Norm Stuart's Blog (19)

The Shine and Gloss

Did a little experiment with Red Lead Cone 04 glaze. I'll have to see if I can replicate it with Bismuth Oxide which is $35 a pound vs $6, but not toxic.

From the left, just lead glaze, Manganese (trying to get a gold), Cobalt, Copper, Chrome, Nickel

There's so much nickel in the last tile I had to fire it to Cone 5 to melt it.…


Added by Norm Stuart on April 30, 2019 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Silicosis - Feldspar and Silica mining in India

Silicosis killing thousands in quarries across India - Indian Express - Asia Times…


Added by Norm Stuart on October 21, 2018 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

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


A year ago I watched this video of the UK ceramicist Takeshi Yasuda working in the porcelain city of Jingdezhen China.

As amazing as it was to see those workshops in action, I now learn that virtually all of the ceramic…


Added by Norm Stuart on February 11, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Wedgwood ceramic archive - potential break-up and sale

I was very informed about ceramics by a sections of Josiah Wedgewood's Kiln Journal written while developing their original Jasperware, "Trial 136 Success!"  It's sad to see this.

Stoke museum's collection of pioneering potter, described as 'unparalleled' by Unesco, due to be sold to meet pension debts.

Wedgwood plates from the series Variation…


Added by Norm Stuart on September 1, 2014 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

Computerized Clay Extruders and Throwers

"Wired" magazine has an interesting article on the new way to throw or sculpt clay, featuring Dutch artist Oliver van Herpt.…


Added by Norm Stuart on August 19, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Slow-cooling or fast?

There are many uses for changing the cooling speed of ceramic glass.

In new PCM displays, the inner material is a substance made of silicon’s heavier chemical cousins, germanium, antimony, and tellurium. The two states of this material, known as GST, are actually two different phases of matter: one an ordered crystal and the other a…


Added by Norm Stuart on July 10, 2014 at 4:48pm — No Comments

Heat Resistant Gloves

Has anyone used this type of flexible PBI / Kevlar blend glove?

We've used a typical pair of yellow Kevlar gloves with wool lining to unload hot kiln shelves,…


Added by Norm Stuart on June 2, 2014 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

Rutile problem

The tile below is the way I used to seeing rutile react in a glaze.

We have a new bag of "Light Rutile" from Laguna which means it's calcined.  Unfortunately it leaves glazes opaque and uniformly whitened, as if we had added titanium dioxide.

The mesh of this new tan rutile is supposedly the same as dark rutile, so I'm at a loss to explain the profound difference.  Unfortunately rutile is a natural material, so some variation can be expected, but this is far too…


Added by Norm Stuart on May 26, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments

"Mastering Cone 6 Glazes" - written by John Hesselberth & Ron Roy

$19.99  iBook version - or $24.95 Black and White Print Version:

iBook: …


Added by Norm Stuart on May 9, 2014 at 10:22am — 1 Comment

Cassie's Marsala

Many have tried to duplicate Alisa Clausen's test tile of Cassie's Marsala without success.

After making a chemically identical version which was opaque from excess iron, I've made a chemically identical version without the addition of 6.6% red iron oxide.

At this point I'm confident that Alisa Clausen replaced the high-iron American produced Redart Clay with a substitute containing less iron.…


Added by Norm Stuart on April 1, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Clay-fired passion - an epidemiologist's journal entry

''A lot of his friends didn't get it,'' admits Mandy Walker of her father's collection of contemporary ceramics. Her father was Professor Alan Walker, the celebrated biophysicist from the University of Sydney whose special interest was plant membrane transport. He died in October 2013.

Walker was a man of many passions, including art (especially Monet and Cezanne), music (Haydn), sailing and photography, although his love of ceramics may have been lost on some.…


Added by Norm Stuart on March 30, 2014 at 12:30am — No Comments

Laguna WC-391 B3 Brown Clay

Has anyone previously used Laguna WC-391 B-3 Brown Clay?

We bought one box to try out and the first person to use this clay made a slab construction of  about 3/8 inches thick.

This clay bloated in a Cone 6 firing, due to some part of the clay that is off-gassing.  The ware was previously bisque fired to Cone 04 and had a thin layer of clear glaze on it.…


Added by Norm Stuart on February 26, 2014 at 2:30am — 4 Comments

Things to do with a slab left to dry too long


Added by Norm Stuart on February 3, 2014 at 10:15pm — 1 Comment

Wild West Kiln

I had to share this photo I found on a crystalline glaze forum. Someone using a Cress-modified Bartlett V6-CF controller to fire a 96 amp Skutt kiln, after the original controller burnt to a crisp.

"the kiln draws 89Amps so the Bartlett controller will not handle that much current, but is more then sufficient to drive a…


Added by Norm Stuart on December 21, 2013 at 2:30am — 1 Comment

Magruder Red with Aluminum Phosphate

Magruder Red on the right.

On the left, the 26.4 grams of Silica in Magruder Red was replaced with 61 grams of hydrated Aluminum Phosphate.

The recipe for Aluminum Phosphate and this Magruder Red variation is in the Insight-Live Glaze Database under Magruder Red.…


Added by Norm Stuart on August 12, 2013 at 5:27pm — No Comments

Glaze Crystals

Last year we searched for "Glaze Crystals" for a granite look or other crystal glazes and found the industry supplier in Maryland.  They melt into larger patterns at ^6, pictured below at ^06.

Tangerine glaze crystals in a yellow mason stain glaze are shown below inside a "Chippendale furniture" looking piece I made using porcelain over paper-clay so the porcelain cracks.…


Added by Norm Stuart on April 9, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Vee's Tenmoku Gold - particular about cooling

Vee's Tenmoku Gold fired to Cone 6 then cooled, between 1,800F and 1,500F, at 185F per hour on the left, 100F in the middle, and 50F on the right.

Many glaze recipes crystallize too much at 50F per hour so I need to add 10% to 20% of a frit like 3269 - or sometimes 3134 but that works outs less…


Added by Norm Stuart on April 4, 2013 at 2:14am — No Comments

Cassie's Marsala

Has anyone come close to the look of Alisa Clausen's ^6 "Cassie's Marsala" where she uses MOK-623 frit?

56.6 Red Art Clay

20.0 Frit 169/MOK 623

9.4  Nepheline Syenite

9.4  Talc

5.7  Bone Ash

6.6  Iron Oxide-Red

Using the analysis for the Johnson Matthey Frit 623 I made a chemically similar glaze, but it's missing the glassy look produced by a pre-melted frit.…


Added by Norm Stuart on March 14, 2013 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment


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Use These Links to Support Us

Low cost flat lapping disc can be used on you potters wheel if you, drill bat pin holes in it, and provide a trickle of water to cool it. At, 120 grit for aggressive material removal. Click the image to purchase 

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.

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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

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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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