Friday, September 27, 2013


In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was working on a faux celadon glaze. Celadon glazes can be traced back many centuries to Korea and China and are still very popular today. I call this a "faux" celadon because traditional celadons are made by firing at very high temperatures in reduction atmospheres. Since I don't fire at high temperatures and use an oxidizing atmosphere, the closest I can come is through appearance.

Some may say this doesn't look at all like a traditional celadon, but the color of the real thing actually varies from a very light green to a gray color. So I didn't feel the need to duplicate anything too closely.

This vase also represents a new foray into products that are exclusively Lowell Hill Pottery and not Rowantrees reproductions. While my dedication to that great tradition hasn't wavered, it's nice to travel off in different directions and see what I can think up on my own. The design was created through a process called water etching. The design is painted on a dry pot using wax resist. Once the wax is dried, the pot is blasted with water using an air gun (which I normally use for glazing). Areas coated with wax will resist the spray while areas of bare clay will etch away leaving the raised design.

This represents a work in progress and was one of the first vases of this type to emerge from a firing. I already know what I need to do to improve this and take it to the next level, and I'm going to test that theory in the next kiln. Stay tuned!

News from the Hill (Lowell Hill, that is)

It's not always easy coming up with something to blog about. Either events are moving too quickly to stop and take stock or nothing at all seems to be happening. Either way, there you are with either too little to say or no time to say it.

Summer has come and gone. Wow. That was fast! Right now, I am all about throwing as much pottery as I can. Soon I will be all about glazing all that pottery I threw. Then... ah yes.

There have been some subtle adjustments to fate here on the hill. While my plans to build a new studio space are still coalescing, the circumstances in which I find myself have changed just a bit.
For starters, the house tenants have moved out. They were the driving force behind my need to leave and while I take nothing for granted, it would seem as though any deadline to be out of the building probably went with them. The owner of the building has again affirmed that she likes having me there continuing the Rowantrees tradition, so that would seem to indicate that at the least I do not have to panic about clearing out of the place.

Mind you, that puts nothing on hold as far as my new studio. There are still plenty of reasons to keep moving forward with those plans. The old building is barely standing and trying very hard to fall down in places. There is still no heat in the winter, making it necessary to stop production at a time when production is most feasible. The fact remains; if I want Lowell Hill Pottery and the Rowantrees Tradition to continue - much less to flourish - I have to be able to work all year long at it.

So what do I have planned for the coming months? Well, production stands out as the first and most important item on the list. I am throwing, glazing and firing as much as I can and as fast as I can to increase inventory. At the same time, I am meeting with a contractor to finalize plans for the new studio. The Kickstarter video will soon be ready to go and then the fund raising project will go live.

Then we will see!