is available at amazon.

Amazon is also a competitive source for photo light tents for shooting professional quality pictures of your work. They also have the EZ Cube brand favored by several of our members. You might also want to purchase the book Photographing Arts, Crafts and Collectibles . . .

If you are up to creating videos of your work or techniques you might want to invest in a flip video camera

Following are a few scales useful for potters. Your final price could be less or more - things change.

American Weigh Black Blade Digital Scale, 1000g X 0.1g $11.08 

For the non-digitally inclined the old standard Ohaus Triple Pro Mechanical Triple Beam Balance, 2610g x 0.1g, with Tare $169.00

And finally a low cost clone of the OHaus. The Adam Equipment TBB2610T Triple Beam Mechanical Balance With Tare Beam $99.62

ebay is a great alternative for many tools and the equipment used in the ceramics studio - kilns, wheels, extruders, slab rollers are often listed there both new and used.

Tips for Members

If you just want to spout off, it is best accomplished as a blog posting. If you want to get more guidance and ideas from other members, ask a question as a new discussion topic. In the upper right corner of the lists for both types of posting, you will find an "+Add " button. Clicking it will open an editor where you create your posting. 4/16/2014

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