Steven Hill Oxidation Project


Steven Hill Oxidation Project

Achieving atmospheric glaze effects in electric kilns at mid-fire temperatures, through the layering of sprayed glazes. The starting point recipes are given in two discussions "Strontium Crystal Magic . . ." and "The Companion Glazes"

Members: 157
Latest Activity: Jul 12, 2018

Discussion Forum

The Companion Glazes - Modifiers and Complements to SCM

Started by George Lewter. Last reply by Norm Stuart Sep 29, 2017. 46 Replies

These are the glazes that Steven introduced us to for creating the layered effects for which he is renown. This is the place to post modifications for these glazes, and other glazes that you have found to work well with SCM and SCM for orange. …Continue

Pinholes and craters

Started by Tom Waggle. Last reply by Tom Anderson Oct 17, 2016. 22 Replies

I sent an email out to all group members. I should have just started this thread.I am using Laguna 607 cone 6 stoneware.I am getting pinholes and craters on about 1/3 to 1/2 of my pieces.I contacted Stephen Hill via email to ask him about this. He suggested that I just switch to porcelain as it is the gasses from the impure elements in stoneware body.I have adjusted my bisque schedule to slow down to 100'/hr between 1100' and 1700' ( the temp range where those organic gasses burn off). I am…Continue

SCM at cone 6. Glaze Issues, Firing Temp, and Chemistry Questions

Started by Joseph Fireborn. Last reply by Norm Stuart Jul 24, 2016. 5 Replies

This has been created to carry over the conversation that we were having on the discussion comments instead of in a topic. I have copied and pasted the discussion that I created in order of start to current. Please lets move all topics here as it would better be searchable in the future. Comment by Joseph Fireborn I have a question about SH's pots. I have tried using SCM, I get some really nice results, but the glaze surface…Continue

Strontium Carbonate and Strontium Crystal Magic

Started by George Lewter Jul 12, 2016. 0 Replies

Numerous members have used SCM and Jen's Juicy Fruit with excellent results. I believe the crystals being objected to are some kind of crystal that is growing in the melt upon cooling, not unmelted strontium poking out of the matrix. The crystals have sharp diamond reflective points which would not be present if they had been even slightly attacked by the glaze fluxes, of which there are plenty, evidenced by the fact that the glaze is very prone to running.My understanding is that …Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Norm Stuart on July 11, 2016 at 3:30am

Catherine Rehbein fires a lot of clearly glossy melted strontium crystal magic pieces, so I'd be very curious what firing she uses to achieve this.

Strontium oxide produces brilliant colors like lead with low thermal expansion and can be a flux above Cone 2.  But Strontium Carbonate doesn't decompose until an astounding 2,721 F, a good 350 F hotter than Cone 12.

If you're interested in an experiment, before adding the strontium carbonate to the glaze, I'd first react it with an acid like vinegar or hydrochloric acid to release the carbon dioxide.

Strontium acetate and strontium chloride both decompose below Cone 010, but at the expense of being far more soluble than strontium carbonate. I'm curious if this would make any change in the firing behavior of SCM.  It seems unlikely but potential surprises lie in wait out there.

Comment by Joseph Fireborn on July 10, 2016 at 10:54pm

So you think I should try getting closer to cone 7? I can do a hold at cone 6 and hold for like 30mins or something and see what happens.

Comment by Norm Stuart on July 10, 2016 at 10:48pm

My impression has been SCM requires more than a Cone 6 to achieve the results I see others showing. The same too with Jen's Juicy Fruit. For me at Cone 6 both have too much unmelted materials - particularly the strontium in SCM.

Comment by Joseph Fireborn on July 10, 2016 at 10:16pm

I have a question about SH's pots. I have tried using SCM, I get some really nice results, but the glaze surface always feels so gritty and sandy. It isn't really sandy or gritty but the feeling is rather odd. Does anything else get anything like this or I am doing something wrong?

Comment by George Lewter on May 12, 2016 at 11:59am

Steven has had more impact on my aesthetic and process than any other single ceramic artist. I was very lucky to attend a 4-day hands-on workshop with him in 2009 when he was just making the transition from gas reduction firing to electric firing, while experimenting with glazing techniques to retain the look and feel of his finest reduction fired ware. Ceramic Art Daily has a new article from Steven for your perusal. 

Comment by George Lewter on April 12, 2016 at 12:38pm

Down firing a manual kiln is discussed on the network at

Comment by Jennifer Spangler on April 11, 2016 at 12:05pm

Thank you for your comments, John and Robert.  I have a pyrometer, so I will experiment and let you know how it goes!

Comment by John Lowes on April 8, 2016 at 3:07pm
@Jennifer Spangler: It will be harder to get the Steven Hill down fire Ramos with a manual, but it can be approximated. You have to be at the kiln when the lever drops, lift it up, push in the button to turn power back on, then carefully lower the lever. From that,point it will be experimenting with how your kiln goes down in temperature, but you can try switching to medium for a couple of hours, then go to low for a time,then pick up and drop the lever to shut off. If you want to see what's going on better, then buy a pyrometer and install it and monitor your down fire. Bartlett has a nice one with good features, and they sell direct,or Bailey Potrery Supply carries them. Good luck to you whatever you may decide.
Comment by Robert Coyle on April 8, 2016 at 11:17am

Cone 6 firings can be done with a non digital kiln. The firing is usually done in three stages, LOW... set for about two hours to drive water out of  the clay, MEDIUM for about two hours to get the temperature above the quartz transition, and then full on HI to bring the kiln up to the point that the kiln sitter turns it off.

People use all kinds of variations of this for years.  You will have to experiment around. There are a lot of factors that will change the ramp timing.

The down side is that it is hard to track variations in the ramp as you can with a digital controller. Also you can't easily  do a hold at a given temperature, or control a negative temperature ramp to a lower temperature.

There are plenty of people out there who have been making great ceramics this way for years.

Comment by Jennifer Spangler on April 7, 2016 at 9:49pm
I am just beginning to research atmospheric firings in electric cone 6 - can these firings be achieved with a manual (non-digital) kiln? I have an older Duncan (paragon supported) kiln that has low/medium/high.

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