My pottery creations on and off the wheel.

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Underglazing the grapes

Time to underglaze the grapes on the rumpots today.



One of them i will be doing at the bisque stage and one at bone dry, it will be interesting to see the differences with both methods, i usually find it easier to do at bone dry.

After this i will give them both a bisque fire to set the underglaze and fire the two new wheel thrown lids at the same time….in the kiln now.

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Testing glazes for the Rumpot

I have been a bit consumed by testing glazes to go on the rumpot the last couple of weeks, i wasn’t impressed with the matt ones i tried, so did some more. It has been keeping me out of trouble for the most part…..more on that later!

I had to test for a few reasons, mostly because i normally work in terracotta so am starting with that lovely reddy brown already and trying to alter it or just bring its natural colour out with a clear glaze and i am using a different clay this time for the pot which is well…white 🙂

I discovered browns are tricky because they all have different undertones and brown is not just brown.  The other main reason is that i am using a new clay and they all react differently with the chemicals and colourants in a glaze, and of course i didn’t know how to make brown.

This time i used a foodsafe clear glaze base so i could keep the gloss, opacified it with different amounts of zirconium silicate, rutile, red iron oxide and a commercial brown stain. To fill up the kiln, I also did some other tests with cobalt, copper carbonate and stains for my flowers maybe and did 3 monarch butterflies.

I was aiming for something similar to the clear glazed terracotta planter i made in the background, i like the outcome of number 3 for the pot, it has slight yellow undertone that matches the planter.


Oh yes, the bit of trouble i did get into was rushing the clay, again, i tried to bisque fire the pot before it was totally dry and the knob popped off the lid. Just to be safe, i turned the replacement lid on the wheel this time, hoping it will dry more evenly.

We have had a colour change today to a clear base, still with black grapes and green leaves, but its all good  i now know how to make a good few browns that i like for the new clay, now i can get back to the making, which we all know is my favourite part 🙂

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Glaze test results


Testing the Janet De Boos glaze 29 again cone 03-02, this time i had a good bend at 02 in the middle of the kiln. So that’s the temperature right, and the fritt substitution was right according to supplier, but i’m not so sure…i imagined cream coffee was like a more opaque milky coffee?

Tested on the white stoneware, terracotta and the smooth white clay .  Curious that the red copper oxide seemed to just coat the water and not absorb so skipped that one.

Now i just have to work out what’s what and do tests using a clear gloss base for #1, #2 and #3, and add an extra 4% iron oxide to the Janet de boos glaze #8,and maybe a lighter red iron oxide wash over #8, to see if i get a brown i like for the rumpots.



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Chook family?

With any luck there will be a little one running around soon. Chook is trying once again to be a surrogate mum, a couple of hours ago the clucky one got off the nest for dinner (thats her in the background) i could hear clicking and just a small crack in the shell? so maybe?!


She did it! I woke up to this little one this morning 🙂

dsc03420 dsc03421

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Teaching Angels in a new clay


This time we used a white stoneware clay at earthenware temperatures to hold the white..not completely white though..has a yellow tinge. Still a very different look to the terracotta and okay for handbuilding. Will just need to review the scratch and slip technique, with a bit of TLC and some extra halos they will be fine.

Some great creative expressions going on with these ones too 🙂



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Frit 3134 or Frit 4124?

Sometimes you put a glaze in the kiln and you don’t get what you think you are going to get, it depends on so many different things, time, temperature and clay type, even where you put it in the kiln.  Usually i have a rough idea of what happened, but not this time. 

So, i tested this Janet De Boos glaze on white and terracotta earthenware to cone 02, Frit 3134 90, Bentonite  20, Rutile flour 5, Red iron oxide 2.  Being from an old book i wasn’t able to find frit 3134 anymore so substituted Frit 4124 and hoped i would still get the stable coffee/cream medium-gloss glaze.

My thinking was that because they are both borosilicate frits, then read this  (Frit 3134 is similar to 3124 but without Al2O3) on digitalfire and this from Waikato Ceramics Borax Frit 4124  (Formula: Ferro 4124 (was 3124) that i would substitute frit 4124 for frit 3134, i thought i had it worked out, but nope i must have used the wrong one.

Even more confusing to me was the blue that popped up all over the other things in the kiln like these ones…maybe there was too much cobalt carbonate flying around the kiln?

I did get a fab result on my buddha head though!


I am determined to learn the answer, but for now it is a conundrum, if you have any ideas for me i would love to see your comment!

Dec 6th…did i use a clear frit instead of an opaque one? Is there such a thing? Can i opacify it now or just start again?

Dec 7th…before i change anything else, i decided i will have to be patient and just do another lot of tests “without over firing” the glaze this time…it could be that simple, you never know. As for the blue thats still a mystery for now.

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I’m in love again!


I brought home the completed pottery beagle and grumpy pig from the pottery club today. I am in love with them, Baxter took a bit longer.

I couldn’t resist getting the camera out for the introductions to his new pack 🙂