Techniques & Demonstrations


Most of my pots are thrown on a momentum kick wheel. Some of my work is hand built in slab form and I also model additions to some thrown pieces. I use about four different types of stoneware clay. A smooth buff for most domestic ware, a darker, medium stoneware for some items and crank clay for larger pots, for hand building or where more texture is required. I also make some pieces using fine porcelain clay.

Drying Pots

I decorate some of my pottery in the raw and leather-hard stages using a variety of techniques including combing, stamps and piercing with a fine scalpel knife. After drying the ware is bisque fired to 1000 deg. Centigrade, then decorated and glazed for the final firing with propane gas in a reduction atmosphere to Cone 10, (approx. 1290 degC).

I have a palette of around 20 glazes that I make from raw materials which are used to decorate my pots, some pieces using several layers of glazes for different effects. Generally by dipping, pouring or splashing. Favourites include Tenmoku, Celadon, Chun and Ash glazes. Also Barium, Magnesia and Titanium for colour response. I also decorate some ware with a variety of underglaze colours derived from metal oxides, (cobalt, chrome, copper and iron), usually by brush painting onto the bisque pot. The pot is then dipped into a transparent glaze before firing.

Raku Demonstration

Raku is a style of pottery, originating in Japan, characterised by low firing temperatures and removal from kiln whilst still hot. I specialises in a reduction method, immersing the hot pots into sawdust to remove Oxygen whilst the glazes cool, resulting in exciting and unpredictable colours.

1. Pots are glazed as normal
2. Load the kiln
3. Two gas nozzles power the kiln
4. The firing takes about 30 minutes
5. The top of kiln is removed, pots are glowing orange-hot
6. Pots must be moved quickly to a bin full of sawdust
7. More sawdust is added to surround all layers of pots
8. The lid is added to prevent oxygen entering
9. Burning and reduction is complete
10. Pots are still hot
11. Move to water for cleaning
12. Soot is removed with scouring pad
13. Pots are polished up
14. Another batch of pots finished

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