Sunday, October 31, 2010


I had a good old-fashioned Halloween scare this afternoon while glazing at the pottery. I looked out the window and saw...snow falling. Oh, it didn't last long and never actually accumulated. But there's something about seeing it fall that caused me to turn a psychological corner. I can no longer deny that the seasons are moving on. Up until now, I could ignore the gentle rumble of my furnace. I have put thoughts of banking the house out of my head. Plastic on the windows? Not needed yet!

But when you see snow for the first time in the year, it's time to stop denying. Winter will be here before long.

I have been using the wood stove in the pottery for a couple of weeks now. it doesn't really keep me all that warm, but it does keep the ambient temperature in the place well above freezing. It looks like I will win my race with the cold weather, though, as I have only three orders left to fill and have managed to put up some stock for the holiday season. Not bad!

But even better than all that is the success I have been having with the glazes. Earlier on, I wrote about the crazing issue. I have worked diligently on that and today finally brought me a victory. No crazing in any of the new lead-free glazes. This means a strong product that will last a good long time.

So in terms of where I am at this stage, I have found a great replacement clay body, I have succeeded in reformulating almost all of the standard line of glazes (Duckshead Black remains a work in progress for reasons I'll explain in a moment), and I have exceeded my production expectations.

I'll be putting available products up on the web site in a few days along with a price list. There will be gift items available in time for the holiday season.

This is all coming together. It's going to work!

For now, here are some pictures of the new glazes.

This is a condiment service set consisting of a jam jar, a large creamer and sugar set, and a dinner plate. It is shown in Heather Blue and White.

 This is a domed butter dish in Duckshead and Turquoise. As I said earlier, Duckshead is still a work in progress, but I am now using it in combination with Turquoise and Moss Agate red.

 The jumbo and coffee mugs are shown side by side. I currently have a cocoa mug and demitasse sets in the works and will add them to this composition for the web site. That will give the entire range of sizes. Coffee and jumbo mugs are standard items. The others will be made on order.

Here is a jumbo mug in Duckshead. As to its status as a work in progress, I am using a black glaze that looks very attractive in combination with Turquoise or Moss Agate (I'll be posting a picture of Moss Agate after the next kiln comes out). But while it works well in that context, it still needs a little work before I produce pottery glazed exclusively in this black glaze. Duckshead has always been a "recycled" glaze, meaning it uses leftovers of all the other glazes as part of its composition. Right now, I don't have enough leftovers to make Duckshead in the traditional way. But it won't be long!

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