About My shop
My Porcelain work:
Crystalline glazes give the best appearance on smooth surfaces. The perfectly smooth piece is allowed to dry completely and is then fired to about 1900F, a process called the bisque firing. The bisque has one purpose; to make the clay hard enough to accept glaze without breaking. I always wash my bisque pots in the sink and scrub the surface with a 3M pot scrubber. This removes any dust from the surface and excess glue that may be on the join between the pot and the glaze catcher stand. Once they are dried the glazing can begin.
Zinc Crystalline pieces are a relatively new addition to my variety of pottery techniques. They can be quite beautiful. I first started investigating this process in 2007.
The fact is that the glaze is incredibly runny. In fact, the glaze is going to run, and it will run a lot—probably a quarter of the glaze will flow off of the pot during the firing. Knowing this, steps are taken to ensure that the pot does not become permanently bonded to the shelf in the kiln. One method for this is to make cylindrical stands that are exactly the same diameter as the foot of the pot, which raise the pot a couple inches off the shelf. I glue the vase to the stand, then after the glue is dried and the stand and pot are washed the glazing can commence. During the firing, some of the glaze runs off the pot, down and into the stand. After firing, I break the stand and saucer from the pot and proceed to grind and polish the bottom of the piece. The final product is smooth, and hopefully the innocent bystander would never suspect that that the foot of the piece was once razor sharp and jagged.
Another interesting aspect of zinc crystal pots is the firing process, which can be quite complicated. These pieces are oxidation fired in an electric kiln, and it is important for the kiln to reach 2350 degrees Fahrenheit in a short period of time. After quickly firing to temperature, I cool as fast as possible to around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and hold the kiln temperature for about 12 hour, sometimes raising and lowering the temperature in a range between 2100 F and 1875 F. It is during this period that the crystals form and begin to grow on the surface of the glaze. The variation in temperature also allows the crystals to grow in different shapes and often different oxides are attached to the crystals at different temperatures. This adds interest to the final glaze. Sometimes there are outer rings in the crystals of different color or shape. These rings are called Halos. After the kiln reaches 1875 F I allow the kiln to cool naturally. Also different colorants often require different firing programs. For example copper and manganese, help crystals to form, and others such as cobalt hinder crystalline growth. Adding sections to the firing where the temperature is raised and lowered which is referred to as ramps adds other interesting effects to the final glaze. This can create rings of different colors in the crystals. Generally the key to really nice zinc crystals is to balance the crystals with the background.
A few years ago I started importing "Rare Earth Oxides, these are used for high tech devices like cell phones and computer hard drive as well as for pigments in Ceramics and Glass. I try to offer the best prices available in the US.
I also make Impressionistic style Oil Paintings which are available here in my store.
2026 Dean Rd.
513.734.3388 : Available via Phone at the hours below
Monday 10am - 7pm
Tuesday 10am - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 7pm
Friday 10am - 7pm
Saturday 10am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm