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Colin Gerard


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New York . I /' fr?'/. BARRON'S Woodbury. I 4>i Colin Gerard .

Woodbury. without the prior permission of the Copyright owner. «^miH lm imt : ^vil Reserved. Barron's Educational Series. Inc. photocopying. or transmitted. Edition 1977 William Luscombe Publisher Limited publication may be reproduced. New York 11797 London W1V 5LB recording or otherwise.S. No part of this First U. stored The Mitchell Beazley Group in a retrieval system. or by any means. 113 Crossways Park Drive 14-15 Manette Street electronic. Artists House in any form. mechanical. Printed in GREAT BRITAIN © by Colin Gerard 1977 ISBN 0-8120-5187 4 Library of Congress Catalog Number 77 80602 .

Technical 2 Basic Materials 10 8 Stacking and Firing the information and charts 3 Preparation and Storage Kiln > Appendix 2 . 4 Pot-Making without a 10 More about Glazes Wheel 19 11 Decoration 5 Slab pots and other 12 Setting up a School projects ! Pottery 1 The Potter's Craft 6 6 The Potter's Wheel 37 13 The Potter's Heritage Glossary of terms 7 7 Kilns Appendix 1 . Book List of Clay 15 9 Glazing Index .

By establishing his i „- to exploring new ideas and mak. Are to Bernard Leach. Instead students and followers through- the mass media and museums out the world that we owe the enable us to draw upon the present growth in the number of cultures of the world. glaze materials and ture and colour. pottery in 1920 to make. parti- some of the ancient cultures. This does not mean some of the work produced by that there was no contact between studio potters is not good. cularly the souvenir-type made There was indeed. Students and teachers of pottery Britain and elsewhere owes much THE face immense problems of stan- dards and direction. to exploit holiday-makers. but in schools from their own locality. equipment whereas in the past Much of the art and craft potters had to rely on materials work is excellent. there is a tendency to assume CHAPTER 1 The revival of craft pottery in that the students should be ex- . Early industralisation commended to all students and has resulted in the country potter. The major difference between It is up to all of us to be such influences today and in pre. ac- companied by Shoji Hamada. His A Potter's Book. is to be re- our own. and this discernment to build and absorb outside can be greatly developed in influences. For example. are We studio potters. Unfortunately pean culture. his being a thing of the past. reasonable price. making pots for everyday use. When he returned to Britain from his POTTER'S standards of craftsmanship im- portant? Should we leave the pottery training in Japan. we lack the craftsmanship is about and by restriction of materials. We can helping them to recognise and choose to buy from a wide range appreciate beauty of form. manship. and by his cause we have immense freedom writings. teachers of pottery. he revived interest in of choice and we lack the security pottery. tex- of clays. of a living cultural heritage of published in 1940. the social accep- just as likely to be influenced tance of hand-made pottery and by Sung Chinese. useful household pots at a All these questions arise be. It is to Bernard Leach. the curriculum. discerning and sensitive when industrial times we lack is that we buy pottery or any other a sound foundation upon which craftwork. above ing forms of novelty value? all. African or the increasing number of schools pre-Columban American as by which include pottery as part of our own Greek/Christian/Euro. We have to choose schools by giving students the and make decisions from the opportunity of finding out what start. In addition. and Han China was in contact with also that made by those who see the Roman Empire and Greek no need to acquire at least a amphora forms influenced Han minimum standard of crafts- and Tang forms. GRAFT making of useful pots such as tableware to the industrial pot- ter? Should we confine ourselves very few country potters mained and pottery was at a low ebb.

posed to and as many use college by technical assistants or Banding Wheel Circular. well have been done for him at clay bodies. so giving a smooth. growth influence the result obtained. Circular batts are used on the For example. is several times in the chapters that follow. Each occurs which. When lecturers. quartz and sand. Now used finds teaching the subject very upwards. part of a general project this This book is therefore intended Batts Wooden boards or asbestos sheeting upon which finished pots are could well be a sound approach. pots. Ball clays are very on the surface of a pot when it is being kilns. which has resulted in some their meaning and application will Celadon Name used to describe a range certainly show dividends later as you of stoneware and porcelain glazes schools having unused facilities. The variety of wood and its place of Centring The process of getting the asked to take over pottery teach. the craft. All students and teachers a kiln. An unpleasant clay/firing fault. craft. even of pottery should endeavour to fire-brick. building coil pots. the past twenty years that it has Carborundum Powder Silicon carbide Here then is a glossary of the main become fairly widespread. free-spinning Used when decorating and when turntable. fired pots. Ash Abbreviation for 'wood ash'. Pottery involves all the has been fired. semi-shiny be insufficient time to master craft and so gain a real under. usually suitable for use in the form I am convinced that it is better should never be an end in itself. and fire Ball Clay Whitest of the secondary or Chatter Corrugations that can develop sedimentary clays. terms used by the potter. obtained by using small quantities while in other schools a keen (0. potters available to teach the so time spent familiarising yourself with non-grating fit. used to grind-in lids. surface. Most clays used by While the acquisition of skill potters are clay bodies.5-3 %) of iron oxide in a clear glaze. For example. making them smooth. student and does all crafts a tion in the craft. processes which any fool can should also help the many Bloating Bubbles of various sizes which master with a minimum of effort students of pottery who attend develop in the clay of a pot during glaze should be avoided. clay in the middle of the potter's wheel ing. with college training in ceramics the firing chamber of gas. in which they are dug out of the ground. prepare clay and glazes. flint pebbles are broken up by time work and study to become heating and clays to be used in glazes really proficient as a potter! are sometimes calcined to make them less Pottery is a comparative new- comer to the school curriculum. light tan colour. In other schools a teacher Bag Wall Wall of fire-brick built inside before the pot is opened out and thrown. teacher with little first-hand ex. and other materials such as felspar. Callipers Compasses with curved lips for measuring the diameter of pots and lids. does little to help the who decide to take a set examina. at one craft and so gain a potter to create the forms he Bung Stopper used to fill the spy-hole of genuine understanding of all that desires. meaning 'burnt stuff. Michael Cardew states standing of the materials and Calcine The heating of a material to that takes seven years of full- it processes used. Un. for while a few schools introduced specialised vocabulary. An fired in reducing conditions. all processes which might plastic and form the basis of most made-up turned. varies from grey/blue to deep green. This assists in obtaining a firing to describe any process using silica and difficult because he is having to of even temperature. materials as is possible. Colour perience of pottery has been ingredient of many stoneware glazes. progress through the book. Industrial potteries sometimes are merely a series of slick to unpacking the glazed pots. clay heads might training in pottery. most However. China Clay Almost pure clay 7 . applied when making puppets pottery only involves making Biscuit (Bisque) Unglazed ware which for a play written by the students. or modelled and papier-mache been misled into believing that for pots which would otherwise be difficult to lift off* the wheel. and words or phrases stone used to clean the bottom of glaze- hallowed by centuries of practical use. It is usually porous. Clays are not great disservice. heat. Body A clay mixture of various clays dishonest. It use high biscuit firings. to help teachers without a full placed. change it physically or chemically. oil. or who have wheel-head when throwing large pots. Usually a cone-shaped piece of craftsmanship entails. GLOSSARY Every craft has its own special and plastic. the idea that crafts processes from preparing clay biscuit firings being between 980C and 1. wood and Ceramic Word derived from the Greek coal-burning kilns to deflect the flames keramos. including those firing. though there undoubtably will find the time to practise the Burnishing The polishing of a leather- hard pot to give a smooth.000°C. a mixture of Carborundum Stone Hand-grinding pottery in the 1930's it is only in technical terms. for students to study and work it is such skill that frees the Buff Clay Clays which fire to a cream. when mixed 50/50 with China clay fortunately there have been few and sufficient water to make a paste. because it is part-time classes.

special dams across it. the pot instead of running off. Felspar (Feldspar) Potash Felspar and Kneading Means of mixing clay of Crank Mixture A heavily grogged Soda Felspar are common stoneware glaze uneven consistency or colour and of (q. excellent method to use in schools.v. Fine cracks develop in the glaze. Deflocculation The addition of a glaze material. It is deflocculant.v. or a nylon line. are improved if they spring up particles sink to the bottom 8 . • Enamel Enamel colours are pigments viscous (sticky). cut and fluted pot to separate it from the wheel-head or Flux Material used in glazes to assist decoration carried out. such as Kaolinite The mineralogical name for Crackle Means the same as 'crazing* the sharpened end of a feather. The clay colour varies from are usually fritted so as to ensure an even technique stilltoday and an in use the white used in the commercial pottery mix. is background. pots scraped and burnished. The fine particles will tend to settle into a hard mass at the Foot Ring Many pots. As a result it remains on Cone Pyrometric cones are placed in the mixed with a low firing glaze (690-800C). The temperature. Most industrially-made from window glass and glassware in that diameter of the neck of a pot on the pots are earthenwares. Such clay does not in fact (q. ground up and added to clay bodies to indicating the temperatures at which they but frequently applied to slips that vitrify give texture. and ground up into China which are opalescent blue in colour. and in clay bodies. Coiling A method of building pots from C to 1. Crawling A glaze fault. industry to the red/brown wares of the Glaze A glass-like material. Frit Glass-like non-soluble material support a pot while turning the base. China clay approaching most the effect required and intentioned. water-tight. to support pots during firing. to change into pottery. borax). used on Chinese pots. reduce shrinkage during will bend. they meet at a lower temperature that brush. while the coarser bottom of the bucket. but sometimes making bricks that will withstand high Lead Glazes Due to the concern about used to obtain a decorative effect. schools not to use lead glazes. Used in earthenware and which slip-trailed lines and dots are Kaolin See China Clay stoneware glazes. bamboo A dry. Also known as Very useful when making large hand-built Fire Clay A sedimentary clay.GLOSSARY (Al 2 2 Si0 2 2H 2 0). The addition of bowls. There are many such Levigation The separation of fine and material that will assist in keeping materials. found near coal seams and used for to kneading bread dough. usually 'spiral kneading'. glazes containing very little clay and Lead Oxide (PbO). Sometimes that when combined in given amounts thick white slip is applied with a coarse known as 'bailing and coning". they should be safe. in sometimes known as 'kaolin'. of a material or group of Chinese derivation. : Leather-Hard A stage during the drying cools after firing. differing Collaring The process of reducing the country potters. It is usually formed when white in colour and non-plastic. On porcelain it can be and platter made by country potters up to Kiln Furniture Shelves and props used very pleasant and decorative. Grog ranges from indication of when firing is complete can materials that gives the lowest melting fine powder to large chunks of up to 1 cm be obtained. ingredients. In earthenware this Fluting The cutting of grooves into the of clay when it has become rigid but not results in the pot being porous. common ones being Whiting coarser particles of clay by flowing a particles in suspension in water. it contains alumina which makes it remain wheel. This method of decoration nearly to it. the Island.).) clay used for making kiln furniture.v. and kiln so that they are visiblethrough the They are applied to already-fired glazed provides a smooth 'glazed' surface. Used for tendency and keep the particles in turning the leather-hard pot. it proven recipe and fired to the specified in the glaze due to the latter contracting The process is irreversiblea minimum and temperatures. used by some potters It is possible health risks. An ancient coils or 'sausages' to 1. spy-hole. 1-2% of Bentonite will reduce this from a foot ring. drawn out with a thin pliable tool. and it is only the fact Hakeme Ancient technique in which on the wheel prior to throwing. The trailed 'ideal' clay. See leather-hard surface of a pot. Bentonite is therefore a thrown onto the base of the pot. like crazy paving. Formula Chemical description. and lower the melting point of the other applied. and slip decoration the batt upon which it has been made. an accurate Eutectic That mixture of two or more throwing large pots. a word of Dunting The cracking of pots in the kiln notation form. hand-built twisted strands. porcelain. and is similar in action pots and sculptures. Boric Oxide (B 2 3) stream of slip through a channel which has example. drying and also provide 'bite' when three) through the spy-hole. Coning Movement used to centre the clay high melting points. Another description for the same Crackle tool is usually used and the technique has stage is 'cheese-hard'. Was much the early 20th century. By observing the cones (usually and so become like a glaze. For (CaO).g. They are made of glaze material pots.) ware that is and are stamped with a reference number Engobe American term for slip (q. due to uneven cooling and draughts. point. Grog Fired biscuit (q. Earthenware Pots which have a porous which is combined with other soluble Chun Glazes Glazes developed in body and require glaze to make them materials (e. Most stoneware materials have very (| in) in diameter. when the pot temperature of 600 C is required. more than the clay body. but the term 'crackle' is used when lines must be applied to a wet slip exist. However. removing air bubbles. particularly flow over the dams. Cornish Stone An English felspar found allows us to use them in glazes. and as a glaze ingredient. materials. although some are fired to Prepared glazes sold by potters' merchants 2 of clay.100 C. if lead frits are used in a reliable and Crazing The development of fine cracks usually in a kiln. to obtain bright decorative effects. Firing The heating or baking of clay.).v. Such pots are usually fired up a powder ready for use in a glaze. Chuck A ring or cup of clay used to Large pots are more prone to dunting. Inlay Decorative technique where clay in Cornwall extreme south-west of in the Feathering A decorative technique in is inlaid with clay of another colour. rather was much used in the earthenware dishes Kiln The oven in which pots are fired. It is at this stage Cutting Off Passing a fine wire of been employed since the Chinese T'ang that thrown pots are turned. It is a primary clay. thick glaze with unglazed areas in between. under a dynasty.200 C. but it can be making up white clay bodies such as suspension. Potash (K 2 0). it is better for glaze moves during firing to give islands of when making clay bodies.

the using. glaze firing range of approx. clay. damp clay. Souring Leaving clay for a period before Whiting Potter's name for calcium Reduction During a glaze firing. and is not Warping The deforming of a pot at fitted with such an instrument. but not transparent. and such clays are insoluble by fritting (q. onto a white tin earthenware glaze. Refractories Materials used in a kiln. and porcelain completely Pyrometer Instrument for measuring so as to leave a thin wall of clay. both slips and glazes. upon which common. without a glaze. Soluble Those materials which will Wedging A means of mixing clays of Red Clay A secondary clay found in dissolve in a liquid. . placed prior to glaze-firing to protect them containing upwards of 4% iron oxide. of slip. to an unfired or biscuited pot before the common. various sizes and shapes. Clear glass is an obvious formed into pots and various other forms. Opacity When light cannot pass through Saggar Clay box into which pots are Tenmuku Group of stoneware glazes a glaze.). The clay is Westerners expect it to be white. trailing. reduced. used to trail a line wax and thin lubricating oil. Electric Salt Glaze Type of stoneware resulting black. hakeme etc. Rather like using an icing bag in prietary wax emulsion. Porcelain A white-firing stoneware clay Short Clay Clay lacking in plasticity Turning Trimming of a pot on the first used in China in the T'ang dynasty. the clay between the thumb and fingers Sgraffito Method of decorating by Trailing Decorative technique where into a hollow shape. support kiln shelves. Such materials are kiln shelves. normally very plastic. The clay is usually non-porous which. vertical or a horizontal tapered cylinder can be coloured by adding colouring Vitreous Glassy. and uneven consistency into a smooth decorate by dipping. wheel.v. colour wash or slip or glaze is extruded through a nozzle been used since early times.and are trapped. Pinch Pots Also known as thumb pots. which therefore dealt with in this book. except when made of removing air bubbles prior to using the presence of iron. Oxidised Firing Pots fired in a clear from direct flame and ash deposits. The salt combines metal cut to a given shape and used as a kilns can give an oxidised atmosphere if with the silica in the clay. clay will vitrify. danger of it being deformed. and now much of biscuit-fired clay or plaster of Paris. cake-making. It is a useful The pots are placed into a pre-heated Slurry Slushy. Sintering Stage in firing clay when normally leather-hard and a sharp metal translucent and resonant.300 C. with the aid of tongs. its sometimes forms part of an automatic Slip Trailer Usually a stiff rubber Wax Either a heated mixture of paraffin firing device.). or a pro- Raku Lowtemperature earthenware. A useful flux in amount of oxygen in the firing chamber is Sponge A small natural sponge is stoneware glazes. and to maintain the new shape. oil and wood-firing fire-mouth of the kiln. high temperature. It consists of either a wax-resist. vitrified. bulb with a fine nozzle. card. Used as a resist for evolving from Japanese tea-ceremony pots. Kilns are frequently basically an industrial method. They are made in temperatures vary with different clays. This method has scratching through slip. where the glaze compresses the clay. normally metal. glazing pots. or into bricks. A useful piece of equipment in a Slip Casting Method of making pots. Thin allows it to be altered in shape and causing the pot to break. whereby slip is poured into plaster moulds partly vitrified. For particularly when throwing on the wheel. porcelain is translucent. temperatures without deforming or Stoneware High fired ware. Developed special shape. This tool is used. thickness. glaze. having a r>" it A non-shiny surface. they are usually mixed with clay and consolidated mass. using a revolving potter's wheel. hand. Small simple pots made by pressing the firing. feathering. Shivering Fault similar to shattering. Metal oxides or Pug Mill Machine used to mix clay of to a smooth consistency. Sawdust Firing Simple method of sometimes coarse in texture. and therefore difficult to form. Slip Liquid clay that has been stirred application of glaze. clay can be placed to produce a Roulette An incised cylinder or wheel or nearly so.200- Mould Any form over which. usually happens at about 800 C but the C Prop Refractory kiln furniture used to Turning Tools Tools. Silver. copper and example. favoured by studio potters. Most clay moulds are made used to impress decoration into wet or in Han and T'ang China. clay instead of breaking the pot. Pitcher A large jug. 1. glaze. kilns normally have an oxidised from common salt being thrown into the Template Sheet of paper. Throwing Process of making a pot by thumb into a ball of clay and squeezing and the latter is allowed to smoulder. also many areas. piece of kiln furniture. Lustre Metallic decoration applied to an iron and copper to change colour. This causes glazes containing essential equipment for the potter. used for turning leather-hard pots. through. earthenware glazed pots are stood for M UOLICA Painting with metal oxides allof which must withstand high firing. They are not used in different consistency and/or colour. breaking. wet clay that can be used decorative technique and an aid when kiln and removed from the red hot kiln for joining clay to clay. Shattering Fault in glaze and clay Translucent Permitting light to pass Plasticity Property of clay which body. and varying in colour from red/brown to atmosphere with plenty of air. three-armed and pointed gold coloured lustres are the most tion firing. Slips water. Fired to a high enough through which rotates a shaft of angled oxides. but there is a blades. The colour is due to the pottery making. celadon glazes require a reduc. whereby pots are placed in sawdust. any stage of manufacture. Stilt A small.v. cylinders of Slab Pots Pots made by joining or Underglaze Colours Pigments applied about 35 mm (If in) being the most binding slabs of clay. This is so. example. so as to improve its plasticity. Stoneware is busy pottery. sgraffito. so forming a pattern when cutting out pieces of clay. Transparent Transmitting light without It is this property that permits clay to be except that the glaze breaks away from the obstruction. onto a pot. Terracotta Unglazed red earthenware. It is used to specially fritted colours can be used. wood or atmosphere and gas. usually its base. 1 . carefully controlled to do so. temperature. shelf props and saggars (q. carbonate (chalk/lime). particles start to fuse together. already glazed ware.

?•** 10 .j ' . 2 BASIC MATERIALS CHAPTER — ^ .

in Britain's South West the earth's crust. Extraction of Kaolin when weathered accounts for most clay. It should be noted that this is a 100. so washing out the Since the formation of the earth's clay and mica from the course quartz crust geological changes have occurred. a common stoneware However the small number of minerals glaze ingredient.4 associated with two molecules of Si0 2 (silica) and two molecules of H 2 (water). Plate I. As the earth cooled various minerals The second stage involved fluorine were formed by varying conditions. and continues to be. Felspar. and there. At one time it was thought that clay In remote geological time the earth was formed by the deep weathering of was a molten mass.. This the crust of fairly uniform composition. The relatively thin granite into felspar and then into surface or crust (30 km) froze. 'Cornish Stone'. Titanium minerals 1. Kaolin is extracted on an industrial Many other minerals have been identi. vapours attacking the granite. stages and it can be found in large lumps. covering kaolin.8 mica. for we can only observe the Primary Clay earth for the relatively short period of China Clay (Kaolin) our lives. the most common mineral.5 converted the felspar (50% -60% of Ferro-magnesian group whole rock) into kaolin and a form of 16. so dried and pulverised. and tourmaline grains. Over millions of years running the milky suspension of clay it has dissolved soluble matter from and mica down troughs with 'riffles' to rocks. the latter being found in pressures. goes on everywhere. and different rates of cooling. Quartz 12. near Si. The we associate with the earth is largely first stage turned some of the minerals the result of later changes. thought to have taken Rocks formed during this cooling are place 280 million years ago.0 theoretical formula and is not found in nature without additional oxides. This sometimes process. topaz and tion of the molten material. ming. results in volcanos.However. That is. among others. The 'White 11 L .0 Kaolin is said to have the molecular Biotite 3. scale by playing a powerful jet of water fied but most are rare. formed by the geologic weathering of the injection of gases and heat from Cornwall. Before the surface that itwas formed in three stages by froze. This did not earth's crust: affect the quartz or tourmaline but Felspar 59. — — world such as New Zealand without It is us to realise that difficult for molten matter being deposited. heavier material— such as metals chemical action from below the granite —tended to sink to the centre. geological changes are taking place at i& y-m?m all times.8 formula A1 2 3 2Si0 2 2H 2£. Another cause of change has been Clay pit. Out of the ground The Trethasa China ! Clay has been. so making the oceans salt.000 m the rock is unaffected by the second and third mainly basalt. this tourmaline was depth of about 1. so for- such as slight differences in the composi. . chemical action. formed is by the following illustrated The third stage involved the injection list giving the approximate percentages of the gases C0 2 (carbon dioxide) and of the various minerals making up the H 2 (water vapour). The mica is then Water has been responsible for many separated from the clay by a system of of these changes. consisted called igneous rocks. but hot gases are fore clay is common and generally still released in many parts of the abundant.5 one molecule of A1 2 3 (Alumina) is All others 6. different fluorspar. geologists now agree a very hot interior. of the injection of gases at high pressure The variety of rocks and minerals and temperature (perhaps 400°C). on the rock face. Below a to tourmaline. The Formation of Clay !«>. The clay is then has gradually ground rock on rock. This is a continuous below the earth's crust. and it catch the mica particles. Austell. leaving this is known as pneumatolysis. Geological background breaking them into ever smaller pieces.

They were a clay high in alumina and low in The clay particles are very fine. as fluxes. clays. but it can be defined as the igneous rock. Each probably formed by pneumatolysis. bacterial action china clay. in the Dartmoor Bentonite when lubricated with water. Glacial clays are sedi- mentary clays which were picked up by Examples Kaolin or china clay Ball clay. It was trical attraction holds the sheets in in lake basins in South Devon. : BASIC MATERIALS Mountains' near St. as opposed to that of Kaolin which is water between the clay crystals. Their formation was that became coal. to aid the plasticity of are really heaps of the unwanted quartz. These clays are by far the most commonly found. wind or glacier and of water and temperature changes. buff. Hence Al2 3 2Si0 2 2H2 city is certainly improved if clay is the resulting clays are remarkably pure that is. Another sedimentary clay is fire clay. secondary clays are most glacial clays. yet volcanic deposits. which was the china clay. other and deposited elsewhere. These clays are an exception among was the earth in which grew the trees The reasons the variation in for secondary clays. Some of the variation fired. Devon and the neighbouring county of ashes and lavas and its theoretical It has been suggested that by storing Dorset. In addition to transporting the formula is clay so that it matures. if not most Colour White Grey. Contains carbonaceous 'impurities' on the way. will move area of the western county of Devon. This makes it unusable is a valuable addition to less plastic derives from the method of transporting by itself but it is used in small quantities. to be the origin of the well-known Plasticity of Clay — Secondary clay Sedimentary Fremington red clay. retain that shape when pressure is English Ball Clay This is found next to coal seams and released. can be dug and used much the subjective judgement of the for the most part derived from an as found but has a low melting point. Sometimes the end of a glacier lain. Clays with the and due to the small particle size. it helps keep the particles : China clay (kaolin) is known as iceberg and carry a large body of clay in suspension and so hinders the glaze 'Primary Clay' because it is formed on until the iceberg melted. This is thought bucket. sometimes from settling in the bottom of the bin or the site of the parent rock and is not a over what is now land. Plasti- ted from the mica from the clay. Most British china clay is caused. such as china clay. This is the most commonly used of the easily against its neighbour. like Measurement of plasticity is really very As with china clay. earthenware. Primary Clay Secondary Clay (Sedimentary) Other Sedimentary Clays Unlike china clay the rock was weathered from above by the action Formation Rock broken down by water. thus a refractory clay. which in colour is caused by carbonaceous with its very small particle size. The second property. which fires out in the kiln deposit. together often have a high shrinkage rate. while elec- but were later washed out and deposited montmorillonite group of clays. The Dorset clays had to travel water content. up to about 3%. This removal and depositing eventually led to a clay matter. nite is an example of a highly plastic during firing. steam Transported by water. for they frequently further and as a result are less pure than it low firing and liable to shatter when have a tendency to flop when used and the Devon clays. sedimentary rock. crystal is like a small flat sheet. would flow into the sea. in particular porce- not clay. tion that water transport would have kaolin-based clays. the Devon and Dorset clays in two balls slung across a donkey's back. makes it very plastic and gives it a high clay which cannot be used by itself but The origin of the name ball clay contraction rate. North formed by the weathering of volcanic place when pressure is released. This clay. usually a member of the making it only suitable for low-fired property which permits the shape of the felspar family. break off as an glazes that is. Bento- matter (plant growth) which burns out less than one tenth that of kaolin. fire clay glaciers in the Ice Age and transported 12 . The earth was later plasticity are inconclusive but some still somewhere between that of china clay leached (percolated with water) leaving of the probable reasons are as follows: and the sedimentary clays. potter. The first property makes best in practice. probably causes cracking during drying. As or gas at the site of the parent rock broken down as it moved the rock was broken down the smaller particles were often removed by water Impurities Contains few impurities Collected impurities such as iron. The composition of such clays is infinitely variable due to the differing Plasticity Larger particle size so non-plastic Smaller particle size so plastic physical. it has twice as much silica as allowed to mature. the water caused the particles Al2 3 4Si0 2 2 + nH2 H improves the lubricating action of the of clay to be ground smaller and separa. but in some areas from earthenware. Austell in Cornwall long distances without the usual separa. geographical and geological conditions. clay to be altered by pressure. very kaolin and has a varying additional greatest plasticity are not always the plastic. It is also useful as a deflocculant in found in Cornwall. picking up Contains no carbonaceous matter minerals and clays. tan or red-brown commonly used.

such as a building site or a to be useful. The necessity of adaptation is appa. derably in their chemical make-up. local materials / Test for soluble alkalis by drying a clay . Test for plasticity by using a well. 10 cm (4 in) apart are then scored into the The potter needs to have three basic This is dealt with in greater depth in clay. for it could grog for extra large pieces. Lime will cause bubbling. stick. observing that where the ash from the to be made but the clay available was chloric acid. as a glaze on top of his stoneware and conditions tended to dictate the sample. The clay is next left to dry. Today. Test fire— A test strip should also be Flux To lower the melting point of sufficient: fired to biscuit and then glaze tempera. fluxes. samples can be glazed and glaze fired. labourfrequently is If lime is present the clay is not worth wares it formed a simple glaze. It is clay to flake off. firing range and glaze fit. as high shrinkage frequently and so prevent it from running off the sample from a new batch of mixed or causes pots to crack as they dry. observing if the alumina and fluxes. turning to avoid warping. Assuming that all the six tests have for a very low price. In fact. Woods vary consi- Very careful testing should be under. sample of clay obtained from a local than 9 cm (3\ in) the clay is not likely Alumina To keep the glaze viscous source. shrinkage and alter the throwing quality local community. carefully. A small thumb pot is also a fair plasticity sand and quartz can be tried to reduce who made the everyday pots for their test. the rate of shrinkage being noted glaze melts before the clay. materials in addition to clay in order Chun and Ting derive their names from A more thorough testing procedure is as to practice his craft. he could the kiln and district in which they were follows use a low melting point clay. deformation. If it has shrunk to less 1. The Principal Stoneware Glaze Minerals rent when Chinese pots are studied. 13 . If the tests have proved satisfactory access to a clay which suits the type of a 10 mm (\ in) coil around a broom the clay can be tested on the wheel for ware he wishes to make without consi. plant and the type of soil in which they plasticity. The efficiency and ultimate the clay is not worth pursuing. crack when drying. and so causing lumps of glazed and not just that part of the other than its local availability.P. If the clay seems to be satisfactory well be used to give a high-firing clay potters had to adapt to their clay and after biscuit firing and a note of the more colour and improve its vitrification use it unmodified. P. stones and plant roots. If a scum or white staining clay. coil around a broom stick. derable modification.713°C. posit of clay which would fire in the 5. clay cracks unduly. had of necessity to Measure when dry.160°- If a very simple test is required for a the scored lines. shrinkage of the strip has been made the without causing deformation. turning ingredients for his stoneware glazes: the following section. say 500 gms or try pressing 6. settled. It is thought that the early Chinese temperature of the kiln also played a 2. such as firing will prove more satisfactory. it over as it dries to avoid warping. Test for shrinkage by rolling out a depending on the variety of tree or clay so as to satisfy such requisites as strip about 13 cm by 4 cm and 2 cm thick. It contains silica. standing strength and additions of grog. taken before mixing large quantities of 4. observing if it cracks unduly.050°C. the silica and alumina so that the / . piece of scrap kiln shelf in case the clay ingredient of a glaze are from clays. In other words. Two marks exactly have grown. The mud from some rivers makes colour and firing temperature of the appears it is too high in soluble alkalis and a good dark Tenmuku glaze. delivered clay the following should be 5. measure the distance between Silica A glass former— M. dry clays or plastic clays plus sand or kneaded and matured example to throw Wood ash a valuable glaze is still grog bought from the potter's merchant. only 5-7% wet to dry (5 x 1\ x | in). 1. be useful when mixed with another clay. If it is Soil Hill pottery was one such potter. Silica 2. a little Such mixtures are known as clay bodies. Remove any obvious impurities such as tures. By more expensive than the raw material using as lime behaves like plaster of mixing wood ash with clay and applying and potters and their customers choose Paris. high shrinkage will cause the pots to not altogether satisfactory it could well He had the good fortune to have a de. kale forcers and mixing bowls. Leave for two as well as the colour. a small pot or by pressing a 10 mm (\ in) ingredient. Test for plasticity cither by throning a melts and ruins a good shelf The potter is he has very fortunate if small sample. : Clay Bodies 3. reabsorbing water after firing. Isaac Button of 10% the clay is unlikely to be useful as in that you have a usable clay. Country potters. vitrification and weeks to mature. including bread 4. Roll out a 10 cm (4 in) strip. When Testing a new clay it has dried. it all over a pot the whole pot became a type of ware and clay for qualities expanding. shrinkage. 7. Test for lime by dropping a small piece Potters developed stoneware glazes after major part in deciding the type of ware of clay into a 50% solution of hydro. Most country 6. 2. crocks. Dry of the clay. wares. If contraction is over proved satisfactory you are veryfortunate use a locally dug clay. rich in made. It is best to place all tests on proves to have a low vitrification and without modification except for some scrap pieces of shelf in case of disaster! deformation temperature. Biscuit fire a sample pot and a 10 cm This applies particularly to a clay which high earthenware range and throw well (4 in) strip. It is likely that an earthenware glaze and The stoneware potter needs very few Most of the different wares. pot where the fly-ash from the kiln fire therefore necessary to mix a clay from 3.Knead until of even consistency and in It is advisable to place all tests on a The principal sources of this essential good condition for use. pot-M. kiln fire settled on their unglazed crucial.

: l : BASIC MATERIALS wood ash. alkaline glazes. Felspars melt by themselves rable pamphlets available dealing with at about 1. Flint is sometimes This is despite its own melting point of of 20 % + but is valuable as a glaze base more difficult to buy from potters' 2. 14 . glaze a satiny. whiting has It has a low expansion rate which As already mentioned. It is very useful when This is an expensive but very necessary Lime Felspar (CaO Al2 3 6Si0 2 ) making a semi-matt opaque glaze. felspars. Some Chinese and is useful silica for making a glaze Quartz This is quite plentiful in Sung wares were glazed with a high more viscous and less fluid. Potash Felspar (K2 Al2 3 6Si0 2 ) in the Alps. semi-opaque quality can be helping to cure crazing and to give the Flint This is found as pebbles. milky. creasing thermal expansion and so quartz sands. safety and the use of lead. The other felspar is Nepheline properly formulated and fired in an Syenite. Potters' suppliers have admi- felspars. opacifier in earthenware glazes and is All three have the same ratio of alumina Talc 3MgO 4Si0 2 2 H also useful in stoneware. Limestone (Whiting) CaC0 3 Barium Carbonate BaC0 3 Flint is less pure than quartz but has the This is one of the principal fluxes in An alkaline earth and the chief source advantage of being finer grained and stoneware glazes and ideal for lowering of barium in a glaze. The small to silica but they differ in that they have This is the chief mineral found in white tin particles remain suspended in different principal fluxes. Bone Ash 3 CaO P2 5 formation of felspars from igneous With the materials already mentioned This is the usual source of calcium rocks has also been mentioned in the a potter has all the essential ingredients phosphate.610°-1. are often desirable but not essential. tends to a turquoise melting point of 1. stable glaze a melting point than potash and soda hazard. with red. potash. foi de- nature both as quartz crystal and as felspathic glaze and the resultant crazed. felspar has some soda present and soda Lead felspar has some potash present. It is safe if bodies. forming small bubbles within The most important members of the Dolomite CaC0 3 MgC0 3 the glaze. Those that follow bone china but is useful in glazes as an kaolin. It has a lower can easily make a safe. white lead. The formulas soapstone. of a frit.713°C. In addition green as opposed to a leaf green. felspars form the advantage of having a low expan. colours of blue/pink. Copper. It can be excellent but felspar family are This mineral is found in large quantities milkiness should be avoided. the earth's crust— almost 60%. in chalk seams. It is a source of calcium and Tin Oxide Sn0 2 Soda Felspar (Na 2 A 2 3 6Si0 2 ) magnesium. which has approxi. are marble and sea shells. This has the formula oxidised firing to the temperature de- Na 2 Al2 3 2 Si 2 manded by the formula. It causes the glaze so more readily converts into cristo. they do not melt until a tem. Copper lower silica content. waxy surface texture. For example. Felspars to being an excellent flux. opacifier. The main source is from when firing stoneware in an oxidising merchants as it has to be calcined limestone and chalk. Plate 2. Silica has a pure calcium CaC0 3 Other sources . as with most before being ground. potash usually added. helps in formulating a glaze that does the largest single group of minerals in sion/contraction rate and is therefore not craze.200°C and even then the of earthenware glaze. quartz and flint. The useful in eliminating glaze-craze. It provides magnesium and the glaze melt instead of becoming part are theoretical. bright felspars and is often used in porcelain glaze which colours well. It is often used as an alternative However. avoid the risk of poisoning associated One is Cornish stone. The most mately equal quantities of the three common frits are lead-bisilicate (PbO fluxes. alumina and fluxes. surface to be dull when used in amounts bolite during firing. It has a slightly Many earthenware glazes have a lower melting point than the other three lead frit base for it gives a clear. So felspars do in themselves provide Borax the essential ingredients of a stoneware Being soluble. which are almost atmosphere. rate of the fluxes present. for other fluxes are of the melt. lower the melting point. the melting point of a felspathic glaze. borax is used in the form glaze. soda and lime and some 2Si0 2 ) and lead-sequisilicate (2PbO fluorspar which gives it its characteristic 3Si0 2 ). namely silica. so as to Two other felspars are often used. etc. This is used in the form of a frit. It is the chief ingredient of section dealing with the formation of for stoneware pottery. Colouring It differs from the other felspars in oxides should not be used without having a relatively high alumina and ensuring that it is safe so to do.200°C.570°C. to or an addition to lead frit as the base perature of 1. Old print showing a horse-powered stoneware glazes in small amounts to tainly craze due to the high contraction clay mill in operation in the early 19th century. Between 5% and 10% is usually present. usually beautiful. It is also added to melt is sluggish and the glaze will cer.

the full-time potter 1. having to PREPARATION ways. This meant cost or manual labour. a subject in AND recipe using ingredients powdered clays and other bought from a potters' merchant it can be bought ready-mixed .100°C. Luckily. deposit of clay available. as the preferred ware. disadvantages in different situations.000°- school. throwing. addition to pottery. It can be dug locally and prepared for use. secondary or high were red earthenware fired to 1. and as most clay deposits are of They certainly do not always apply to secondary clay containing iron oxide. already mixed with water. He was a craftsman who had to use the nearest and disadvantages. offer two or more different clays so that A few potters still use locally dug students become aware of the variety clays but the number has been declining available. Locally dug clay Before the days of mass transportation OF C1AT Each method of obtaining clay- obviously the most important material the potter has to use— has advantages and industrialisation most pots were made by a local potter. or in a plastic state. it can be mixed to a specific cope with a continuous stream of students and. Building sites or similar excavations are possible sources for locally-dug clay. in many cases. The labour mixer with which to mix his own clay. using such a mixer. be it of quality. Such advantages that he had to fire his pots to the and disadvantages do not apply equally temperature most suited to the clay to the full-time or part-time potter. For example. their advantages and STORAGE from the potters' merchant either as a powder. schools are unlikely It is desirable that all students are to have the space safely to install a involved in preparing some local clay mixer and the teacher is unlikely to for use. for it makes them aware that Plate 3. primary. the teaching situation. The full-time potter will as stoneware has replaced earthenware probably have space to install a dough. 15 . but CHAPTER — obtain permission before investigating or digging and then only do so under qualified supervision. involved in digging and preparing local and he will be able to devote time to clay is also a handicap to its use. 3 Clay can be obtained in a number of have time to use such a mixer. such clays are usually will require a specific clay for his type very plastic and satisfactory for of work schools will generally want to . These are the different methods of preparing clay. be it in an art the majority of the wares produced college.

so leaving a thick slurry. on the bench involved in digging and preparation labour is involved in its preparation. being anything from grey to a dark clay really does come from the ground. felspar and grog. Depending on the quantity of clay being prepared. When firm enough to be handled the clay should be pugged. such as It is not a manufactured substance that into the sieved slurry before the clay is the firing temperature. at least a small amount of clay in this ties. for a few weeks so that it can mature and so become more plastic. Kaolin manufacture in Cornwall. that it demonstrates to students that that will fire at a specific temperature. This will avoid digging and carting clay for no purpose. It is usually firm and I think students should always prepare shrinkage rate and other specific quali- slimy and not crumbly like soil. Allow the clay to firm Plate 4. mid-19th century. Allow the clay to settle and then pour off the water. turning the clay over when necessary. colour and type arrives in plastic bags as if by magic! left to firm-up. (See Chapter 4. which will make the clay easier to use and less likely to crack when drying. have a particular colour. try a small sample for plasticity and firing temperature (see Chapter 2). a larger quantity can be dug ready for preparation. dustbin. The clay should then be placed in a lidded bin. plaster batts or on top of a kiln. A pug mill can be a useful item in a school pottery. If the small sample holds promise.PREPARATION AND STORAGE OF CLAY clay really does come from the ground additions can either be kneaded in by The main disadvantages are the time and that a considerable amount of spreading the grog. Spread out the clay on clean bricks. or tank and add water until a slurry of single cream consistency is made. Preparation Advantages and Disadvantages Prepared Bodies Seek out a deposit of clay. in progress for road works. One way of doing this is to crush the big pieces with a large mallet. or by mixing it and the restrictions it imposes. board or sheeting. Stir well. have a known yellow/brown. pipe laying —it might well be free— and the fact that are mixed together to give a clay or building. as the clay is kneaded. Pick out any obvious impurities— such as stones and roots- then allow the clay to become completely dry.). then pass the slurry through a 60-mesh sieve into another vessel. up evenly. trash can. if a Pug Mill is available. A 'prepared body' is just such a Before digging out large quantities. tip the powder into a bucket. If the small test piece of clay proves to be ve*y smooth and close-grained it will probably be improved by the addition of grog or sand. etc. Break the clay up until it becomes powder. A shallow outdoor trough is ideal but is unlikely to be available unless this is to be the usual method of clay preparation. or wrapped in plastic sheeting. way. This is The major advantages of preparing A clay body is a mixture of clays and best done when deep excavations are locally dug clay are its initial cheapness materials like quartz. Spread the slurry on a clean drying surface. Such Plate 5. of ware. or it can be wedged and kneaded. 16 . then roll the small pieces with a rolling-pin. clay prepared by a potters' merchant. The clay will vary in colour.

If clay. which are lined with porous filter (plastic prepared body). and the resultant slurry drying before pugging. cloths. and stored ready series of thin cast iron frames about (dry prepared body) or already mixed for use. Such testing can prevent Here are the most common methods of silicosis. extensive though this is. for relatively high cost and the limits equipment is accessible or can be that matter. Method of preparation Dry Prepared Body tion. An alternative to this method of 900 cms (3 ft) square by 5 cms (2 in). the equipment is tial. This method of buying a prepared body Basically. flint and felspar. an increasingly one time. The disadvantages are the limits ware or porcelain bodies and these It is better to buy in large quantities imposed by the restricted number of particles are likely to block the mesh of from specialist suppliers. driven rotary mixer and has a large tap added to the dry mix. acquired secondhand it is likely to like quartz. batch. so unless such worn when using a dough mixer or. which. As delivered as potters" merchants can quantities of clay can be prepared. fire-clay. suitable for a specific use? Samples reduced cost of carriage. as the latter contain Cost. involves the mixing of the it fine quartz or flint. so preventing the excess small quantities from Artists* suppliers labour involved in the mixing and water from being squeezed out. with water and pugged ready for use preparation is to use a baker's old. This varies enormously for differ. as this enables is much favoured by studio potters can add 30° o -50° o to the cost of the any body to be mixed and will be and is used in some Art Colleges. ! Most merchants have comprehensive syphoned off. be used in a college or school it is so that the clay can mature and become (See Chapter 10. it is either which tend to be lumpy and difficult to allowed to settle. Perhaps weighed-up clay body ingredients with bowl of the mixer and briefly mixed. It is Using a dough mixer Always allow for the cost of carriage. The surplus water is run into shallow troughs for partial distribute. carriage costs it is advantageous to as ball-clay. This is dis. equipment. should answer this question. giving firing temperatures spread on a clean board to firm up. When firm enough to handle. A dust mask should always be necessary. When the bags are state but the following advantages. into a filter-press— a filter-press being and other qualities that can be expected. so if it is to it should be kept for at least two weeks trials have been satisfactorily tested. The tank contains a power. This assists in To prepare the clay for use it is near the base. port of water from the suppliers to the stoneware bodies. and from basic materials. with water and sieved before being being listed in suppliers' catalogues. The dry materials. space is available in a school with a inclusive of carriage charges but this is Preparing a specific clay body full-time pottery specialist and a techni- not common and carriage charges are Most full-time potters mix their own cal assistantcould prove an excellent it constantly increasing. quartz or flint is mixed to obtain the dry body. Additional water is gradually 17 . felspar A prerequisite is a secondhand order an estimated year's supply at and sand. Buying in bodies available and. These bags are connected to the Plastic Prepared Body cussed in the section on preparing a blunger via a pump which forces the Most schools prefer to buy clay in this specific clay body. can multiply the cost five-fold and more preparation of the clay for use. more ultra-fine particles than earthen- ent clays and from different merchants. a lung disease caused by a kiln-full of failures! mixing: exposure to fine silica dust. the clay is a large piece of equipment made up of a They are supplied either as a dry powder pugged or kneaded.) When a good and essential to have it installed in a room plastic. this reduction Even if a potter or school could are usually available. remain a text-book method of prepara. After thoroughly mixing obtaining an even mix of these materials. This enables them to use a baker's dough mixer. Due to the high clay bodies from basic materials such money-saving way of preparing clay. The disadvantages are its expensive and bulky. it is not always possible water in a large tank known as a Any felspar. Test a sample of the slurry into the bags. for this reason. fashioned dough mixer. when handling material imposed by the list of clays available. it is rarely suitable for supplier. together being quite considerable as local water accommodate or afford such a piece of with the information available from the is used instead of paying for the trans. the impor- Advantages and disadvantages: The Blunging tance of keeping dusty processes away great advantage of prepared plastic This method is used in industry and in from people becomes even more essen- clay is that little or no preparation is some Art Colleges. or it is pumped listsof clay. above all. more potters search them out! and if kept in a shady cool place it will The mixing of clay bodies should not Using such equipment is a rather keep for a year or more. quartz. are tipped into the is not as popular as the plastic. more is learned of the dangers of make errors. so disadvantages and considerations Advantages and disadvantages: The removing much of the excess water in should be borne in mind: only advantage of a dry prepared body the clay. except any felspar. despite its blunger. A few merchants quote a price considerably cheaper. mixed with water in a bin or tank and the clay into a thin slurry. glazes and firing conditions. pottery. Test each new batch when well-tested recipe is available larger separated from the teaching area. After delivery be undertaken unless a number of clay dusty and noisy business. clay made specifically for their types of precious piece of machinery as more and The clay is supplied in plastic bags ware. full they are squeezed together. The bags are then dismantled Does the supplier offer a clay that is over a plastic prepared body is the and the clay removed for pugging. almost certainly better to mix a body This method of preparing clay bodies for plastic clay is bulky and heavy. the the filter-bag.

is quite potter might well find the effort in. reclaiming large ment of fired clays some of these may be . the potter has the time. provided of using the clay that the locality offers. a a number of advantages.An individual can be carried out just before the clay is the eye to judge quantities. Mixing a clay body from basic materials tends to reduce its plasticity. The disadvantage of the time involved primarily trimmings from turning. However. which relies on energy required in mixing. waste and an end-of-the-year headache clay is then pugged or wedged. 18 . They claim the liquid mix undertake the preparation of clay. but not least. except that the Plastic prepared body Such clays have : clay which cannot be added to the next materials are placed in a large bin. It has not even the advantage leaving it overnight. and all slurry from wheels. Clays suitable batch in preparation. such as grog (fired and ground clay)— of this method of buying clay is that it is Clay that is too wet for pugging available in a variety of sizes from small cheaper to buy than plastic clay. As Mixing by hand in this method will become apparent! he probably mixes his own clay he can Clay can be mixed from dry materials The other disadvantage is the restriction add such trimmings to a clay batch in without any mechanical aids. and last. improve its plasticity. Grog or is much cheaper than buying prepared reclaim it and store it for a few days sand can be mixed with the clay either clays and gives an infinite choice of before use. Some kneading. as plastic clay is brick trough or on a clean floor and for particular requirements can. so avoiding It is rather like mixing cement. This container water to make it into a slurry. This or kneading is soon firmed up by pebbles to dust— or sand is added. tile-making or for throwing than in digging or mixing clay. thus before use. in a cool. dough mixer is not often available and clay and slurry is mixed with a trowel Additions of Grog or Sand the teacher's time is better utilized in or spade and left overnight so that by If a clay is to be used for hand-building. wedging. This advantage is far outweighed by the spreading it onto absorbent boards. makes them under. an opening material. making. will that it sometimes contains an assort. left to firm up before pugging or general use as the teacher usually has to a large metal bin or a large bin built wedging. clay he wants and at the cheapest price. On occasions extra water very large pots. A disadvantage of grog is volved worthwhile so as to have the clay. of system or timetable for jobs such as first method permits accurate weighing ded for schools due to the time and clay reclamation. which is clay easily the most convenient for might be a cold water tank on wheels. cellar makes an ideal clay store. firing. This will avoid wasted energy and time. that it fires at the required temperature. minimum. Storage quantities of clay can be a tiresome job. particularly when carriage charges are too dry for use. preparation. ! PREPARATION AND STORAGE OF CLAY added as the clay is mixed. An unheated but involves the preparation of clay. I find it best to throw firm clay that is in plasticand matured ready for use. in particular its plasticity. and to be recommended to all pottery clay store next to the kiln It is necessary ! the maintenance and cleaning of equip- students. cutting out the time involved in mixing needs to be established. Dry prepared body: The only advantage needs to be added to the mixture. It is not a job that but the second method. within usually bought ready prepared. preferably three months. It might well be free! amount of clay that needs reclaiming— use. glaz- Locally dug clay: An excellent project school potteries are designed with the ing. or bought it should be stored in plastic reclamation at any one time to a Summary of the advantages and dis. to be used. Part-timepottersattendingclasses basics of pottery. broken up. have a tendency to forget this. energy and which might be quite unsuited to The school pottery seems to amass inclination. so fore an efficient reclaiming routine the felspar/quartz mixture and water. until the stand that clay really does come from Reclaiming clay clay of usable consistency. gradually adding limits. teaching and encouraging his students the morning it is ready for pugging or sculpture. be ordered ready for use. The mixer is available it is not recommen. very dry pieces being A few potters mix their clay by hand added to the cost of the clay. The mixture of dry gives a more thorough and even mix. of mixing from basic ingredients which removed from the board or plaster they The size and amount of grog will offers a large choice of clays. should be cleaned and dried on a kiln vary according to the size and thickness Specific clays from basic materials: or radiator. The method is the same as individual requirements. In addition. in shallow troughs but add sufficient Most schools find prepared plastic into a large container. It is then is the earth and requires time and labour The craftsman potter has a certain pugged and allowed to mature before in preparation. wrapped The main disadvantage is that of cost. unless a dough It is often better to work to some sort kneading it in just prior to use. large quantities of dry and half-dry for a dough mixer. when mixing up the day batch or by clay bodies. it is best to A useful grog size is 30's-60's. of pottery does not begin and end with or mixing large quantities and ensure so as to enable the clay to 'sour' and so the making of a pot or piece of sculpture. well before they are to be used. because the quality of the satisfactory. Perhaps it is also worth advantages of each method ofpreparation New clay should be stored for at least emphasising at this stage that the craft Note: Always test clay before buying two weeks. turning. There- mixed with a shovel. As continuous use of clay of the pot and the texture required. for it gets them down to the to prepare or buy prepared bodies ment. The and preparation. a from glazed bricks. unsuitable for stoneware firing and By whichever method clay is prepared so it is as well to keep the amount of cause 'bloating'. and during firing. glaze-firing. will reduce the contraction that occurs work involved inmixing and pugging it plaster or by making it into bridges and as the pot drys. or airtight bins. damp place. See page 69. When the clay is lessening the risk of breakage. suffer.

The clay is then kneaded before use. WITHOUT A different clays are recommended each type of pot in case a choice available. repeated until the block is reassembled. in a well-airedplace until the clay becomes suitably firm. It isessential that clays of all types are properly and thoroughly prepared before use. Softening clay. if Fig. It must have the correct water content. That is. and the firing temperature of the kiln and the clay. Before a pot can be made the clay has to POT. such as in a breeze outdoors. the quickest it way to soften it is to make a block of the clay and cut it with a wire into slices about 10 mm (\ in) thick. and the clay is then splashed with CHAPTER 4 clay it should be well-kneaded. It must be well matured so that it is plastic. MAKING but in practice one's choice may be limited by circumstances. 1C. If it is too wet it can be kneaded. such as the top of a hot kiln. 1A) and left . 2. Slices of clay can be the clay is much too wet it can either be soak in a bowl of water before wedging left to spread out on an absorbent board or on and kneading. Much depends on for the size is WHEEL and scope of the pottery in which one isworking. be chosen and then prepared. water splashed into these indentations. plaster and left for an hour or so before kneading. The slices can either (a) be placed into a bowl of water for about ten minutes or (b) the fingers can be pressed into a slice so making small indentations. on an absorbent board or a block of plaster. Many types of clay and their properties have been discussed in the preceding chapter. It is worth noting that clay. This will soon firm-up clay that is a little too wet. 1A. IB. Fig. including newly-made pots. However. is too firm but not so dry If the clay that warrants reclaiming. 19 . To be in good condition the clay must satisfy the following: 1. Preparation is sometimes laborious and frequently time consu- ming but it is only fools who think that they can make satisfactory pots without having the clay in good condi- tion. than when subjected to heat. it must not be too wet or too dry for its proposed use. another slice placed on the wet slice and the procedure Fig. Alternatively it can be made into a series of arches (Fig. Clay too wet to use can be placed on a board in a series of arches until Clay preparation it is firm enough to knead. Drying clay. Some water. Another method of softening clay. However. Indentations are made in slices of clay with the After allowing the water to soak into the fingers. dries more evenly when exposed to moving air.

assuming that the clay has been There are two methods of kneading: well prepared. One good d) The clayis then stood on end and Fig. Wedging method of achieving an even. a) Take a conical lump of clay about Stage 1 Kneading 7-10 kg (15-22 lbs). for should have been completed. cases only kneading is necessary. Stage 3 advised to use the Bull's Head method mixing clays. unlikely that all the bubbles and pockets d) Press down and then slightly away of air will have been excluded. keeping the underside of the lump ready for use. . handful of the newly-softened clay. Stage 2 much of the energy used comes from the g) Give the clay about six more turns. 2A : The block of clay is slammed down onto clay. is to wedge it then knead it. Choose a strong bench such as that cing a slight swing or twist of the hands recommended for wedging with a slightly from the right to the left. hand. If the clay reasonably well mixed is b) Roll the base on the bench so that it is without wedging. potters take heart! So. rolling round colour and the texture of the clay are within itself. pot making can then 2C: The projecting clay being lifted prior to being slammed down onto the other clay. The ideal table is one that minutes. back-and-forth swaying movement of easing the amount of pressure on each the body and not from the arm muscles.POT-MAKING WITHOUT A WHEEL potters find it to break off' a better first. Kneading from the body with the heel of the right is. the left it should be even in texture but it is hand below. commence. Method e) Lift the clay and repeat (d) introdu. It is opposite direction. necessary. stands about 60 cm (24 in) high. The latter is apparent from the shape of the elongated particularly important if the clay is to be form that results. The clay is then kneaded hands. The beginner is This method of mixing is ideal for each other. If it is unsatisfactory more exhausting but once the basic technique kneading is required. Bull's Head Kneading squeeze it through the fingers until the a) Take a lump of clay 7 10 kg ( 15-22 clay is evenly-soft. This procedure takes rounded. thus making the kneading a days to master kneading so part-time waste of time. then progress to spiral kneading. usedfor throwing on the wheel. air-free processes (b) and (c) repeated. particularly if two differ- 20 . that both cut surfaces face the operator and ing. The name Bull 's Head will be even and air is excluded. satisfactory to spiral the clay in the it becomes quite a pleasant task. convenient and easily managed size to h) Check the kneading by cutting the lump use. into lumps for use. so that it rocks on the bench time but it is well worth the trouble and and does not stick. well worth practising this essential The clay is now ready for cutting procedure until it is mastered. has been grasped and the weight of the Some potters find it easier and/or more body is used and not the arm muscles. If the clay is to be larly if pots are to be made on the wheel. If the clay has been wedged c) Place the right hand on top. therefore. Itmust be well-mixed so that both the move toward the operator. ment of the cutting wire. kneading only is rounded. used on the wheel care should be taken for they will not be made unless the clay not to join lots of small pieces of clay is properly kneaded! Some potters as this may well result in air being consider that it takes two to three trapped. kneading can be bubbles. another handful until all the clay has been b) Press down with the heels of both so treated. rounded lump is A lump of clay about 10 kg (22 lbs) is a formed. particu. At first. In many Japanese Spiral Kneading the bench so that it projects over the edge. turn so that a neat. absorbent top or use a sheet of absorbent f) Repeat rhythmically for about five board. Note Bull 's Head and Japanese Spiral Knead. an essential process before hand and the ball of the thumb of the left the clay is used for pot making. The former is initially easier. although amounts ranging from in half with a wire to see if it is even in 3 kg (6 lbs) to 18 kg (40 lbs) can be colour and texture and free from air kneaded. then repeat this with lbs) in weight. 2. some people really enjoy handling clay c) Pull the clay forward with the fingers in thisway! and repeat (b) The clay will gradually . the Non-homogenous Wedging that the two halves of the top surface now face latter more efficient. 3. by which time about 150 turns 2B The : clay is cut in half by an upward move.

strong table with a slightly absorbent Note: Do not handle the clay unless it top is essential.or concrete. I have found that some folks condemn pinch pots as mere child's play. next to the right hand. 618-906) Method of making pinch pots earthenware bowl. the thumb until it is about 5 mm (\ in) Method short of going right through. the spiral formation of the with force onto the other half so that the The left hand supports the pot as the clay and the left hand ready to take its place two wire cut surfaces lie one above the right hand moves around the pot. The projecting clay is then turned over. useful vessels and continues to be used by contemporary potters. The slate or marble top of an old the thumb of the right hand into the wash-stand placed on a strong. Chinese T'ang dynasty (A. honey glaze. hand (for right-handed potters) and press shop. Pinch Pots This method is ideal for all beginners from infants to adults. flat centre of the clay. so at least one clay and so cause surface cracking. a piece of clays mixed to obtain a marbled effect. Whichever clay is chosen it must be plastic and suitably soft. the fingers of the right hand so making Fig. or until the clay is thoroughly mixed and of even texture. 2 A. Hold the clay in the palm of the left topped bench is necessary in the work. Plastic topped tables are involves a making process as the warmth easy to clean but clay sticks to them of the hands will dry the surface of the when being worked. I think this is wrong for two reasons. By hitting the clay and rotating it in plus). other facing the operator. superb pots can be made by this method little and secondly to make a more sophistica- ted type of pinch pot requires consider- able skill and feeling for the clay.D. Suitable clays Most clays are suitable for pinch pots. As always the clay should be kneaded before use. Starting at the bottom of the pot upward slicing movement. An easy size compari- slamming the clay back together. Plate 6. prepared or reclaimed (10 kg/22 lbs 2. A son is that of a tennis ball. Firstly. Continue pressing with table makes a good wedging bench. It is some- 1. 2. Break off or cut with a wire. It is ideal for getting the feel of clay. ranging from white. 3. It is cut in half using a wire with an 4. and a or if large quantities of clay are to be clay about 250 gms (\ lb) in weight.Kneading 3. the hands make a sphere about 5 cm It is basically a method of slicing and (2 in) in diameter. 4. 3. Only practice will indicate how soft or firm a clay needs to be for a particular use. the body and squeeze the clay between the thumb and legs preventing the clay from falling. wooden or preferably slate. The process is then repeated for about a quarter of an hour. of the right hand. Thrown. it is a method used by early man to make everyday. The right hand then moves up the pot 21 . with red and white ent clay bodies are to be mixed together /. showing the position liftedabove the head and brought down (\ in) thick. the bottom 'course of the pot about 5 ' mm The partly kneaded clay. The clay then turned over and given a is half a turn (90 ) placing it on the bench so that it projects over the bench as in Fig. 5. The clayis slammed onto the bench so times helpful to rotate the clay ball as the that projects over the edge of the bench. delicate porcelain to heavily grogged clays such as Cranks Mixture and Saggar Marl. it thumb is pressed into it.

required shape.. Using slurry add a piece of clay and thumb. the clay will achieved. peoples retain this essential rhythm and Use a piece ojpointed wood or a modelling even appear to dance around their pots. The base of the pot can be gently Fig. 4. A slight squeezing thumb nail. Making a pinch pot the two rims together. beat them into an elongated egg form. The com- thickness the final shaping can take pleted owl can either remain as an place. that is. open-mouthed fish. onto the body with slurry. Once the method of making a sphere. Rhythm in our work has all too often Gently tap one end to make a base. Indenta. Make a small hole in the base tions can be made at this stage as can the or else the sphere is likely to burst or addition of decorative coils and pellets crack. While still damp. shape of the pot should be considered at dents. working up the pot. complete with the it is the same thickness as the first. applied coils until they are well joined This process is repeated until the walls b) Pebble forms Join two pots. Roll out soft clay 4B: The stages in making a pinch pot Note the a hole is cut into it. or it can be 22 . : POT-MAKING WITHOUT A WHEEL stable shape and a decorative rim made if the air has burst through the wall of the so desired. (3 mmf\ in or less). peel the on the bench and hit with a fiat stick 'landscape' from the paper and join it to until the chosen form is made. In the same way or sloping out.:th many interesting projects to pursue. twist drill held in the fingers. cut string. Give model it for the snout. hatch the rims— that is. whether it is at 90° to the base Place near to the edge of the bench. with the fingernail or hack-saw blade over the landscape so that the various until the joint is barely visible. in which case a hole tapped on a bench to make it a more a fish. . roughen the e) Landscapes Make a sphere by joining surfaces to be joined by scratching them two pinch pots and rolling on the bench. Fig. roll alltimes and action taken to obtain the c) Burst pots Join two pots. It is far easier to clenched little finger When the pig is leather-hard. . whereas Add a beak. The hole can be cut into thin coils. shape. Roll the sphere. 5. The rolling. hole. the sphere. One pot has been made into amusing model. Roll on the bench till spherical. The eyes can many African and South American be carved into the surface or added. way the base of the pot is first thinned before with a sharp. Cross. well v. determines the basic the sphere a short. and . The rims must not pieces of clay which can then be joined be less than 5 mm (| in) thick. flowers and hills. Feet may be added. shape of the pinch pot. cut hole. The direction of the right soft clay. Ensure that they overlap 4A The: clay held in the left hand while the is Hold the pot with one hand and join each other by at least a small amount clay is squeezed between the thumb and the the two sections together by scraping 3 mm (^ in). Some making a pattern suggesting a string projects made in this way are around a parcel or perhaps a ball of and the next 'course' is squeezed until a) Small vases Join two pots. Pellets of clay ( 1 ) Two Pinch Pots joined together applied with slurry to make the eye. the noise involved in the making! Here are some such projects but there d) Fish Make a series of 'burst r are many other possible variations and Some of theresults will probably s' additions to those described. shape by together and the coils are slightly- of the pot are an even thickness. Paint Arrange small coils and pellets of clay with slurry (slushy wet clay) and press on apiece of newspaper so making trees. beatingand by pressing in smooth squashed but not made invisible. pointed knife or by using a Wrap the coils around the sphere. using fairly and beat them into a large egg form. with a piece of hacksaw blade. stretch out and widen a pot than it is to In many cases this results in an firm enough to keep its shape but soft narrow it so it is as well to keep it fairly interesting form with rough edges where enough to make an indentation with the narrow at the rim. S) Piggy Banks Join two pinch pots. of the right hand rhythmic and not h) Owls Join two pinch pots. f) Parcels Join two pinch pots and roll The form is remarkably strong until into a smooth form. When the walls of the pot are of even feathers. tool to impress a pattern suggesting 6. Beware. then roll and haphazard. sharp blow with the add four stout legs. ceased in the Western World. must be made in the base. Burst pots. eyes and ears. shrink by about one tenth so make the At all times make the squeezing action slot a little over size. Make two pinch pots of the same wall simple fins can be made by pinching out thickness and size. When fired with a dry glaze ff" e simple pot has been mastered there are pots make fascinating groups. the ears and a tail. Gently roll a rolling pin fingers of the right hand. use a sharp knife to cut out with the left hand can help this to be the money slot. of clay. The pieces join together but not so that all the resulting egg-shape can then be rolled pattern is lost.

The earliest Near Eastern pots that M*A '// 1 have been found were made of a fairly r open rough clay which had only been fired to a low temperature.C. that is ' they were turned round slowly.000 B. Teachers. Earthenware. Chinese pre-dynastic mortuary vase dated somewhere between 2000 and 1500 B. We use banding-wheels in much the same way.C. the Mesopo- k \ tamians used some kind of wheel or kfe^fel 1MB. 23 . Many other forms and animals such as rhinos and hippos can be made in a simMar way. It i> worth noting that models or pots ' aich are built up from sections are best dried slowly as this lessens the risk of the various sections coming apart due to varying rates of contraction. ^ tzii .C.made into a money box by cutting a slot bi ""1 the ears.. The Chinese culture was not at this x^_ Plate 8. some- times by an assistant. Hand-built and unglazed. pots were required and coil pots when larger pots were demanded. c. Coil Pots Early man used pinch pots when small Plate 7. The pinch pot should be made and allowed to become firm before the coils are added as this will reduce the risk of the pot collapsing as the weigh t of additional coils is added. it is hand-built. From about 3500 B. and poor standards of craftsmanship should not be accep- ted. The earliest developments in pottery seem to have been in the Near East in such ancient civilisations as Egypt and Mesopotamia in about 6000 B.C. ranging from primary through to the adult level. By taking a craftsman-like approach and expecting a high standard of work the results will be very satisfying.f turntable. 2. A pinch pot is an excellent start when a larger coil pot with a small base is to be made. Such pots were built by coiling and frequently resembled vessels made of other materials such as stone and animal skins. These wheels were usually what is known as 'slow-wheels'. so making the placing of one coil upon another much easier. 450°C- 700" C. Very ancient Chinese earthenware pot. unglazed and painted with coloured slips. It was only when people ceased to be nomadic and began to settle in villages and towns that any great technical or cultural advance could be made. find pinch pots an excellent way of introducing clay and its plastic potential. Pinch pots should not be regarded as only suitable for young children. " — 1&f t.

coiled pot of your own. quite thin and so beauti- fully balanced in form. All their movements are Duckworth. This hand-built Egyptian earthenware piece was made over 4.C. grogged clay. He applies a coil. as decoration. Alan Wallwork. It has a floral to hand-build their pots. the potter having ten or more in the making at any one time so that he can work on one while the others firm-up. like the later pots of the Near East. like the coiling. is sheer magic. who makes superb one selected should accept the proposed vitality. who continue Plate 9. half-an-hour to make a cooking vessel about 45 cm (18 in) high which is Helen Pincombe. and South American Indians still make superb pots by coiling. . then has the pot turned by an assistant while he throws the coil into shape. walk around their pots as make their pots. Different coloured slips were also used to paint on the decoration of the wares produced in the Near East from about 2000 B. POT-MAKING WITHOUT A WHEEL time as advanced as the Near East although in the centuries preceding the Christian Era China was to equal and overtake the Near East. Such pots are still made by coiling and throwing. asymmetrical pots decorated with slip: firing temperature and be reasonably Thanks to the re-introduction of the and the fascinating animals of Rosemary plastic.C. When this was almost dry it was burnished with a smooth pebble or bone. which were coiled have. like rope. To watch a potter such as Ladi Kwali from Nigeria build in a couple of hours a coil pot about 60 cm high (2 ft) which is symmetrical. The Peruvian Indians.C. They stand 1 m (3 ft) high and more and many have coils applied to the outside.either wholly or in part. These pots. only take design in red slip. Many African peoples. burnished surface. many potters now use It is well worth studying the work or superbly thin and even. appear almost to dance around their whose coiled pebble forms have influ. a smooth.000 years ago. If large pots of 30 cm plus coiling technique to Western potters Wren are all excellent examples of (1 ft) are contemplated it is best to use a and Art Schools by such people as the use of coiling by modern potters. Coiling was also used in Minoan Crete (1450-1400 B. This is the result of using more refined clays and of coating the completed pot with a fine liquid clay known as slip. who makes such strong using coiling methods. to photographs of such potters as well as Nigerians. The pot is to grow evenly and have any Elizabeth Fritsch. before starting a rhythmic and flowing so that they forms in stoneware. This rhythm is essential if the enced the work of many school potteries Most clays are suitable for coiling. The work of Ruth the work made by peoples in the past. Suitable Clays work. 24 . thus avoiding col- lapsing.) to make the huge storage vessels found in the palaces at Knossos. they work. The funerary jars made in China about 2000 B. with their superb spiral decoration painted with black and red earth pigments must surely rank as some of the most beautiful pots ever produced. such as Cranks Mixture. notably the Nigerians. They.

6B: The second coil is placed inside the first and squeezing it in the hands into a fat if b) Knead the clay well. for a grogged clay contains lesswater by volume than an ungrogged. from finger tips to a small base (10 cm (4 in) or less) a wrists. If it is to be length of the hands. It is. discovering. Stage (g) to the base. care must be the right hand presses and scrapes the coil onto taken to dry out the completed pot the base. coil on top of the base. or changing shapes. Stage (e) slowly and to allow the pot to firm-up during the making process so that it does not collapse due to being too wet. before building their pots. placed on a board. is now cut ends in a wedge shape so that they can be from the slab of prepared clay and overlapped. This is best done by only three or four basic shapes all their cutting off a piece of the kneaded clay lives. at the same time coil and squeezed into position. if depend on the size of the proposed pot. upon which it can 6C: Recently joined coils are squeezed to the Do not use slurry or water to join the remain until the pot is completed. keep in mind that coiling is eminently suited to devel. Subsequent rather rough coil. required diameter about 2 cm ( 1 in) for . 6. thickness for pots ranging between 15 cm e) Join the first coil to the base. The movement should be long and large pinch pot can be made and then even with a slight outward movement of gently tapped on the bench top until a the hands from the centre to the ends of base of the required size is achieved.5 cm (I in) diameter and the coil to stretch. nipping off the or whatever shape is required. are remarkably small yet beginners oping. both inside and out. easier to get as the intended walls of the pot which will an evenly made pot and much quicker. or not circular. Peruvian and African potters who make d) Roll out a coil. required thickness and shape. Coiling which has been kneaded some coarse grog (30's-dust) or sand. 25 . are used than 1 cm (\ in approx) is a reasonable if small worm-like coils are used. the coil. like to roll out a good supply of coils board or piece ofhessian of suitable size. Place the and 45 cm (6 and 18 in) The disc of clay . The coil should be rolled with the whole c) Make the base of the pot. only roll those sections of the a slab of clay can be rolled out or tapped coil that are still too thick. Stage (f) ensuring that it is fairly firm but not so bench. The left hand coils. This will help the pot to firm up quickly as building proceeds. Use a finger to join the coil firmly \ote: The bases of most good coil pots rotates the banding wheel. Stage (h) size of the pot to be made. The left If a fine clay. most pots. This is true for most be thought necessary for the height ofpot. in my opinion.Saggar Marl or a throwing clay into Fig. If the base is to be larger. 6A The : first coil is joined to the base. fat coils. open and non-plastic. cracks when bent into a gentle curve. Small cracks are soon smoothed out with When the coil is approximately the the fingers or the back of the finger nail. Method of making (a) Although it may he helpful to draw the profile of the pot that is to he made or 6D The outside of the completed pot is scraped : at least know your mind the shape and in with a piece of hacksaw blade. others roll one The base should be the same thickness at a time. It is as mind is the knowledge of the possible well to be aware of this common fault problems that can arise while working on and make the bases smaller than might a certain shape. yet they stand up so well that a pot of about 60 cm (2 ft) high can be made within half an hour. allowing ample space for rolling firm that a strip of 2. seem to think thata pot over 15 cm high One advantage of having a set design in (6 in) requires an enormous base. karate-style onto a . Some potters out with the hand. The clays used by some of the Peruvian Indian potters are very crumbly. such as red earthenware hand supports the coil while the first finger of or porcelain is used. 2 cm ( 1 in) plus. This is then placed on a coils are joined in the same way.

If the pot has any tendency to bulge or Plate 10. This with an up. this will cause the coils to stretch and the They are made in the same way as pot to collapse. during a stoneware glaze firing. stop building while to It is probably technically easier to make it is possible to get a hand inside the still a symmetrical pot but pots with bases pot and smooth the pot as far as it has that are oval or irregular in shape and or gone. g) Thin the coil which hasjust been placed into position by squeezing it between the thumb and fingers. This stoneware cider jar is the work collapse. makes a shaping. due to the clay being too wet to of a 15-year-old student Made by coiling support the weight above it. it coiling. Nip off the end into a wedge-shape so that the ends can overlap. h) Continue joining on coils. Another way of shaping when the pot is built and still soft the pot is to beat it with a fiat stick. for this will make building the pot decorating. If it is difficult. firing and glazing. If this is not possible in one day keep the pot damp by- wrapping it in plastic sheeting. distinctive pattern which can either be Take care that the pot remains left or smoothed out. This. Symmetrical and asymmetrical tional open top type many other forms are equally suitable if the follow. enough to allow stretching and re- like using a hack-saw blade. Asymmetrical pots neck is be narrow. Always smooth the coils together walls that are distinctly asymmetrical Plate 11.POT-MAKING WITHOUT A WHEEL It is helpful if the base is placed on a handing wheel. remembering to work rhythmically and to keep the pot growing into the required shape. Do not spiral a continuous coil as this will lead to the pot leaning over to one side. f) Join the second ( and subsequent ) coil by placing it on the inside of the preceding coil and gently squeeze it into place. 45 cm (18 in) high plus. Extra A piece of coarse hack-saw blade is care should be taken to ensure that the very useful for the initial smoothing as it shape does not get out of hand or an drags the clay from the high spots to the over-bulbous shape collapse. The surface is then soon smoothed Gentle indentations can be made with the fingers. Plate 12. dry use and run the risk of it collapsing it out slowly so as to avoid cracking. Another example of school work. described for symmetrical pots. designing the form and during making. Lamp bases Projects using the coiling method of Pots with suitably narrow necks and construction stable bases can make excellent table Apart from making pots of the tradi. down or crossways movement can look superb if well considered and coiled cider jar has a semi-matt blue glaze. modelled and cut. 2. squeezing them to the required thickness andkeeping the pot in shape until the required height and form are achieved. interesting forms can be made by ing requirements are considered when Porcelain. stable and not over-weighted on one j) The pot is now complete except for side. suitable for the job and that it is well- i)Smooth the surface of the pot either kneaded. render it impracticable for a large pot. lamps. Such pots can also be made by pinching. some are listed with comment.Landscape pot by Anne James. and not with a horizontal movement as made with due craftsmanship. allow the pot to dry a little so that it is firm but not too but in all cases ensure that the clay is dry to shape. was thrown. 26 . when it is up to its full height or if the 1. whirler or small table so that the pot can either be turned or the potter walk around the pot. hollows.

completed leaving an opening for the diameter. An example of such a The final result could be round and delicate legs. the forms yet capturing their essential light socket and shade are fitted. taking care that the body considered before and during the making containers. opening. collapse. such as slab and under who are not yet able to appreciate features such as the face. Human and animal figures or by making small pinch pots. coiling technique in that she pinches Some figures will require building up The flex is best threaded through the round coils so that they are triangular more at one end than the other— such pot and out of a hole made in the thus allowing her to build a thinly walled as the neck and head of a cow or pigeon wall of the pot. using 3. scraped finish. volved. the pot open! made either by coiling small cylinders If the opening is 2 cm (| in) in diameter 4. Coiling can be used for many other scraping and shaping provided the clay hippos. Before starting to coil means that the base must not be very smooth burnished finish to a rough the chosen form. An The surface can be carved and be included under this heading. be in the wall of the pot just The basic coiling method already neck so that this can be built up with above the base and preferably made described is quite adequate but it is small coils. careful thought must narrow or the pot extremely light. held in the hand when worth remembering that many varia. If a large opening make figures. a sharp ensure. composite pot would be a round neck flowing like a river-worn boulder or Rosemary Wren has made superb coiled onto a square base made by angular and sharp like a piece of birds. otherwise it will rock about students seem to enjoy making figures. the base is of a reasonable size and not tohave a short. The when the pot is built it will be the correct An excellent change from making pots legs are then positioned and the first size when the pot has been fired and has —yet using the coiling technique— is to coil of the body used to link them consequently shrunk. such as pigeons. otherwise the clay will dwarfs. dumpy pot with a large If the form is not to have a visible too small to support any subsequent shade above it which. The openings can may well lead to caricature. The pot yet giving her plenty of clay with —in which case the body should be hole should be about 1 cm (f in) in which to join coil to coil. to say the least. legs. particularly youngsters of 14 years and When the basic form has been coiled Mosttypes of pot. hair and clothing can be modelled bases if the points just mentioned are considering them purely in terms of onto the body. Always take care that the clay is not the pot is leather-hard.The pot must be stable even when a freshly-quarried building stone. A pot obviously unsuitable figure would be different textures used to add character which is approximately spherical in a giraffe for the long legs would be and interest to the completed figure. the figure should be dried slowly final opening. other forms if they are stylised to avoid next chapter. to make the form functional weight above it. have a large base area. crinolined ladies. Failure to make making the required base outline for a standard light fitting. stumpy legged fat and can be combined with slabbing but not too firm. sitting cats and dogs. filled ware glaze firing! Ideal forms are so as to avoid cracking at the joints. with trapped air. Elephants. 27 . The fittings an opening will cause the air to expand the figure. are lying down. Always aesthetically as well as when considering then be made with a twist drill. or as part of the overall design. She varies the basic ness and shape as building proceeds. can be adapted into lamp the more abstract quality of pots. building the pot. In the case of a figure sold for adapting a bottle into a lamp during firing which will in turn break standing on legs these will have to be are relatively inexpensive and suitable. completely closing up extremely difficult to build and they Due to the amount of joining in- the neck. arms. that the pot's stability. is made the light fitting will require by Rosemary Wren. This idea has been pursued together. using a disc of clay to fill the would probably bend during a stone. Many figure to firm up at the first sign of have feet. packing with cork so it is as well to superb and sometimes amusing animal squeezing them to the required thick- make the opening 2 cm (f in) when figures by coiling. Pebble forms limited by the behaviour of clay when it slurry on the surfaces to be joined. Do not make the tions are possible and can be ideal for too wet and allow the partly-completed hole in the base of the pot unless it is to one potter but not another. shape is coiled. with a twist drill. cows that projects based upon those mentioned is firm enough so as not to be floppy. Many rock-like sculptural forms can is plastic and when it is being fired. as has been mentioned. lacks grace. who makes her Coils are then carefully built up. This The surface can also range from a characteristics. thrown pots. a hole It is not essential to have a base so the The opening at the top of the pot must be made in the base so that the first coil can be placed on a board needs to be of a suitable size to accept trapped air can escape. near to the base. is still leather-hard or wetter and that process. etcetera. are ideal projects. The type and form of figure is any additions are well applied. be given to the essential characteristics However. this does not imply that the It is advisable not to cut a hole or holes of the figure or animal so that these pot has to be dumpy and nearly solid! in the form until all the shaping has might be captured in the modelling— The fact that the pot will have a been completed and the clay is fairly in the case of some human figures it lampshade aboveit should be considered firm but not dry. on the flex. The resultant form. and many techniques which are discussed in the split and resist re-shaping. A common fault is knife or a strong needle. is remarkably strong those which are basically rounded and and will tolerate a lot of beating. by simplifying slabbing.

stage because there is far less likelihood cally pursued from medieval times of the clay warping during firing than onwards.-A. while.. which OTHER give a formula for a copper-lead glaze. it must but in most cases they are wide shallow be born in mind that a slab pot has to dishes of simple form and fired from undergo considerable stress during the the low Raku temperatures of 700°C to drying and firing stages. CHAPTER potters many interesting slab-built pots that is over a period of one or even two 28 . Such tablets include POTS AND those found at Tell 'Umar in Iraq dating from about 1700 B. seldom fired. warping is during the drying-out stage. growing the miniature trees. showing. preferring coiling. and also the animals kept. Bonsai. cooking stoves. in considerable detail.300 C. This is perhaps somewhat problem is reduced to the drying-out surprising as tile making was energeti. They were not usually glazed. 5 Slab Pots SLAB The earliest slabs were probably the roofing tiles and writing tablets of the ancient Near East. They were obviously intended to accompany the spirits of the dead into the next world. how buildings of the time were constructed. and finally moulding If earthenware is being used the methods. Such slabs were.C. then throwing.D. square bottles sculptures are being made by Art made in porcelain and highly decorated. Having said that. farms and utensils which were buried in China during the Han dynasty (206 B. like early building bricks. throwing or model. Many twentieth century pot. the greatest danger of cracking and tion with coiling. They are a source of ideas and The Japanese have been making in most cases they give an indication of specialised slab pots since the 17th the high standard of craftsmanship and century for the Tea Ceremony. Any clay suited to the firing temperature ciated with Zen Buddhism. of a stoneware firing. Among the earliest slab-built constructions are the model homes. and continue to use. The models were low temperature and coloured fired to a with pigment. School students and a visit to their Similar bottles were made in Japanese diploma shows is usually well worth 'Arita' ware about 1700. therefore it is stoneware temperatures of 1. This can be overcome by ensuring that In addition to the work of established the completed pot dries out very slowly. The models were superbly made. ling. 200) with the bodies of important people. for finish obtainable. The Chinese continued to make slab pots in comparatively small numbers including. Only pots which PROJECTS were to be used as containers were fired and it would appear that slabs were not used to construct pots. All are asso.C. including the tiling of roofs. firing stages. better to use clays that are particularly European potters seldom used co-operative during the drying and slabbing techniques. during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). there is with the higher temperatures ters have used. to build their pots. their shape and the proposed glazes can be used and proportions are a specialised study for slabbing. and Suitable Clays for flower arrangements. So for earthenware slab techniques — alone or in combina.

Porcelain slab pots b) Having prepared the clay by kneading are particularly difficult to make. a base and a Saggar Marl and Cranks Mixture. Stage (e) 29 . for they have a low of clay on a clean. such as enough to cut the four sides. and of even consistency. If the with advantage but remember that by pot is to be square-based only one 7B: Cutting out the side of a pot using a card altering the clay body the glaze might template needs to be made. two . Always and a strong tendency to warp during ensure that the block is plenty big enough firing. The following preparing paper or cardboard templates comments on clay for stoneware slab or at least working out the exact sizes pots can also be applied to earthenware that the various sections need to be. If a fine clay is to be used for a good templates will have to be prepared. dry bench top. Stage (d) difficulties during the drying and the template is not necessary for the base. Once reason such as the inlaying of a slip the templates are ready the next stage can decoration great care must be taken to begin. 385-535. A gives a more accurate edge. one for the sides. A. slab built and modelled. due make it into a shape from which the to cracking during the drying stage largest required slab can be cut. rather drier than would be used for pinch. sufficient prepared clay. If a fine clay If the sides of the pot are to be curved contraction rate is used there is a the templates must also be curved. So the danger of The thickness of the slats required will guide cut at 45°. ! Plate 13. Whichever clay is used it must be well-kneaded.D. Stage (b) on the kneading bench and kneading a large lump of clay (10 kg/22 lbs) on the grog until it has been taken up by the clay. 7C Mitring the vertical edges using a wooden : when fired to 1. If a grogged clay is not stocked a coarse stoneware grog ( — 30's + 6(Ts mesh) should be kneaded into a finer clay that is suitable for the required firing temperature. The grog is kneaded 7A A slice of clay is cut using two slats of wood : in by spreading some dampened grog and a taut cutting wire. Only skilled potters with a so as to avoid the annoyance of not having philosophical approach to disappoint. cracking during the drying stage and warping during high firing are to a large extent overcome. dry the pot slowly.300C. being top if required (Fig. Spread more grog on the bench until the clay contains a generous amount of grog yet is still plastic and not too open and crumbly for use. ments should tackle porcelain slab pots Asquare pot will require a lump of The best clays to use are grogged clay which is square in section and high clays. so as to be free of air pockets. Earthenware. dimensions such as a flat bottle. Method of Making a) Never start making a slab pot before weeks for larger pots. A firm clay. The slat not fit and crazing result. with a high firing stages. 7A). that being the template. Place contraction rate and will stand up well a slat of wood on each side of the block. a slat of wood and a knife. This delightful group of seven houses dates from the northern Wei dynasty in China. coil or thrown pots is often more suitable for cutting slabs and reduces waiting time at later stages. Place the block particularly good. such pieces were buried in the graves of prominent people. The sides being identical of wood prolongs the life of the template and Stoneware slab pots can present the same template is used four times. danger of the joints opening or even a If the pot has sides of two different crack appearing in one of the slabs. Heavily-grogged clays.

about 6 mm (\ in) diameter and slabs have been cut. e) The vertical edges to be joined are now mitred. on damp wooden. Mitre all the vertical edges in this way but do not mitre the top. It is rim (see illustration). a 45° mitre will be cut. necessary. Stage (k) f) Cross-hatch the mitred edges to give the surface a key that will aid joining and vary with the size ofpot to be made (6 mm coat the edges with slurry made from the to 1 cm (I in to f in) being suitable for clay being used to build the pot. the pot is to be open at the the boards and slabs carefully wrapped in top advisable to place a reinforcing it is plastic and stored in a cool place. The knife should be thin and sharp. g) Assemble two sides by standing one Take a cutting wire and keeping it against the other. Some people claim it is easier to sides are joined and the interior angles roll out the clay as less clay has to be reinforced with fillets. If the slices are to be storedfrom one day k) If a top is to be added this should be or week to another they should be placed applied in the same way as the base. however. Stage (g) outweighed by the rolling required and a of the pot onto the slab cut for the base. 7D: Cross hatching and applying slurry prior 7G A reinforcing strip applied at the rim of an : to assembling the sides. sides of the pot trim the base to size. better to use a rule or slat of wood along joined must be cross-hatched and coated 30 . The slabs should be base. . All surfaces to be Stage (g) joint. that is cut at 45°. the pot. 7£: Assembling the sides and squeezing the kneaded. pots up to 30 cm (1 ft) high. This can r be done using a strip of wood cut at 45 as a guide or if such an aid is not available score a line on the slab parallel with the edge and the same distance as the slab is thick away from the edge. Score around the outside of the pot. SLAB POTS AND OTHER PROJECTS the edge of the template as shown in Fig 7B. firm enough to support themselves when carefully pressing them down so that the stood up but not so dry that they crack slurry oozes out of the join. 1 cm (j in) deep around the inside of the 7F: Inserting a fillet of clay to reinforce the Leave the base and top oversize. but I find that the saving is i) Stand the completed and joined sides mitred edges together. 7E) even slabs in a shorter time than does Such fillets should be used to reinforce rolling out clay on a piece of hessian all the joints at which it is possible to get. If. Stage (f) open box to prevent warping. Place a ruler or straight slat along the scored line and by cutting from this line to the edge oj the slab on the bench. draw it through the mitred edges together from the outside of block of clay. using a rolling pin and slats as thickness h) Join the other two sides so that all the guides. If the pot is 15 cm (6 in) tailor more again place it down on the bench and cut it advisable to roll out a thin coil of is another slab. Some of the slurry should ooze Lift the block from the cut slab and out. strip the same thickness as the walls d) When the slabs havefirmed-up use the of the pot and between 6 mm (% in) and prepared template to cut out the sides. smooth one into the other where that they will come apart at the joints. and slurry where they made contact with the allowed to firm-up. A curved-sided pot j) With a sharp knife held against the will require slightly damper slabs. rather like the corners of a picture frame. Replace the sides onto the base. when slightly curved. as this prolongs the life of the template and gives a better edge for the knife. It is hopeless attempting to assemble Ensure that the base is well-joined to the slabs if they are wet and floppy or so dry sides. Repeat this until sufficient clay. Check that they are at taut across the slats and pressed down 90° to each other and gently squeeze the with the thumbs. slightly inferior result. boards. bottom or base. c) The cut slabs are now placed on a clean Remove the sides and cross-hatch and absorbent sheet orflat wooden board. not absorbent. press it into the angle made by the two Jfind the method described gives more sides (see Fig.

Pots of this sort are frequently ideal for an octagonal pot (8 sides) 180° is for decorating and it is well worth divided by 8 giving 22£°. Slab built. Complicated geometric forms. For example. both bled and a thrown top is to be added. For example. Always take care not to bottle or straight sided pot. wrap it in plastic or put it in a damp any scraping or smoothing that is consi. consistency to the assembled base. When this has been assem- during a stoneware firing. not just become feats ofskill best executed dering the overall effect of the base plus Any slip. or narrow rectangle in section. a period of to be joined. It seems easier to make a walls and the first coil made from the then loosened bit by bit over a period of pot of pleasing proportions if it has a same body and the slabs carefully posi- a week. If an irregular shape is to be made the Care must be taken when designing the best way to cut mitres is to offer up the pot to allow for the fact that a lamp shade sides one to the other. and sprigging (applying a reliefpattern) If a pot has more than four sides the must be applied while the pot is damp and mitres will not be cut at 45° but at the any carved decoration is best carried out equivalent of 180° divided by the number at the leather-hard stage. tend to make well attached to the walls. geometric form with all the sides being of 3. in place of one that has been thrown there either be placed in adamp cupboard for a 2. unpleasantly dumpy pots but that is not difficult to use the large coils recommen- to say that pots with relatively large ded for a coil pot. 31 . member to throw the top so that it will blade is equally useful as a scraper and However. vases and bottles many other vessels part as already described. thus causing the two sections to I have seen octagonal bottles based on crack apart. templates or at least a sketch of the the inside as the work progresses for it /. frequently make hatching and slurrying the top of the be air-tight) for a couple of days and pleasing pots. trim any surplus clay and out slowly. walls. A striking stoneware piece by must complement each other and not look on the bench to cut the required mitres. Considerable damage the walls of the pot by pressing skill and patience are required but if the down too hard. mark the mitre will be above it and the base and the shade required on each slab then place the slab Plate 14. in which case use Projects using slabbing as the main bases cannot be pleasing or in some cases coils of a smaller diameter but do not method of construction even beautiful. Korean pots of the Silla dynasty which When completed. A tall. When the top is ready for assembly should be added while the pot is still beauty. being cautious. is not to be easily toppled. If the lamp. the free area until it has dried out. Re- still leather-hard and a piece of hack-saw built tea pot. which looks cupboard while the top is thrown and dered desirable. Instead. with shade. press the top firmly into m) The pot should now be allowed to dry two weeks or so being desirable unless the position. It may be will come apart. dry out with care. A Surform blade is a something like an angular sphere. of sides to be assembled. This is always experimenting with different methods of assuming that the pot is a regular decoration on such pots. Anthony Hepburn (1967). it is important that pots do fit the top of the base as well as consi- smoother. a duodecagon.with slurry. it is doubly important contraction rate and generally very scraping. then placed in a cool draught. could allowed to firm-up until it is of similar useful tool for trimming the pot when it is and has been used as the basis for a slab. working with Continue coiling the neck. Many tioned around the top making sure it is a warm kiln to dry or else the joints beginners. it is white as though the base has just had an oversize An alternative method is to make a with bright red enamel decoration on the hat dumped upon it. Bottles with thrown or coiled necks is no need to wrap the damp but completed day or two. The pot can co-operative. with a clay used is known to be of a low complete any surface treatment such as high shrinkage rate. slender bottle or one that is a walls of the pot in plastic. I) The slab pot is now complete except for regular and irregular can be constructed. squeeze them any thinner than the slabs In addition to straight and curved sided To produce a bottle make the slabbed used for the walls. are beautiful as well as being considerable remembering that any slip decoration feats of patience. smoothing both useful and decorative can be made. round neck. Multi-sectional pots In theory a dozen will be difficult to get inside later if the or more slabs could be used to build up a neck is narrow. If a coiled neck is to be applied that the pot dries out slowly. Never place a damp slab pot on small base and a narrow neck. This will help prevent warpage angles between each of the sides. Always take great care when cross-hatch and slurry all edges that are damp. If the clay used is fine. with a coiled neck should be started by cross- wrapped in plastic sheeting (which should narrow. Lamp bases A slab pot with a narrow equal size. and use clay which is as proportions of the pot are pleasing the dry as possible so as to avoid any danger result can be most impressive and of the neck contracting more than the worthwhile. complete cardboard mock-up and measure the tongues. drying a multi-sectional pot. neck is soon adapted into a lamp base. incised or applied decoration in another material but remain objects of top. proposed pot.

as is quite usual with thought and care must be given to the lid cracking at the joints is to be avoided. Boxes Square and rectangular boxes clean so that the porcelain remains white than 10 cm (4 in) across it may be are really slab pots with lids. The method of making is the same as As with all slab pots care must be cess and when drying the completed box. for the whole of can be more sculptural. a support must be fitting. but if any kind offeet or foot ring described for a slab pot except that allowing two weeks of gentle drying if are to be applied. lid fitting. 8A: A lid fitting. decoration and glaze. necessary to remember that it will be pots up to 30 cm (12 in) across. result from this type of decoration. not having one support will be necessary. The completed pot the base will be supported by the kiln decorated. ties like such pots. described for a basic slab pot. lamp. applied to the box can make an interesting into a bottle top will fit the pot. using a pellet of clay in each However. are n derived from the cultural practices of Japanese Zen Buddhism and both have strict traditions as to shape. and dishes for flower arranging. to drain better and an adequate drainage the base section or a small strip of clay The incision collects a slightly thicker hole or holes must be cut in the base during the assembly of the pot. whereas sculptural work for the applied If the pot is to be decorated it is doming the lid is usually satisfactory for crustaceans. this kind of dish. using a grogged clay. even severe. The Chinese are frequently the only form of decoration holding the lid in place such as four Sung dynasty pots frequently have such on such pots. glaze firing. Incised decoration Porcelain can be used to make boxes modern flower arrangements and for can be very effective as strong shadows that will look delicate and precious. A hole Another method is to make the walls and inventive project. 6 mm (^ in) diameter should be made and lid of the box thicker but even this This requires both carefully planned near to the base in the wall of the pot for will not prevent sagging if the lid is more work for the box and rather free the electric flex. Any student in- terested in such pots is advised to read more specialised publications on the subject but at the risk of over simplifica- tion of a complex cultural tradition. The approach is the same as must be dried out with great care. All work surfaces and tools must be is to be made in stoneware and is more 4. See the chapter on decoration. the clay is damp so making a much crustaceans such as shells and starfish a standard light socket made for fitting stronger structure. the pots are kept very simple. corner.SLAB POTS AND OTHER PROJECTS care must be taken to have a sufficiently can be placed on the inside edge of the layer of translucent glaze giving a quiet wide base for the height of the completed base section so forming a flange over and subtle variation in colour. must be considered as well as striving to danger of sagging during a stoneware More sculptural boxes can be made make a form which has beauty. than about 10 cm (4 in) across. Boxes some of which are very difficult to make and are not really suitable projects for a potter. If the base is flat no additional preciousness and care about them or they of equal consistency. direct and dryer than the others. the growing of miniature Bonsai trees and reflections from pooled glaze often Great care is necessary when using make useful projects. This does not mean that the only which fits the lid section. using strips of clay to form a 8B: A lid fitting. Porcelain can be very effectively decora.two pots can be made with the with a sharp tool. 5. Boxes based upon The diameter of the top should be The best way to overcome this danger the shape of treasure chests with miniature about 2 cm ff in) when made so that after is make the lid slightly domed while to 'treasures' spilling out and various the pot has shrunk while drying andfiring. Both Bonsai pots for miniature trees. 8. If attempting one 32 . Shallow dishes Shallow dishes for strongly litfrom above. porcelain. with a minimum of decoration. The feet also enable the pot pellets of clay pressed into the corners of incised decoration in the form offlowers. manyflower arranging socie- continuous flange. shelf. such as a piece of The feet of traditional Bonsai pots same opening dimensions and a means of bamboo cut to a chisel edge. added in the centre of the dish to prevent There are two basic methods used for ted at the leather-hard stage by incising the base from sagging. If the dish taken to dry the pot slowly. both during the making pro. Some books on modern flower arranging show very complicated pots. Porcelain also gives a good light suitably stable shape is fat and dumpy but If the lid is to be fairly thin and more background if brush decoration is to be it does mean that the function of the pot than 5 cm (2 in) across there is some used. Fig. They can and extra care must be taken to ensure necessary to support the base in the be superb objects having a feeling of that all the slabs that are to be joined are centre. proportion.

although the method was used by the Han dynasty Chinese. 9. This stoneware tube pot was made by Method of Making wrapping clay around a tube. 33 . It is the work of a 14-year. relatively short time. I «m9 B with a low contraction rate so as to J™ lessen the risk of cracking during drying i ! i/f mm if f//ifUfl i out and firing. with a piece ready for the base. then beating it 1. effectively are Eileen Lewenstein. . most art schools introdu- i cing it and many potters who hand-build using it. 9B Wrapping : the clay around the tube. i l m8iflHi ^ %ML lEfltfl'' Lfl The method of making is obvious. J ' always ensure that the pot to he made is does allow quite tall made in pots to be Fig. is to tubes. It is only suitable for C « <V • Irl IBS stoneware. any well-prepared clay suitable for the intended firing range. but it As far as I can ascertain there is no continuing tradition for wrap-around pots. The decoration is an extension of the mm i •1 il 1 making method and the proportion of height to diameter gives the pot a 1 ( 1 w « feeling of lightness and stability. it has a pleasant surface texture over colour and it seldom cracks whilst drying or firing. made bv coiling or throwing.'"0? Some of the potters using it most 1 I. not firm as used for slab making. The method of This is particularly important if stone. The method has been used with considerable success over the past twenty years. so con- This method of making does not permit siderably extending the range of pots the wide range of shapes that can be that can be made using this method. so if earthenware is to be used some grog could be added to an earthenware body to reduce the shrink- age rate. unglazed exterior. Suitable clays The same basic require- I ments apply for wrap-around pots as for 1 * Vll^H^H slab pots. but being used. a pot of sufficient height can be made 9D: The completed pot The example has a old student. tube form has influenced many student 9A: The slice of clay cut ready for wrapping potters by its and simplicity. Plate 15. The full height of the decorative lapped edge. Iron oxide was rubbed into the the clay will be wrapped ensuring that placed on a base ready for trimming. The clay should be reasonably WjfpF soft as for coiling. 1 L J II I (i J^H Some of the most effective wrap- around pots I have seen have been made '|§HH with a fairly heavily grogged clay. with the tube. Dan 1 Arbeid and J ames Campbell The simple. Choose a tube or block around which 9C: The clay wrapped around the tube and with a stick. so shortening the making time. preference being given to a clay - WV IS . directness around tube. This dries quickly. Wrap-around pots not likely to sag and warp in the firing. slabbing or throwing. That is. the basic shape can be added to by Wrap-around pots coiling. often in combination with L I^VT^nSBc other methods of making. either square or round. which is more inclined to warp. Porcelain can be used if great care is taken to dry the completed pot very slowly. If the clay is too firm it will crack when wrapped around the tube. making restricts the basic shapes made ware.

can be made by wrapping a on the bench. Wrap newspaper around the tube or of the tube difficult. to crack for the same reason. The proposed often be found on the scrap pile of a surplus clay. completed and fired than it was when to cut or roll a slice of clay that will go 7. The tops can be pinched height of the pot and cut one of the this. or it can be pressed in with the end suitable diameter. or peel from any it free slurry. A the wire from side to side and up and together. Check that the slice is free to move The two surfaces are then joined with and small. While the tube or block is still of the lid if this is desired. slurry the edges A coil or strip of clay is joined on the can be introduced. Lamp bases are tube without spoiling the pot. It better to have some clay is of making this joint decorative are described for a basic wrap-around pot. of the clay level with the base of the stamp. can be joined together in many ways to lengths of string. where the walls and the base will join. even spaghetti. the pot will crack as it rolled or pinched so that there is not a coil and slab pots. It is worth experi. This method gives a thickness as the walls of the pot. tube. If a square block is used do not applied around the pot with decoraii\e source of suitable tubes is a local shop press the clay hard over the corners as over-lapping edges. over than find there is insufficient. bulky overlap. Prepare sufficient clay from which sloppy pot. Cut the slice so that it is the proposed then. the thin edges become translucent. Wooden blocks can 6. can either be slab built or coiled to folded over the top or bottom of the Projects using the wrap-around method accommodatealightfitting. be made into useful jars for storing jam. will stretch the clay and make a rather will be about one-tenth smaller when 2. by twisting the paper. the overlap forming a decorative narrow strip of clay around a tube of sheeting or hessian. decorative strips can be Sets of jars can be made in this way If the clay is rolled out instead of added and impressed decoration can and the name or a symbol for the cutting from a block it must be placed be pressed into the soft clay surface of contents can be applied to or carved in on a piece of sheeting or hessian to the pot with pieces of wood. for most fabrics this can cause the clay to crack. If it is to be is easier to cut the slices from a prepared the tube. One on the hessian so that an impressed decoration can be cut into the surface. If small pieces of paper are left in so that they splay out rather like a vertical edges. over or in a dish mould so as to avoid crisp slice and by cutting with a Mark around the base. contracts during drying. Lamp bases If a reasonably stable remove the tube from the pot. onto a slice of clay the same over this width it is advisable to dome it block of clay. screw heads. for the finished. Lapped edge pots A wrap-around pot needs to be about 2 cm (f in) in diameter Sellotape. indicated below. method is to make a group of five or decoration is made. The clay is likely can be ideal when using porcelain. 2. or store selling fabrics. prevent it sticking to the bench top. twisted wire various surface textures cut off the surplus clay. While the clay is still leather-hard more narrow pots of differing heights. Instead. The lid can be flat ifto be under it is If more than one pot is to be made it 8. Slurry the two edges and press made. Scotch tape. for block to prevent the clay sticking to it. Carefully wrap the line. sagging in the glaze firing. clay will contract and make the removal Tube pots with thin. 5. block of clay. underside of the lid so as to form a menting with such textures by moving and press the walls and base firmly flange that will keep the lid in place. It is difficult to measure the pot they will burn away during simple sea creature such as a sea- the required width of clay required firing. Using a sharp knife trim off the herbs. which would make it impossible to The pot is now complete except for 4. The group of tubes is then at this stage so leave it generously wide It is essential to remove the tube joined together with slurry and carefully to go around the circumference of the before the clay gets too dry. etc. large 5. tea.SLAB POTS AND OTHER PROJECTS tube does not have to be used. The paper any surface finishing that may be wrap-around pot is made a narrow neck should be kept free of creases. inside the pot. The thickness of 10. The opening tube and it can be kept in position with 1. A tube. pinched edges 4. If the 7). remembering that the pot merchant. the excess width of clay is discussed more fully in the sections on tube is left inside. cardboard tubes. tube or block from inside the newspaper bases or they can be joined to one 3. Methods The body of the jar is made as height. with an untrimmed edge. Failure to is made as described except that the when damp. rope or cloth arranged When the pot has firmed-up a little. Figures Humorous and interesting 34 . still around 8 cm (3 in) in diameter. remove the pot.Shallow dishes Shallow dishes. around the tube and be of the required together carefully but firmly. anemone. not necessary or required. bolts and a variety of other interesting 3. Tube sculpture Wrap-around pots The sheet or hessian can be creased or objects. knob or handle is then joined to the top down as it is pulled through the 9. the slice will be determined by the but able to support itself remove the They can either be given individual height of the proposed pot. the wall of the jar. Decorative bands can also be 6. make interesting sculptural groups. Take care not to squeeze contents will determine the size of jar school woodwork shop or a timber or roll the partly completed pot as this required. Stand the base of the pot. A 6 mm (^ in) hole should wrap the tube in this way will result vertical edge is not trimmed so that a be made near the base for the electric in it being impossible to remove the butt joint can be made (Sections 6 and flex to pass through. The method is the clay around the tube keeping one edge of the finger or with a decorative same as for a basicwrap-around pot. remove common base. Jars with lids Wrap-around pots can are delivered wound round strong Allow any surplus clay to overlap.

one slice to make a with newspaper. 7. or rolled and pinched to make them thin. Two slices of clay are cut. suggest clothing and to decorate. 10B. owned by R. 35 . and a circular base. head and limbs. Porcelain wing pot by Colin Pearson. pinched together at their edges. There are many other figures which the keen and adventurous student can create based on simple wrap-around forms. cylindrical stand. 10. Coils and modelled sections can be added to give the figure character. Winged pots wrap-around tubes for the body. Winged pots Instead of wrapping one slice of clay around a tube two slices can be used to make a wide. Plate 16. Pots using two narrow tubes joined to one larger tube. showing how the cylindrical base supports the 'wings'. Fielden.figurescan be made by using a number of Fig. the edges of which can be straight and of even thickness. Newspaper is wrapped around a suitable tube as described for a basic wrap- around pot. 10D: The completed pot. with two 10B The 'wings' placed around a tube wrapped : in the middle. slim pot with a tubular opening in the centre. The edges of the slices slices to makethe 'wings'. can be useful as well as interesting objects. rather like the legs and truncated body of a man or woman. IOC Looking onto the assembled : pot. The slices are then put together with the tube separating them 10 A: The clay cut ready for assembly. The two slices have been are then pinched together as in Fig. The various sections should be made and allowed to become leather- hard before joining them together.

the the first hemisphere should be removed results will be pleasing. classes are run so that the students can mould. The presents. if many students are to use them due to pressing pellets. they are merely a means of over. The dislike for moulded dishes and I would over a mould. ifnot been put together with some care. methods. the addition of moulds can be very useful when making The same press moulds can be used relief and brushed slip. coils and the clay contracts and consequently strips. but once mas- Such moulds of Fig. tered it is possible to make an almost varying size and shape are useful for making 6. Biscuit-fired moulds. thicken the rims coiling of a narrow neck onto a slab by tapping down gently with aflat stick. The moulds moulds are soon thrown by the teacher resulting joins form the decoration. The various hazard. added. If two identical moulds are available project and assuming that they have the second hemisphere can be made . cracks. holes can be cut into it. such as the sagging. It is more difficult to coax the When all the pieces have been placed clay inside the mould without the clay inside. Dents can be impressed. They can be combined and plastic. when it is just firm enough to support Combining hand-building methods itself and a second hemisphere made in The hand-building methods that have the same mould. Cut or roll out a slice of well-prepared acts as a support as well as a former. the box cracking is negligible. but the danger of the clay have been welded together. for quite reasonable to claim that pottery soft clay large enough to go in or over the a larger pot. presents. If the moulded section pattern formed by the various sections advise any teacher who intends that his is but part of a pot the same clay should will remain on the outside of the pot students should achieve a reasonable be used for all sections of the pot. adapted in numerous ways. but great care must be taken to Cardboard boxes make excellent moulds acquire a standard of craftsmanship separate the clay from the mould before for potsmade with pellets. Some ways 4. are normally not made by the students and can be used for pressing clay in or The moulds are also useful when using them. knife or wire. It is easier to coax the clay over a Box Pots experience the pleasure of using clay. yet still damp. 5. Moulded pots. feet scope for experiment and variation. press leather-hard. ways such as by carving. mould. The completed sphere can now he decoration. particularly shallow biscuit-fired moulds hemi-spherical in Strips of clay can be placed over the dishes. spherical bottles and some types of for making pots based on a bowl form. sections need to overlap or be joined can cause flaking after firing. bottle. It is surely /. plaster moulds can be a the danger of plaster chips getting into the inside of the mould. Such mould and joined together so that the part-time student potters. They require virtually no moulds are better than plaster moulds Another use is to build a pot by craftsmanship and no creative ability. 11. clay. coils and slices onto In addition. trim off any surplus clay with a box will break the pot. They are seldom of use for mass doming lids and curving slabs before churning out objects for Christmas producing Christmas presents! Biscuit their assembly. I can beaten into shape with a flat slick. The joined slices can either which will be fired and taken home. Such box pots can make an excellent 3. are great favourites among shape and of varying diameters. . The be joined to a flat base or raised up on a see little point in running classes so that air-tight sphere is remarkably strong and cylindrical tube. This type of pot can be badly-made pots requiring little or no can he finished to any shape based on a an excellent project for there is much thought can be made for Christmas sphere. Use a piece of hack-saw blade to weld limitless range of forms by combining composite pots. together. Having placed the clay in or over the clay is allowed to dry the removal of the mould. An Inca wall is revealed! If the 2. 36 . provided the sections are not pressed standard of craftsmanship to either Method of Making down too hard. Apply slurry to the rims and place the It is better to master each method two rims together. for if plaster gets into the clay it the clay. Press moulding dish. coiled necks added and when it is flat sides can be decorated in a number of Despite this general criticism. When both hemispheres are made and in which methods can be combined able to support themselves without have already been mentioned. including the base. It is useful to have a selection of spherical form or any part thereof. the two sections together. SLAB POTS AND OTHER PROJECTS The pinching dents can be effective as and in so doing make pots. Building can continue forbid or strongly discourage themaking For a sphere beyond the mould so that the mould of such pressed items. Only practice will should be cut and torn away from the indicate the best methodfor each student. The first hemisphere been described do not have to be used should be kept damp by wrapping it in exclusively. and these pleating. Press the two sections before combining them. I think Suitable clays together by scraping one section into these comments indicate my general Most clays are suitable for use in or the next with a modelling tool. some of 7.

continues to use a hand-driven wheel although he is well-acquainted WHEEL building was. The momentum is ensured superficially the same. The wheel. 12. a Fig. The potter's wheel was probably first thrower using such a wheel. It was used in Egypt from the commencement of recorded history and its use probably favourably with that of a Western potter using a crank driven kick-wheel. The heavy wooden wheel-head revolves on a shaft firmly CHAPTER fixed into the ground. one is frequently called a jolting. the near the circumference. There is no tray to catch the firmly fixed into the ground or a slab of slurry. the famous Japanese POTTER'S spread from this area to China and Europe before 2000 B. The means of different presence and 'feel'. a fly-wheel. the other a cranked Hand wheels or Leach wheel. propulsion can be hand. kick so as to avoid jerking the body. continental wheel. very much influences the form and 'feel' The basic principle of the wheel is of a pot. 6 .C. the wheel seems to have been the prerogative with the kick and power driven wheels of the West. 12). compares THE used in the Near East. for on examina- by having a heavy wheel-head or more tion they will be found to have a very commonly. The stick is removed and above this the shaft is cranked. A wheel head into which four notches are cut head is fixed to the top of the shaft. With most wheels. wheel-head being level with a seat for head is placed over a shaft which is the potter. The method of making a pot. The same basic pot made by a of a flat wheel-head made of wood or potter on a kick wheel and then an metal which revolves with considerable electrically powered wheel will only be momentum. has a heavy wooden It running on a straight shaft. In the West we use two main types of ling the speed smoothly without any kick wheel. It is important that the proportions momentum requires constant renewal of the crank and bar allow an easy long if a larger pot is to be made. of men. Shoji Hamada. the work of women. Handvvheel used in Japan. A stick is inserted The cranked wheel has a fly-wheel into one of the notches and turned placed at the base of the vertical shaft vigorously. foot or motor Kick wheels and there must be a means of control. including the type of wheel used. Whereas hand- potter. The continental wheel The hand-wheel is now peculiar to has a large dome-topped fly wheel China and Japan. The bar. 37 . The the momentum of the wheel lasts long crank is connected by a block to a kick enough to make a small pot. The wheel is rotated with a stick inserted into a notch in the wheel head. and to a large extent continues to be. stone (See Fig. The This method might appear to be wheel head is at the top of the shaft and laborious yet Bernard Leach comments approximately 20 cm (8 in) above the that the day's output of an Oriental seat for the potter.

house which have become interiors. More students fail and description of such wheels but cheap. particularly and sculptural forms seem to satisfy it is advisable to knead in some if very slow speeds are required for wide such a need. If large pots. require the made by R. 1882. who varied the speed as he watched There have been and still are many of making are the same. This was turned by an apprentice. motors and pottery from early times to the present process and reduce the shrinkage rate electronic speed control have the ad. in the 1930's there were very few help because they cannot centre the the speed is governed by the friction of throwers left. Some clays. let alone make a pot. vantage of excellent speed variation Suitable Clays Sufficient clay should be kneaded for even at very low speeds but there is a Particular care must be taken when the throwing session. W. I have seen students push a few seldom have adequate speed control. On the other hand modern somewhat slimy and waxy in which case greatly varying prices. The clay selected should be plastic. additional grog as this will give the pot pots. in such an event. i IE tray about 20 cm (8 in) deep is built more intricate mechanism to go wrong Plate 17. seem to would be an advantage. which will. They Historical background to throwing range from a 'slave' wheel which was This subject is vast since the majority turned by an apprentice for his master of pots made by man since before selecting and preparing clay for to the modern electric wheels with 2000 B. most potters' merchants under different product in price. An experi- two cones placed head to tail so that by Thanks to the work and writings of enced potter can only help in such a altering the angle of one changes the Bernard Leach and others. types of power-driven wheels.C. British salt-glazed stoneware plaque around the wheel head to contain slurry. whether it be a 38 . even 5 kg (11 lbs). It shows water and trimmings. day appears in Chapter 13.-A. the addition of sand or a fine grog The cone-driven wheels have the rather severe and hard-lined. Unless this is done it is quite transistorized speed control. Another satisfactory but The reasons are somewhat mixed.D. On and never attempt to throw a pot from cheaper electric wheel is that driven by the one hand it has been proved that the odd scraps of clay. usefulness and such as a fine earthenware body.C. one type of 'slave-wheel' used by many 18th Power-driven wheels ever wheel is used the basic principles and 19th century potters. control. throwing. and consequently the risk of cracking. . clay. his master's work on the throwing wheel. produced moulded pots started to ease odds and ends of clay into a ball shape. 220) make a pot. reason. An outline of the development of extra strength during the throwing The wheels with D.C. have been made on the wheel. warm. thrown situation by advising that he would point of contact and therefore the speed pottery is enjoying a remarkable revival. from the Greeks and because the clay was not properly using or buying. motor with electronic speed thrown functional pot compares favour. Martin in A. are to be made— and this little to go wrong but they are not very rough as a contrast. can be names. The scope This includes the earlv Chinese pots of useless struggling to centre the clay and of this book does not permit a detailed the Han dynasty (206 B. To be recommended is the well-tried the thrower from his dominant position slam it onto the wheel and then cry for but expensive electric wheels in which until. Stoneware pottery will only be by a competent thrower- sensitive to speed variation. with varying finishes and at appearance. advantage of being very robust with need something earthy. services of a skilled electrician. They frequently slow Romans to the industrial revolution of prepared than for any other single down when centring the clay and they the late 18th century when mass.D. a D. to the present day and the majority of become disillusioned about throwing untried electric wheels are seldom worth European pots. Which. These are now marketed by ably with the better mass-produced soft and free of coarse grog.C. always prepare his clay thoroughly of the other.THE POTTER'S WHEEL ffl iX 40 .

Extra clay for knob Large bowl 4. If it was for the best. be over emphasised. use a wire to The following chart indicates the The consistency of the clay is also cut lumps of a suitable size. If it presses in with the weight and size of the pot made. When the clay is ready. cannot only fool-proof ways of finding out! guide.000 kg 38 mm 200 mm (12 oz) (41 4 (1i in) (Sim) (2 lbs oz) in) (8 in) No turning Turned.000 kg 100 mm At opening No turning (4 lbs 8 oz) (4 m) 240 mm No turning (9i in) Medium bowl for salads. A simple test is to press the weigh up clay of a given weight and note thrown from a given weight of clay. This will save too soft to knead it will be too soft to that a certain weight of clay will yield time and prevent repeated interruptions throw. Until the clay when kneading it is probably right the clay will be used to the full and not is kneaded competently it is quite for throwing. Always weigh up clay before throwing ease yet leaves a clean imprint the clay Never use a random weight and hope commences.500 kg 38 mm 240 mm (3 lbs 6 oz) m) (9i fruit etc. (4 in) (8 in) (3 lbs 6 oz) Hi in) To be turned Turned. 500 gms 80 mm 130 mm (1 lb 2 oz) (5 m) (3i in) Casseroles large flat 2. See the accompanying table as a This fact. Lid (6i oz) (4 in) opening approx Turned. thumb into the clay. Lid Saucers 450 gms 18 mm 170 mm opening approx (11b) gin) (6i in) 50 mm (2 in) Turned foot Lid 100 gms 50 mm (4oz) (2 in) Store jar 500 gms 130 mm at opening (1 lb 2 oz) (5 in) 100 mm Tea pot 4 cup size 700 gms 115 mm 130 mm No turning (4 in) (1 lb 9 oz) (4i in) (5 in) Lid for store jar 160 gms 100 mm No turning.couple of hours or a day. Extra clay for knob Tea cups 320 gms 90 mm 90 mm (3i mm mm (11 oz) ($ in) in) Tea pot 2 cup size 400 gms 90 100 Turned foot (14 oz) (3i in) (4 in) No turning. advice from a competent potter are the pot. it is the only way to throw is probably right for throwing. Always size of article that can normally be important. 1. Practice and first-hand left as a heavy wall near the base of the useless attempting to throw with it.800 kg 38 mm 280 mm (11b 2oz) (3 in) (5 in) (4 lb) (1i in) (11 in) Turned foot Small bowl. but if it was just a little sticky a pot of a given approximate size that of the throwing process.00 kg 130 mm 270 mm (9 lbs) (5 in) (10i in) Casserole Medium size 3. etc.500 kg 100 mm 200 mm Lid 1. for it is only by knowing efficiently and uniformly. Extra clay 60 mm (Zj in) for knob Lid 200 gms 60 mm (8oz) (21 in) 39 . sad though it may be.000 kg 180 mm At opening To be turned (6 lbs 12 oz) (7 in) 200 mm No Turning (8 in) Coffee mugs 350 gms 115 mm 83 mm Lid 1. cereals. Item Weight Height Width Item Weight Height Width Basic cylinder 500 gms 130 mm 90 mm Dinner plates 1.

Rotate the wheel at a fairly rapid rate. ! THE POTTER'S WHEEL A suitable weight for the beginner is mastered and require little apparent Fig. Stage 5 6. it is just an attempt to waist and the arms rested on the tray of put into words one approach to what is the wheel. The process of pushing the clay into a lifted to show the position of the right thumb. As with all 5. 3. towards the body. The fluidity and about 7 mm (\ in) of clay is left at the 13C: Opening out the clay. those the pot will be put off-centre. On releasing the pressure smoothly be centred and pulled up into a straight. wheel should rotate in an anti-clockwise 3. Stages 10 and 11 40 . while leather-hard. Place the right hand around the clay. feeling its throwing. but grit 7. the clay should be centred. the right thumb across the clay. lubricated. The first is lack of as well as centring the clay it helps to practice and the consequent inability to get it in a mobile condition for subsequent be at one with the clay. slightly domed top. essentially a practical task. The hands must be 7. enough so as not to be too fiddling. Turn pots and lids when leather-hard. this may require much practice. Prepare clay. The fingers of the beauty of a thrown form will only come base. the clay into a sphere. practice the leg will kick and vary the /. By holding the clay in and 90 mm (3} in) diameter from the hands and banging the corners make 500 gms (1 lb2 oz) of clay. The left hand has been feeling of confidence and ease becomes 8. ever the hands start to stick to the clay. pressed down onto the top of the cone. direction. The right hand is inside the left hand as hard. The clay is then squeezed with the crafts. apply an both in size and form. The second cause 9. and main causes. Until a ball of even pressure. so that the cone is not knocked off So beginners should take heart all centre. many hours. When the clay has been centred press To summarise. without a practice. apparent cone then back into a flattened ball shape Stage 9 Many of the problems experienced is repeated four or five times. the wheel rotates anti-clockwise. Likewise. attempt making tea pots! 10. speed without conscious effort. kept absolutely steady. keeping the hands perfectly clay weighing about 500 gms (1 lb) can still. considerable practice is essential. /. Once a few pots have been made the If it is a kick wheel go as fast as is order will seem quite obvious but for a possible without the body moving. Pull the fingers towards the body. Throw pots. The palm of the right hand is then their teeth with anxiety as they throw. Throw the clay into the centre of a Before outlining the method by which barely damp wheel head. Release the hands smoothly. Slip decorate or incise if this is 4. The 2. Wet the hands so that they are 5. Press down until stage at a time. behaviour at all times. Apply handles while pot is still leather. If the wheel- pots can be thrown here is a list of the head or the clay hall is wet the clay will other processes that may be involved in not stick to the wheel. jerk. making and completing thrown pots. sided cylinder it is quite pointless to do If it is not centred repeat processes battle with a 5 kg (11 lb) lump or to 1-9 . It is essential that the hands are if they not proficient throwers are always released without a jerk. 13B: Centring the clay. even though the Method clay will try to make them move. The right thumb ensures a can look forward to a time when a new the left hand steadying the right hand. and you must master one the centre of the clay. yet So here is an outline method for it is easily managed without great making a cylinder 130 mm (5 in) high physical effort. 4. Throw lids. then the left hand. This is The method described here is not the helped if the elbows are pressed into the only method. right hand press down and are then pulled when the throwing processes are fully 11. The by the beginner can be traced to two process is called balling and coning. This is just large effort. With both hands around the clay and is frequently over-ambitious projects. who have become proficient. 13. Dry and fire the pots. 13A: Centring the clay and squeezing it into a cone. even years of intensive 6. desired. 2. This should be repeated when. With beginner it may be a little confusing. otherwise after a few attempts. much practice is the first two fingers of the right hand into necessary. Throwing 500 gms (1 lb 2 oz). right hand and the heel of the left hand This does not mean a few hours but so that it rises into a cone. Both hands are used to centre the clay.

This should be done splitting. by gently squeezing the clay and at the particularly in diameter. towards the centre. leather-hard. The latter probably loosens the right hand is crooked against the outside and using theflat palms of both hands. When the throwing and shaping have diameter. work on the right of the pot. When the wall of the pot is an even The method of making larger cylinders thickness. and so prevent it from 21. 20. from the wheel using considerable quanti- 14. rotating. This may be done with the wheel stationary or slowly 13D: Pulling up the clay. That does not mean right hand as compared to the left hand. It is useful angle of 45 Stage 1 . in this case about 7 mm (\ in) is the same as described for a small give it its final shape. Use a soft sponge to remove any water from inside the pot. This not before — larger cylinders using more is to compensate for the centrifugal force clay can be made and other shapes which makes the pot splay out. embarked upon. Lift the pot from the wheel to a clean helps them work together. The tool should be held when a proposed cylinder starts to 41 . 7 . 12. For example a small cylinder has been mastered— when making a cylinder direct the hands when ten or cylinders of the same more when pulling up. Some of the slurry on the wall of the pot should also be removed by holding the tool against the wall of the pot. This will rather longer. plates and bowls of 45 cm (18 in) plus 17. The lifting right hand crooked against the outside. As the pot increases in size they should be put aside until they are after each pull-up to keep the rim firm and reduce the speed of the wheel. Stages 12 and 13 12. When the making of than is actually required. Stage 20 pot better and gives the shell-like pattern the fingers of the left hand oppose its pressure which is characteristic of the pots made from the inside. though a conical shape was intended. Always take care when lifting and 13. firmly and used to remove any surplus clay at the base of the pot wall and to undercut it at an angle of 45 . Take courage and lift the keep the rim firm. as size can be made with some fluency and . With the fingers of the left hand board. Experience will show just how to position for it should only rotate very slowly for the hands for the required shape. using the flat palms of both hands. while supporting it from the inside with the left hand. been completed the base of the wall Collaring 13F Trimming with a tapered piece of wood to : should be trimmed with a tapered piece of This is the term applied to the squeezing remove slurry and to undercut the pot at an bamboo or a piece of ruler cut at an in and narrowing of a pot. The pot should be rotating. Note Whenever possible have 6-8 cm (2\-3 at the Leach pottery. pull it under the pot. Holding the cutting wire taut and hard down onto the top of the wheel head. pot! coming too thin. Always opposed to a straight. the slower the same time varying the position of the wheel must rotate. base and gradually releasing the pressure Some amateur potters slide their pots as the hands move up the pot. inside the pot and the first finger of the which should be free of slurry. placing down a newly-thrown pot. prevent it from be. This method probably between the thumb and first finger of the requires less initial courage but it tends left hand and compress the rim with the to distort the pot more and it takes first finger of the right hand. angle of 45°. 18. If they are complete they prevent splitting. not stationary. action should be a peeling motion as the clay is squeezed and lifted. but always squeezing the clay harder at the do not be timid. vertical lift. 19. The first finger of the 13G: Lifting a cylindrical pot from the wheel. If the pots need turning or skimming 13E: Compressing the rim. 16. Repeat the pulling-up process. After each pull-up hold the rim ties of water. Stage 14 15. : making a flat base in) the hands in contact with each other as this wide. so as to avoid distortion. Always aim to make a narrower pot should be left to dry. that the wheel should only creep around. Shaping is achieved cylinder except that the larger the pot.

With splayed fingers. Unless care is taken the clay has a tendency to buckle or pleat. 3. everything described fora cylinder. The basic rules for collaring are: 1. not in difference is in the initial opening out the least concerned with me or my eyes ! of the centred clay. The main growing naturally. make can be at least declared not bad. 6. Japan. 3. 4. Section of a bowl showing how leather (see Fig. and certainly if there is any tendency of the clay to buckle. a bowl rarely requires a flat — not made. A bowl tea bowls look larger inside than on the can be dumpy and graceless. 5 springing up from the table. in a strangling position. 5. 15. Secondly. 14. and splendidly. Plate 18. Bowls Standing in the vegetable garden gives me A bowl is madein a similar way to that a feeling of utter defeat. 15A). 2. flasks. using springs up from the foot ring. When making the initial opening in the centred clay (Fig. Shoji Hamada. After each reduction in the diameter. bowls and lips of bottles could have the flowing curve with little or no change in appearance of being in mid-growth. When enlarging the initial opening be sure allow the fingers of the right to hand to rise. Place both hands around the pot. a bowl frequently motion. The workshop of Shoji Ham a da's pottery in Masheko. 2. Making a bowl diameter and shape are obtained. The basic rules for making a bowl are 1. This will compress 15B: Lifting a bowl from the wheel. moving the hands up the pot as the diameter is reduced. such as pitchers. the rim and give it a smooth finish. in direction. Stage 4 leather. Stage 6 42 . This is for two If only pots too could be thus born and reasons. ! : THE POTTERS WHEEL flareout at the rim and for all narrow necked pots. It tends to thicken the wall of the pot. very essence ofpottery making. for ever unsuspended needs to have a foot ring so that the 'It has always been said that the best curving form springs up from it. Do not expect to narrow the pot in one brief operation. Increase the speed of the wheel as the pot is reduced in diameter. I feel this saying expresses the should be full of life. bottles. speaking of his Quote from Hamada Shoji approach to pottery has said: Introduction by Yanagi and B. 4. for a given amount of clay is being com- pressed into a wall of reduced circum- ference. When pulling up the walls of the bowl take care not to press down with the left hand otherwise the curving base will not flow into the wall of the bowl. spheres and teapot spouts. and vigour. pull up the wall of the pot in the same way as for throwing. whereas it outside. Repeat the process until the required 6/ would like to see the day when all that I Fig. it needs to be a continuous. Finish the rim with a piece of soft Fig. If only pots the rims of base inside. Use as little water as possible. and gently squeeze the pot. so that a curved base is made and not aflat base. 14) leave the base thick enough so as to turn a foot-ring if this is so desired. Leach 15A: Finishing the rim with a strip of soft Asahi Shimbun Publishing Co.

means used to keep it in position. are illustra- complete. For 3. lid fittings. A badly-fitting lid can be dry. lery and a lid with a flange. a wide opening is desirable. lid A are: that fits well can give satisfaction to the 1. Centre the clay. palms for lifting (see Fig. B. expand the wall a little at a Six of the most common lids and the time from the inside until the sphere is galleries. To overcome this problem a chuck. Before the If the opening is narrow tie a sponge lidded pot is started the type of lid to the end of a thin stick or cane.the exception of porcelain.A sphere comes into this better to make the rims of bowls and category. Some. such as store 4. If . by collaring. 2. It might prove easier to use making the curve such that the sphere the other lids. Care splayed out fingers instead of the flat will rest in it. is can be made with some certainty and thrown and allowed to firm-up but not fluency. 4. Cut and lift the bowl onto a clean 3. Remove slurry and excess clay from depend on the function. such as illustration 5. C. Remove any water from inside the pot.The chuck should be made most functional pots marginally thicker from the same clay as the pot and it than the walls. requiring a gal- 6. should be decided upon. when designing a pot so that it is 2. that they will be thick and heavy. Open out as for throwing a sphere. that it willflow into the curved wall of the The lid should always be considered sphere. particularly near the base and they have 6. The procedure for off as much surplus clay at the base as is making a chuck is as follows: Fig. Prepare the clay as for throwing and The diagrams illustrate six of the most common collapse from lack of support. Lid fittings possible without causing the bowl to 1.about The main problems that are likely to be 15 mm (j in). D and E only are suitable if the lid Making a chuck is to remain in position while the pot A is necessary whenever a pot chuck is tilted. The design of the lid thinning when it is pushed out into a is to a large extent dictated by the sphere. tilted over. are quite complicated. For a casserole. When all the clay has been thrown into jars. This will cut off a lump of adequate size. user and is evidence of competent Make the inside curve of the base such craftsmanship. shape and size the base of the pot and lift it onto a clean of the pot. If the sphere is large pull up the wall of Spheres the chuck a little. This will give the pots should be made sometime before the physical and visual strength. ted in Fig. Due to the time involved in making a Turning the base at the leather-hard chuck it is advantageous to have a stage is a little more involved than it is number of pots that are the same or that for bowls and cylindrical forms because can at least use the same chuck. they do not require turning. Pull up the clay as for a cylinder but part of the overall form and not an do not make it too thin. See below. gallery to be made when making the pot Types 6. attempted until pots of a given size which will accommodate the sphere. If it is to be a teapot types board. Centre and open out as for a bowl. trim and is not sticky. must be taken to choose a lid type most suited to the form and function of the pot. the sphere cannot be inverted on the Lids and galleries wheel without the danger of collapsing Pots and bowls with lids should not be it. the cause of annoyance. allowing for intrusive 'hat'. This will 7. type C and F needs support in addition to that given are probably the most satisfactory. where necessary. A and B are the simplest lids to make as.If necessary the opening can be reduced E which is frequently used for teapots. 5. if it is too large The basic rules for throwing a sphere for the opening it is quite useless. 16. E and F require a make turning much easier. made to throw them thinly. it is probably by the rim. for others. keeping it thick. Using the tapered bamboo tool. unlike board. pots are to be turned so that it firms-up 5. the cylinder. 16. Types A. When the pot ready for turning it is a tendency to collapse if an attempt is should be placed in the chuck and centred. Check that the chuck will experienced when throwing spheres are accommodate the sphere. Leave the chuck to firm-up. Use as little water as possible so that some pots it is essential that the lid the clay does not become too soft and stays in position even when the pot is more liable to collapse. 15B).

18.Isolate the knob ifa knob is required or open out the clay into a shallow dish. C and E. if necessary tidying up the 2. for the knob. 18B The knob : isolated and shaped. n gallery the pot is necessary for lids type A. Some 6. Stage 4 practice. Use a leather to finish the flange. Throw a cylinder about 4 cm (1\ in) meter to fit the pot opening. edges of the ball into the lid. the wall of the pot 9. the be generous and fairly thick so that it necessary a small chuck will be required centre of the lid ready to accept the clay accommodates the lid with ease and to protect the knob. place it centrally on the It is essential that the lid is supported 2. pot opening. large lids for casseroles. it is sometimes better to make the lid without a knob for the lid can be lifted by its rim and the knob can in some cases make the lid and pot appear cluttered. Basic method for type C 8. folded over even further if this would ment. throwing of the knob. opening. . they are fired in the pot. This will form a small collar around the Slf] flat lids such as A and B could warp in a circumference. Throw a shallow dish just less than the and press it firmly onto the lid. | in) of the cylinder outwards. just less than the opening into which the ments taken when the pot is wet after lid will fit. 3. Stage 2 This lid is particularly useful for store jars and for teapots. For a and lift the lid onto a clean board. not being perfectly circular. of the same The throwing of the pot can now be 1. If the lid is small. so that it is not easily chipped. Under-cut the base at an angle of 45' 18D: All slurry removed and the cylinder mm : allowance must also be given for the pot 7 Fold the top 13 mm-20 undercut at 45 Stages 5 and 6 (\ in- . Under-cut at 45 : cut off with a wire . Finish the rim with a leather. . The rim is then split in The lid is now complete and assuming form a flange. centre the clay ball and shape the knob. 15 is cm plus (6 in) 3. Take a small ball of clay. for it is of the cylinder thrown in stage 4. allowing between 2 mm remove the slurry and ensure the accuracy and 6 mm (-^ in and J in) play. cutting and I ifting-off. 18E: The top of the cylinder folded over to the rim thick. Centre the clay and make the flattened wheel with a clay blob under the centre in the centre during turning and the ball approximately the width of the lid to prevent any distortion during turning. . 44 . 6. Weld the gallery when throwing has been com. See Fig. Stage 3 2. Cut off the lid with a wire and lift it should be pulled up part way. Lids should always be made from the The diameter of the cylinder should be same clay as the pot and all measure. Centre the clay and make the flattened ball approximately the width of the lid Fig. 9. Stage 7 half by pressing down with the first all measurements were correct. The gallery should not need to be turned. pleted. Turn off all surplus clay so that the lid the lid will splay out and become too 3. THE POTTER'S WHEEL complete except for finishing the edge Fig. type as that used to throw the lid and pot. 18A: The clay centred and approximately the Basic method for lid type B diameter of the proposed lid. /. it will finger. Lid type B with a soft leather. as is the usual 4. so forming It is much better to make a series of a horizontal flange. make the lid fit more snugly on the pot a pot then a lid. Using as little water as possible. The lid is now outside curves being the same. keeping onto a clean board. then the lids for them rather than . Remove any surplus slurry and lift store jar lid try 200 gms (8 oz) and adjust 5. 1. This is particularly true with the lid with the callipers. The flange may be pots with the same opening measure. 18C: A cylinder must be of the required dia- stoneware firing if. When the lid is leather-hard and ready the lid from the wheel. the inside and large. completed. It can be lifted by the knob if a thin metal scraper is used to release the suction of the lid to the wheel-head. If the pot requires a gallery as in 8. Basic method for lid type A 4. then a pot and so on. 10. Cross-hatch and paint with slurry. 17. throwing. Making a gallery for a teapot Such a opening. Using a piece of ruler cut at 45° notched ruler. high from the collar formed at stage 3. for turning. Isolate a knob and check the width of is of even thickness. Prepare and weigh up the clay. the weight as necessary. useless having a lid that is too big. wide. 6 cm (2j in) diameter and less. 17. If this is not done opening. Prepare and weigh up the clay. Prepare and weigh up the clay. either with callipers or a 5. types A and E. If turning is 7.

20. and the sides vertical. lid is exactly the same as described for so that the maximum pressure of liquid type E. I small pots so that they can be lifted 3. When leather-hard the top of the lid the rim of the lid. This edge and to cut the flow cleanly without should not be so thin and sharp that it is any dripping. The pot must have a shoulder and a form the horizontal flange.The lip should have a good cutting vessel in a continuous smooth flow edge to prevent dribbling. easily chipped. 19. Fig. Turn off all of the lid. gallery. 13 mm Fig. vertical flange that will be high enough The diameter should be the same as the to cause the lid to wedge in the opening collar. of the pot. liquid to be poured from a lidded 5. shallow bowl with a substantial collar of Such a lid-fitting is ideal when a wide 2. gallery of the pot with a minimum of 2. Centre the clay and open out into a vertically with no interior obstruction. Under-cut. They are excellent for jars and teapots. of holes can be made in the wall of the pot. measuring that it will fit onto the /. Throw a shallow howl the depth of the free play. for it has but the pot does not have a gallery. Trumpet-shaped spouts Making spouts for teapots and coffee are unsatisfactory. This Basic method for lid type F the following factors need to be type of lid requires rather more clay This type of lid is the same as type E considered: than those so far described. nail of the thumb or first finger. complete. horizontal flange too thin as this will even when the pot is tipped at 90 It is . particularly to the body should be as low as possible casseroles. Squeeze the outer half of the collar to 20A The : clav centred. as a chuck. It must be sufficiently tall to allow the opening is required for storage jars pouring lip to be as high or slightly and when a casserole is required without higher than the gallery. when joined to the body to aid pouring vet it must not project too 45 . to which the lid will outside curves are sympathetic. i nder-cut. 4. encourage chipping and breakage. It must taper continuously to the lip. Stages 7 and 8 for it has little tendency to fall out. under the centre. Instead the walls come up almost must be large so that an adequate grid 2. must contribute to a unified also good when the line of the pot is 8. minimum of free play. The pot must also be Note the support given by the pad to the centre Basic method for type E leather-hard. like the lid. Prepare and neigh up (he clay. The second method is 20D: The leather-hard lid placed on a pad of 6. place the lid on a 6. using the easily without the aid of a knob. Divide the collar into two. Prepare and weigh up the clay. Turn off any surplus clay so that the lid pad of clay thrown on the wheel head. allowing a little free plav. 20B: A shallow bowl with a substantial collar. When leather-hard. but ensure avoid this and ensure that the sections The pot must be thrown with a that it is eased off the pot and not left have unity of form. cannot be filled! The method of making this type of 3. 1. The pad will protect 7. pots 4. vertical and a horizontal flange. Apply a blob of soft pot can easily become a collection of lid. Stages 3. Check by vertical collar. is at that point. The inside of the spout should be The function of the spout is to allow smooth and free from ridges. The lid is better if the line of the pot is to continue clay for turning and the application of a knob. A teapot or coffee required to continue through into the centre of the lid. centre and make a suitable knob. Lid types E and F This type oflid should only be used for 20 mm (\ in l in wide. unrelated sections. Cross-hatch and apply slurry to the and satisfying form. Throw remaining collar into a the Stage 2 curved. or is of even thickness and the inside and by using the pot. it is important to lines of most other types oflid. ri in Check the width of the flange ensuring 3. not flat. must be turned. The angle at which the spout is fixed section of the pot. 4 4. The lid is now complete. The base which will join onto the pot two flanges and will require turning. through into the lid. The broken line indicates the shape This type of lid is excellent for teapots surplus clay. Such a casserole can also be spout is lower than the gallery the pot used as a bowl. If the top of the a gallery. as the spout. as opposed to the more articulated clay. but do not make the of the lid prior to turning. belong. To make a spout that will pour well 1. cut off with a wire and and 5 clay pad with a supporting blob of clay liftonto a clean board. A gallery on a casserole. firmly fixed to it. showing a To make a spout that functions in this 6.Basic method for type D clay around the circumference. cut off with a wire and lift that it will sit on the gallery with a 20C: The collar divided into two to form a onto a clean board. ready to accept the lid. Carefully lift from the pad. pot's collar. The base should be gently 5. Lid type C is suitable for way is not always easy. This can be done on a 5. 3 mm when the pot is tilted for pouring.

others centre one larger cone of clay from which a dozen or more spouts can be made. finding it easier. Stage 2 prior to application to the pot. 5. Stage 7 drill. Open out a generous base. Pull up a slightly concave cone using the small finger inside as far as possible then a round stick. 4. Use a rib to finish the shaping and to remove all the slurry. Stage 9 I prefer the second method but extra care must be taken when handling. particularly ifcollaring Stage 3 it in. The narrower the spout is thrown the faster 21B: Using a pencil to throw a narrow spout. isolate enough clay for one spout. I use the 21 E: Spreading the base aperture. using wire or a needle. If throwing from a cone. Some potters weigh up clay for each spout. the wheelmust go. 3.- . 7. Use a wet finger to spread the base 21 C: Collaring a spout to reduce its diameter at the top. A compromise is necessary. marking its position. such as a pencil. Stage 10 46 . 8. Under-cut at the base of the spout and cut off. ' THE POTTER'S WHEEL far or fail to be as high as the gallery. Having considered all the above mentioned factors the spout can be thrown. Cut the base angle with a wire. Stage 8 second method. 2. Prepare and centre clay. parti- cularly for small spouts. The completed spout can either be lifted offandput to dry to the 'soft leather stage before being attached to the pot or it 21F: Offering the spout onto the pot and can be attached straight from the wheel. Basic method for making a spout 1. 6. Stage 3 21 A: Isolating and opening out a generous 21D: Cutting the base of the spout with a wire 21G: Making the grid of holes using a twist base. It is better to use an electric wheel as higher speeds are necessary. Experience will indicate where to cut.

Plate 20. put it to dry slowly. Using a twist-drill or hole cutter. 21 J : The completed spout. When the pot is complete. Stage 12 a thin wire or a sharp knife. make a grid of holes. The holes should be close together and as many as the base area of spout permits to be made. from the inside of the pot. difficulty theend of the spout should not be cut horizontally but. either with 21H: Welding the spout to the pot. 10. 47 . 13. where the spout will join it and apply slurry. Stoneware coffee pot and mugs. indicating where the grid of holes is to be made. including a handle or lugs for a cane handle. 9. particularly that section that will he at the top of the pot. Cross-hatch the pot. the left side should be cut slightly lower than the right. Trim the end of the spout. Knowledge of a particular clay and trials will indicate just how much allow- ance must be made. 14. 211 Trimming the end of the spout with a thin : wire. Whether the spout is made to flow from the pot or left rather more articulated is an aesthetic consideration. When dry. Stage 13 resulted from drilling the spout grid. Weld the spout to the pot. This attractive porcelain teapot is the work of a sixteen-year-old student. Allowance must be made for 'clay memory that is '. The left hand should be slightly lower 15. Plate 21. facing the end of the spout. drying and To overcome this firing. rub off any burrs that than the right. the tendency for the clay to continue twisting in a clockwise direction during Plate 19. about 5 mm (-fe in) diameter. This stoneware teapot was thrown in sections and then assembled. Offer the spout onto the pot so as to check that the base angle is suitable and to make a mark. aperture. 12. 11.

oval in section. thumb. clay off' level with the end of the board. for many excellent Many potters find handle-making on the pot. It is competent potters take a few scraps of it firmly onto the pot. so that the shape and size quarters of the pulling should take place numerous handles to one pot as a can be considered. Never fiddle and nurse a handle as rather larger handle than a pitcher with 5. resolving into a required handle. the area of the pot to which the handle is jug was tilted for pouring. place the pot small coffee mug or cup is easily held this will result in rather wooden. 1 1 Hold the top end of the handle in the and jugs were made by rolling out a cesses. The second cause is right hand over the cut end. it will be completed when means of practice. tilted for pouring. have what is considered to be 9. about three. pierced lugs. The Some potters. stiffer than that used for throwing. 22. on the size and shape face level. By using the end. More practice is gained the thumb. Use gentle pressure and to damage the lip. 15. 4. Pinch off any surplus length and more than about 5 cm (2 in) wide. length and lump of clay in the left hand. Leave the handles to firm-up a little. THE POTTER'S WHEEL Handles A handle is. arranged opposite each curve near the rim and (right) a more bulbous 10. wet the right hand and begin the handle has a tendency to sag invert of the pot. Wet method. instead of using the but the shape of the pitcher creates such handle should taper slightly but not method described. 12. Before pulling a handle. Supporting the handle. lay the required length of handle on a This means that matters of function clean board and. The pot was suspended from these pitcher. handle a strap of clay. at this stage . cylinder near the base. When the pulling has been completed. for most of ridges can be made on one face of the a pot. requiring handles in view as the handles final size but left thicker. is little point in making a large handle the handles. Break off a piece of clay that is lower end. attach a stub of a space in the second. probably lack of suitable clay. Grip the clay in the left hand at about 16. Handles. The pulling motion is repeated. showing how the shape of the handle then cross-hatch and coat with slurry lugs and they acts as pivots when the takes account of the pot shape. Many early Chinese pots and more using one downward stroke of the right recent pots from South America and forefinger. which was partly flattened then require handles. fingers that will grasp the handle. The size of section depends /. A pitcher with a concave pulling down sufficient clay for the the pot . a pint finger plastic looking handles. it and the body in the first example the hand as the clay becomes sticky. vertically on the bench. They wonder pot. in many cases. There substantial lump to grip whilst pulling of attachment is the best possible. Bow the handle by one and the thumb. difficult. taking care that the length of and the thumb. instead of the flat of Lugs main causes. become flimsy near the end. into the required curve and attach the tankard two fingers will require at least 2. such as a casserole and large 48 . first and foremost. cut the positioning of the handle. clay to the pot and do all the pulling It is essential to have the pots 6. Never make the handle thinner at until their introduction by Hamada and why they fail to make good handles! the joint than elsewhere. The basic method for making a pulled 13. It may removing any irregularities and giving on the size of the pot and the number of be slightly stiffer than that used for it its final size and cross-section. Continue making the required number the forerunner of the handle. will require a quick confident strokes. a concave curve or dorsal Lugs are handles attached to the side of with throwing and turning. holding the remaining must dictate the width. applied to a pot so that the pot can be lifted ^ handle. cylindrical shape. whilst a half gallon sufficient to make the handles and leave a handle is correct and that the lower point pitcher will need the whole hand. other. do this well. whereas relatively few items left hand and by rolling the thumb of the coil. It is well worth while attaching are pulled. is needed and. The length of the handle depends. for 3. If to a certain extent. could be made to I see many students who are otherwise holding the handle near the end. Roll and bang the clay into a tapering wipe the end with firm strokes of the above this size it is difficult to grip. Support the pot from the inside and and slightly tapering. Bernard Leach. Leave the completed pot to dry. push them together and then by spreading some of the handle onto the potter had not used pulled handles attempt to pull handles. press 'flow' from the point of attachment. moving this tends to remove the spontaneity a more bulbous. Left : A pitcher with concave of handles. to be attached. The clay little. non. two Fig. splay it out a firmly attached to the pot. pots are spoiled by bad handles. for the the hand around the clay so as to get an and spring that results from the pulling handle has to create the space between oval section and the required width. Considerable practice to 8. This is probably due to two 7. This gives some extra clay with It was soon learned that by 'pulling' a must be as well-prepared and barely which to join handle to pot. The handles of some medieval mugs a potter's output involves these pro. convex curve. Prepare clay as for throwing. A throwing but it should not be too firm as 14. Africa. considered. Support the pot horizontally in the the size of section and length should be handle left hand and continue pulling the handle. . The handle should not be pulled to its from the pot. in the case of a jug take care not curve near the rim. Weld it to the pot interesting to note that the Japanese clay.

circles and used for holding pots while they are spherical and narrow necked pots while they The term 'skimming' is used when very turned. turning involves using concentric circles as guides for centring non-tapering strip is pulled with a the wheel as a vertical lathe. cups. For example. described for bowls etc. mately 5 cm (2 in) in the centre. Cups also benefit from a foot ring as this can fit into the well of a saucer. 2.Allow the thrown pot to become holding the pot in place. cylindrical pots Care must be taken to support tall which are short and difficult to throw. This aids the throwing of a flat base. as just that has been made and is rigid. the rim of the pot. In either case dampen the directed strokes of the thumb. upon which the pots. The pot to be turned is placed centrally cut from the strip and pressed firmly and a sharp tool is used to cut away the on the pad and the wheel turned to check onto a cross-hatched area of the pot. and lids. plastic different types of shapes : lip of the jug without causing damage. Care must the top of some types of lid before avoid the rim becoming dry while the be taken to avoid distorting or damaging throwing a knob. lines of the thrown form. A chuck. Where throwing makes a shape. The method of fixing varies with pad is soft enough to accommodate the ble as it removes the fluid. This means that thought must be given to the foot when throwing. is little danger of it coming adrift unless movement the handle is gently squeezed horizontal lathes. It is damage the pot. This is thrown to support bottom 25 mm (1 in) or so of the wall. plates. There are wetted and using an oscillating of production in the pottery industry. Turning is a means of trimming a 1. evenly by inverting it as soon as it is This method is useful when only one or to make a footring on a bowl and to trim firm enough. 24. factories. A turning pad. unwanted clay. The thumb and fingers of the right hand When throwing was used as a means gently press the pot onto the pad. In simple terms. pots. in particular the rim. Stage 2c 49 . The ends are then wiped with firm worker's and metal worker's lathe. giving a demonstra- they are thin. as a general rule. so that sufficient clay is left at the base for such a foot. have to be thrown Throw a thin-domed pad of clay onto the the wheel must not turn at high speed or quite thickly and then turned until wheel. turning involves working on a shape onto the wheel head which will not These can be placed on a pad. Perhaps this was a relic from the offender. The foot should be gener- ous. — ! jars. sagging. Some clays a) bowls. Some potters consider that most pots Fig. ensuring that the pot dries blobs of clay against the rim of the pot. This is one reason why wider than the widest pot to be turned tion of centrifugal force many potters do not choose to use and vary from approximately 1 cm (\ in) c) Spherical forms and narrow necked porcelain and one reason for the com. It is used to remove leather-hard. thick at the circumference to approxi. Make a series of as a jug handle except that an even. pots with theleft hand while turning and such as porcelain. used. Plates and saucers are frequently more satisfactory if thrown with a heavy base which can later be turned. Suitable lengths are the leather-hard pot is usually inverted. not a mean half-hearted little ring. Ensure that the better to avoid turning wherever possi. When the pot is central. most bowls large bowls in particular— are greatly improved if they spring up from a turned foot. any eccentricity. Care must be taken to two pots have to be turned. paratively high cost of porcelain wares. assists in lifting from the wheel and careful turning can reduce the risks of warping during the glaze firing. Stage 2a and 2b are turned. similar to a wood. marked with concentric Fig. base is wet. the rim of the pot is dry or the pad gets out. were too firm. A shallow dome of clay benefit from skimming the base and thrown on the wheel. triangular section. Such shapes cannot be adequately sup- While. excess clay from a thickly thrown shape. it is best to Smooth the surface and remove all ported on a pad and any attempt to do avoid turning where possible. 23. slurry with a rib. An alternative to a pad is to Turning Basic method of turning centre the bowl on the wheel head then. some pots can nevertheless greatly benefit from turning. press three thrown shape. Prepare a means of holding the pot b) Jugs and large cylinders. Some flat shapes — such as There are many other types of handle 18th century when goldsmiths founded plates — may need supporting in the but those described will suffice for most the first porcelain and bone-china centre with a blob of clay to prevent pots in general use.They are pulled in the same way littleclay is to be removed by turning. It should be about 2 cm (% in) else the pot willfly off.

do not cut away the easily forgotten. pressure. With circulate around them. The pot is in a turning the clay when in the right opening to accept the pot. condition. in the case becomes corrugated and the turning of a spherical pot. Most potters obtained is determined by the angle at seem to have favourite tools so it is a turning tools sharp . 6. To do this a chuck tool rides the corrugations instead of should be thrown. once the inside has been cut lent for they use circulated warm air. it is helpful to Plate 22. are difficult to keep sharp. If a foot as they tend to dry unevenly and are ring is being cut. Hold the tool firmly in the right hand. alter the angle of the tool and check type are the least satisfactory for they support the pot with the left hand and if that it is not blunt. being held too slackly or at the wrong Another method of making a chuck angle. Some art schools have inside until the outside shape has been special drying cabinets which are excel- completed. by uneven chuck can firm-up and if necessary be drying of the pot or by the turning tool turned. but it will help give the pot a feeling of springing up. A needle can be used as a gauge for large pots by pushing it into the pot and noting how far it has to be inserted before just emerging inside the pot. uncertainty can be resolved by lifting the pot from the wheel and checking how much more turning is required. When most of the turning has been completed cut a 45° chamfer at the base. and about one third when turning. if this is The first causes can be avoided by available. It can be caused by the when the pots are made so that the pot being too hard or soft. Select a suitable turning tool or tools The turning tool is held firmly in the right hand. thrown in made by bending the steel with a pair of pliers. The surface of the pot of the way down from the rim. is to line a metal cup-head. prevent chipping and in some cases aid glazing. in the case of This is a common fault that can occur narrow-necked pots. not just heat. 50 . shallow chuck and supported by the left hand. If chattering starts to appear Generally. experience the required amount of turning Fig 25. The turning tool must always 3. A selection of mild-steel turning tools. Always keep possible give the tool additional support It is sometimes difficult for the part- with one finger of the left hand. pots in warm kilns is a risky business 5. Such tools are easily score a thin line while turning as a guide made from heavily grogged clay. can to a large extent be gauged by These can be bought or made from 5mm remembering the inside shape. with clay and turn a suitable Fig. Quick-drying off. be it afoot ring or aflat base. The size of chamfer depends on the size of the pot. sections and assembled. be held very firmly and the depth of cut for the shape to be turned. if thin. 26. rotate the wheel of time to leave them in particular quite quickly and using the point of the conditions can usually be worked out in tool mark out the area of clay to be pared the light of experience. This striking stoneware piece was strip used in packaging. Turning a spherical pot. 27. They need Chattering supporting at the shoulder. this is best done with which it is held to the pot not by exerting case of trying them out to find the best.THE POTTER'S WHEEL so would probably ruin the pot. but the length held with a clay pad. Another method ofgauging the thickness is to tap the base with the finger and listen to the sound. for glazing. Except time potter to catch pots in the right when turning tall pots which are only condition for turning. such as leaving a Fig. the expensive stainless steel 4. but any (t^in) steel strip. so even by an open window where air can giving a wall of even thickness. If a pot is to be only partially glazed. This is best done removing them. A turning tool made from the thin steel lid gallery unglazed. Pare off all the surplus clay. a single-cut file. In the absence of such a Generally the final outside shape of a luxury it is better to dry pots outside or pot should follow that of the inside. away the foot ring cannot be altered. the sound will be more resonant.

it is to keep the stack steady and to give advisable to start with a small fire around some protection to the pots. dry pots surrounded with protective shards The pots are invariably of gently (broken pots). and lit. Such a method was used by early man and is still used by many groups of people in Africa. an understanding of firing that no 51 . Any in a fire and not a magic process that school with a kiln is strongly advised takes place in a sophisticated piece of to involve the students in at least one equipment. Small pieces of stacked pots. being inverted over a small fire to wind-free day. wind the fire should be shielded with a The dry pots are then stacked in a sheet of iron or other suitable material. It is only when it is heated to a minimum temperature of approximately 600°C that clay becomes pottery and so is made permanent. The fuel depends on local availability but it is always dry and light in weight. Bottom: the inverted that will mature at a low temperature. hot ash. depending to remove the pots while they are still on how cleanly the fire burned. is called a biscuit-firing and a second firing. as try potterybut has not got access to a the name implies. The fire burns wood or dry grass should be used. To avoid breakages it is bonfire or sawdust firing as it gives them CHAPTER advisable to use a well-grogged earthen. the The finished pots will amost certainly shards are removed and the fired pots be porous and will be pink/red in some are complete. have few breakages achieved is usually just sufficient to and the clay used is such that it matures change the clay into pottery but the at a low temperature. The completed pots are ware clay for building the pots and the thoroughly sun-dried. Bonfire Firing The minimum firing temperature of 600°C can be achieved in a bonfire of dry grass or small pieces of wood. from a clay Fig. When the pots have cooled. 7 . The basic procedure is to make the pots. and is less dramatic but This method of firing can result in more suitable for use in primary schools about a 30% breakage rate but the there is less chance of a pyromaniac Peruvian Indians who fire most of their setting himself alight The temperature ! pots in this way. as through. Clay which is sun-dried or even placed KILNS in a domestic oven will soften when placed in water. will most readily withstand thermal shock. giving a hard ware are invariably fragile and black resonant pot. not angular. the larger pots firing should take place on a dry. Such firing is ideal for demonstrating For a school or family that wishes to to students that firing is essentially. Top: the pots have been covered curving form. a sawdust firing is ideal. used to melt glazes. A sawdust firing is a variation of a proof gum-like coating. is a glaze-firing. 28. which changes clay into pottery. The dry the pots and gradually build it up until fuel is then placed around and over the the pots are covered. Bonfire firing. so that they with dry twigs ready for firing. warm so that they can be coated with Sawdust Firing vegetable matter which leaves a water. bonfire firing. The first firing. small rounded pile and shards (pieces of As the response of the clay to this brutal broken pots) are placed around the pots treatment is probably unknown. in colour. If there is a prevailing ensure that they are absolutely dry. leaving the pots covered in heavy wood is likely to break the pots. South America and elsewhere. Some people use sticks areas and black in others. usually by coiling. the placing of pots kiln.

the pots. This is done at the top. constructed. gradually increasing in intensity top layer of sawdust and lighting it. not the bottom. the pots be of a generous amount of sawdust. sawdust burned away. The essential requisites 29B: Section through the kiln showing the matt black state and the other can be are that a temperature of about 800 C layers of pots embedded in sawdust. and they will Raku bowls are those traditionally usually sell it quite cheaply. place a layer of pots or figures. lecturing can give. and the firing method tends with pots. Some butchers Raku firing. it can be achieved without too great a 52 .D. If in the Raku kiln. by tucking some newspaper into the allowing enough space for the heat to pass through. should be packed in fairly tightly. Remember. or Tea ceremony. place a metal dustbin or trash can kiln. They must be absolutely dry. polished with wax polish. The use of an electric fire. Purists would against the side of the kiln so that it is no doubt condemn the use of such screened from the wind. Sprinkle a avoid exaggerating this lack of sym- layer of sawdust over the pots so that metry. cylinder approximately 75 cm (2 ft 6 in) They are made from a coarse. The shapes need to be open and the sawdust is about 8 cm (3 in) above the walls up to 12 mm (| in) thick. Sawdust firing electric equipment or any amount of is only soft fired and is quite fragile. although it is The kiln is now ready to be loaded possible. KILNS Fig. lid on the top and prop a piece of makes things easier and ensures that the C corrugated iron or similar material pots are fired at 900 C. Some work can be left in its (1 ft) square. school work. A brick box. Repeat this procedure of before biscuit-firing. The pots should be small. Small cracks should pot method or by cutting away a solid be left between the bricks and no cement block of clay. The kiln is usually quite small. Raku Firing The procedure is to acquire a couple A slightly more sophisticated type of of sacks of dry sawdust from a local outdoor can be undertaken firing that timber merchant or mill. open square or diameter outside measure. Place another layer of pots on The bowls should then be left to dry the sawdust. The tea bowls are 29A: The completed kiln. clay and are usually made by the pinch ment. If a strong wind is fanning the 900C the better. to make slab built and coiled pots come Pinch pots and small animal figures are apart. onwards. to biscuit-fire. allowing traditionally asymmetrical due to the space between each pot and between method of making but it is best to the pots and the kiln bricks. can then be the firing chamber being about 30 cm removed. . but ^S^^SL^ The kiln is now ready for lighting. 29. This can be a slab of were held by the Tea-master encouraged concrete. which will have gently of the firing chamber varying consi- moved to the bottom of the kiln as the derably. coarse for throwing. some paving stones or bricks potters to make them specifically for the placed on the ground. The nearer it is to flame. This firing can alternate layers of sawdust and pots be in the Raku kiln or in an electric until the kiln is full. The until a temperature of between 600 and sawdust should gently smoulder not 900C is achieved. and the fire should start gently. in schools and by the pottery student is a shop or butcher's shop. is then built. The last layer should kiln. On this Cranks Mixture. The other used by Japanese Tea-masters. kilns. The clay is invariably too or other bonding material used. red earthenwareclay with largeadditions Sprinkle a layer of sawdust in the kiln of coarse grog or a prepared body like about 10 cm (4 in) deep. The kiln should take about a day to Building a Raku kiln for wood firing <?i fire and should not be disturbed by The Raku kiln can be very simply poking as this will result in broken pots. use it on the shop floor. were not made specifically for the Tea A base approximately 1 m (3 ft) ceremony but the esteem in which they square is needed. The early Raku bowls usually be found. the method used and shape The work. and were then made in Japan by tory and second-hand bricks from which Korean immigrants from about 1550 the cement has been chipped can A. A suitable clay would be a buff or ideal. They essential commodity is about 1 20 bricks were introduced into Japan from Korea ordinary house bricks are quite satisfac. if one is available.

Wood. about 30 cm (1 ft) long and If suitable iron bars are available.///Ji)>?ii7rfr. bricks have been laid and kiln shelving placed suitable jaw shape are essential for the If such fire bars are not available the over the opening. and removed from. which must also be dry. Place a kiln shelf over the before it is used. containing the pots. others placed in the chamber and the door replaced without great difficulty. The floor and roof of the firing chamber are made from kiln shelving which needs to be 60 cm (2 ft) wide and >i»/////ihu. can be opened.. chamber. wall of the kiln is at the opposite end As the kiln warms and any remaining to that of the first kiln shelf. the pots from. The opening dampness is driven off the fire can be left between the wall of the kiln and the gradually increased until a roaring shelf forming the kiln roof is now flame passes right through the firing reduced in width and a small chimney chamber. and 80 cm (2 ft 9 in) wide. I have only used wood and so only those fuels are oil.fuel consumption and that the firing Fig. the firing chamber. Continue buil. Raku Kiln chamber. The shaded areas indicate the ar- mately 150 bricks are needed. second-hand house bricks are suitable and probably available free of charge. The design of the kiln will depend very Bmy///AMP/fWMMSiimwmms!i^ Y^/s/Mr/vifmsssmsss —tog much on the type of fuel to be employed. although care kiln shelves and the end wall of the kiln. 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. coal. can be the end of this second kiln shelf and the placed in the kiln and a small fire lit. the opening through which the pots will be The kiln can be built on a slab of placed into. Note the gap between the task of loading into. if no fire clay is available ordinary ding the walls a further three courses but earthenware or stoneware clay with leaving an opening on one side of the about 50% of sand added will suffice. 30A Plan of the kiln showing the base slab (of : and has areas of glaze stuck to it this is concrete or bricks) and the arrangement of the w. oil or bottled gas can be l^m^kssusAsas^ BBaBBBBBjfo^S \v///fi?Z used. 53 . and unloading kiln can still be fired. the fired pots removed. All large cracks and openings in the Arrange three courses of bricks as brickwork and shelving can be filled shown in the diagram and place a kiln with a mixture of fire clay and sand. the firing concrete or a brick platform. Thanks are due to Wally Keeler who developed both the 30C : Side view of the completed kiln showing kilns described and the oil burner. Having obtained bricks and kiln shelving. -p n~ the bricks and some old kiln shelves the kiln can be built as follows: must be taken not to block up the fire Make a base 1 10 cm (3 ft 6 in) long box with ash. one brick wide and three courses The kiln should be thoroughly dry high. Approxi. be dry. The traditional Japanese Raku kiln uses charcoal. discussed here. bricks are ideal but these are expensive and if the kiln is only to be used a few times. or shelf over the opening. offers better insulation for the roof but this is not essential. Note that the space between pots. 30. kiln./S/////////0w//t/////w/frZK 72Z2ZZZBBB2B& no handicap. The wood used for fuel must is built. total 90 cm (3 ft) in length. The door of the kiln must be readily accessible and this is made easier if a piece of kiln shelf placed over an opening in the is 30D: End view showing the arrangement of brick wall of the kiln. Fire rangement of kiln shelving. Old kiln shelving should be used if it is warped . The first lot of glazed opening. A thick shelf 20 mm (| in) first course of bricks. they can be inserted at the level of the 30B: Plan of the kiln after three courses of A pair of long-handled tongs of first course of bricks to make fire bars.

KILNS Special Raku tongs can be bought thatmost pots are hot. and soldered into a gallon (4. The burner is not matured and the pots should be compressor is expensive but a simple assembled as shown in the diagram and left in the kiln.'. the tube of which is a few minutes. a vacuum cleaner. The water will soon become very hot and will need replacing and a constant supply of wood is essential to maintain the temperature in the firing chamber. repeated until all the pots are fired. an 80 cm (2 ft 8 in) work room of a school or college or before seeking permission.. in) can be removed with the tongs. If the is less interesting to use but quicker than larger all round. A glaze suitable for use with a Raku firing is detailed on page 70. and that nothing should be picked up piping. particularly copper oxide. When the pots are burner can be made with a minimum of all the joints are soldered. which responds well to the reduction obtained in the sawdust.5 mm (. shiny coating.5 litres) effects are required. are explained to the students there is no diameter cap over the end of the piping. if used in schools great narrow tube protrudes through the cap on the care and organisation must be used to larger tube. If the Raku kilns for oil firing oil and an opening of similar shape is glaze appears smooth and shiny the pots An alternative fuel to wood is oil. It should be stressed 54 . The dia- smooth. The reduction makes the body black. bubbling and finally settling into a Fig. The next group of pots. 31. Apiece of removed from the kiln they can be given equipment and a vacuum cleaner can the 6 mm (£ in) tubing is also inserted a reduced or oxidised finish. can now be picked up with the tongs and placed in the firing chamber and the kiln door replaced. If oxidised colours are required the pot can be taken from the kiln and plunged straight into the bucket of water. Under and over- glaze painting can both be used effec- tively. so that it will give a flat fan-like jet of tongs and the pots inspected. for the glaze can be seen melting. This cut in the cap but about 1. A 6 mm (£ in) hole is glaze is still matt or is bubbling it has wood. the red-hot pots I have used such a kiln in a secondary paraffin can. which should have been stood on the kiln to dry thoroughly. Oilburner for a Raku Kiln. drilled in the 90° elbow. and the 6mm Q") tubing soldered into a gallon oil can. If the firing length of 6 mm (\ in) diameter thin they can be made from 15 mm (j in) procedure and the points just mentioned copper piping and a 32 mm (1| in) steel rod. that the water The burner is made from a 60 cm (2 ft) from potter's merchants. When the firing chamber glows red reason why such a firing should not be The narrow pipe is pinched at the end the kiln door can be opened with the quite safe. are placed in a metal bucket of sawdust (high) school on a number of occasions The only other equipment required is or a similar inflammable material for without any mishaps. To buy a burner and air. including the foot as the pots are lifted from the kiln with the tongs while the glaze is still molten. avoid accidents. and the copper becomes a lustrous copper metal colour. It also shows in a gram shows the arrangement of the 32 mm dramatic way the difference between an f mm ") and 6 (£") copper tubing in the burner oxidised and a reduced body and glaze. Never put a damp pot into the kiln as it is likely to This procedure is shatter. but they can inwhich the pots are quenched is hot length of 32 mm(l£ in) diameter copper sometimes be borrowed from the metal. The pots can be glazed all over if this is desired. If reduction be used in place of a compressor. Note the way the pinched end of the However. a 90 elbow. before plunging the pot into a metal bucket of cold water. This type of firing is excellent for demonstrating what happens in a glaze firing.

It is advisable to wear when they come into contact with air. kiln except when topping up the gallon students should be allowed near the and the less stable oxides in the clay can. Place the end of the sary.000°C. and an adequate supply of oxygen. 32. but not in. which produces lengthened to pass through the firing firing large quantities of pots nor are green in oxidation. those gaps. which is grey/ When the sticks are well alight turn on A dry day is obviously needed both to green in colour. burner. Copper is usually in the form of to glow red inside that the flame can be they are not normally suitable for Cupric oxide (CuO). It is by controlling the supply of internal diameter plastic tubing which air to the kiln that the atmosphere in is attached to the tube (B) of the burner the firing chamber can be varied. vacuum temperatures required for earthenware cleaner and oil storage drum. rise steadily. Iron is usually in the form of red iron. as used in school science the kiln will be clean and smoke-free laboratories is also required to squeeze and the temperature in the kiln should the plastic tube and so control the flow chamber to the base of the chimney. the flow of oil. their oxygen. place some paper be kicked or moved. Diagram they suitable for obtaining the higher showing the kiln. Oxidation and Reduction Oxidising and reducing atmospheres are referred to in the text and in the list of glaze recipes so these terms need to be explained. Never use petrol be taken to ensure that the oil-can. to Ferrous oxide (FeO). smoke! It is only when the kiln starts and explaining what firing is about. If too much oil is While the outdoor kilns described are are present not all is reduced so the allowed to flow the result will be black excellent for obtaining particular effects colour change is not so dramatic. If iron is present in a the vacuum cleaner and slowly release aid enjoyment and to ensure that the glaze in small quantities. and light them. taken such a firing is ideal for schools. Many professional potters use oil or wood but such kilns are usually large and need not concern us in this book. This is reduced to 55 . If the supply of air and of fuel. This does not mean that suitable outdoor kilns cannot be built. When the kiln door is opened to consequently oxygen is gradually re- The burner is then arranged as shown. Care should also body and in the glazes give up some of domestic fuel oil. (2 ft) above the burner so as to get a asbestos gauntlets. If large quantities of iron flame. burner and vacuum cleaner cannot show the greatest colour change are To light the kiln. Up to eight a kiln may reach 1. two additional things are needed— heat to start the fire (usually provided by a match). This fixed to the blowing end of the cleaner oxygen is provided from the air which is and over the opening 'A' of the burner either blown into or drawn into the and a 2 m (2 yd) length of 6 mm (£ in) kiln. taking care to keep the oil as far away chamber the oil flow should be reduced. remove or place pots in the firing duced the flames will become lazy. will be required to fire such a Raku participating should be fully aware of While in the firing chamber these kiln.e. These gases will light to keep the gallon oil can about 60 cm been replaced. Fig. if available. as such so causing flames to come from the satisfactory gravity feed. As the kiln is safe. Oil burning Raku Kiln. and stoneware firings. and so the Earthenware and Stoneware kilns are obtained. the fire-mouth. the spy hole and any other gallons (36 litres) of domestic fuel oil As with a wood-fired Raku kiln. can be increased. up to 2%. slightly smoky and the unburned gases as possible from the kiln fire-mouth and increasing the flow when the door has will start to smell. and dry sticks in the kiln fire-mouth around these items is probably neces. all the tube clamp until a small flame is electricity supply to the vacuum cleaner the Ferric oxide becomes Ferrous oxide blown into the fire box. This is best kept away from the the heat involved and only appointed oxygen-hungry gases search for oxygen. and so the grey/green celadon glazes warms up. oil. If such safety precautions are i. wood and gas. oil supply. Paraffin can be used instead of burner and oil can. The two fuels most frequently used in schools and colleges and by the serious amateur are electricity and gas. The unstable oxides which (gasoline). If there and the tube fitted to the gallon can. To burn hydro-carbon fuels such as coal. Ferric oxide (Fe 2 3 ). is an ample supply of air the flames in A tube clamp. This is reduced burner at. a no-man's-land iron and copper. chimney.

making shortage of funds. the suitable for the type of firings that are chimney is usually made of metal as a surface having reoxidised on cooling to anticipated. which invariably the size and number of pots that are structure is much heavier. They available in gas kiln operation is between in a school it is desirable to have it in a are excellent for earthenware glazes. Always get a vision of a large gas supply pipe. the nickel oxide which forms firing chamber. front like a cupboard. Such a apparent if a fired pot is broken. reliable or satisfactory. like wood and oil-fired does however require more bending require replacement. back down through the to operate. like electric dampers for secondary air and venturi consequently cheaper than the front kilns. a reduction firing also affects preferred but as there is frequently a The initial cost is higher than that of an the surfaces of some glazes. a front loader is probably to be and finding suitable accommodation. kilns the fact that they are only is Most gas kilns are front loading and A reduction firing is one where the suitable for oxidised firings. A top loader. For the busy pottery teacher. throughout this book. Such kilns can be affected by strong loader more difficult to pack with pots. methods of achieving such an atmos. passing through spaces in the kiln and install than gas kilns but cost about in a reducing atmosphere and this can floor and finally out through flues the same to operate. connected to the chimney. from roofs. pass through it. fumes. Some invariably of the down-draught type supply of air is reduced. a top loader is electric kiln due to the necessary pro- them smoother and satiny. in particular its elements. They. and The natural draught type is more with pots from the front. They are cheaper to buy on the elements being partly removed pots. If a kiln is to be installed can be developed for such firings. Gas kilns are in many ways to be almost unaffected by winds and There are only two main types of preferred for they can be regulated to draughts. metal oxides to be reduced in their used for reduction firing and there are Down-draught means that the flames oxygen content. can be depended upon to reach a for primary air fitted to the burners. of air and gas by adjusting taps. In addition. they are but after two or three packings it is no to 1. Some people consider the top temperature in more or less a given time. but it is seldom through the firing chamber and out produce such a firing. are ney to rise above the kiln. such as in an electric kiln. Its great disadvantages are kiln: front loading and top loading. although earthen. and adjustment is by loader requires less iron framing and is easy to regulate.300°C is recommen. They are suitable for temperatures up winds but once understood. Gas position which is free of down-draughts to give access from the top. apart from size. more difficult than a front loader. Due to the To summarise: ware should not be excluded. This means that elements made in a workroom but should either be in a to burn efficiently and cleanly or where from Kanthal Al wire will be used. The latter permits lustre glazes high initial cost. reliable reduced. The top kilns are reliable and once understood. The clay body. when the kiln may and may not be Gas Kilns Another advantage is the fact that it is opened. loader. and heat are not permitted to just pass flammable fuels can be adjusted to phere in the kiln.300°C and unlike electric kilns quite simple to fire. The major disadvantage of electric ventilated store-room.KILNS Cuprous oxide (Cu 2 0) which gives pink down on the part of the packer. one which relies on natural draught and separate room. has a floor strong enough to but it certainly is not impossible. and is packed to be used in the earthenware range. so a kiln fumes generated during a reduction An oxidised firing is one where there that will fire up to 1 . It have no elements that wear out and All gas kilns. is also changed in colour likely to be made in the next few years. Such kilns require any sort of flue so they can be It is more difficult to obtain good are far moreefficient and permit much installed in any room that is well stoneware glazes in an oxidising kiln. so causing some writers claim that electric kilns can be although top loading kilns do exist. higher temperatures to be achieved ventilated. without a one that has an air supply blown by an room or if it has to be in the working Technical Assistant. support the weight of the kiln and is not pleasing and reliable glazes have and The main choice. This change frequently a better buy. very that the up-draught type. as well as a brown colour. Stoneware is recommended considerable amount of heat. electric kilns are electric fan. such as a large store. although this is only kiln. give oxidising and reducing atmos. Ensure that the ventilated room which permits a chim- grey/black. The blown air type is room it should be fenced off with a rail easier to cope with than a gas kiln and based on industrial models and has the and this area should be inaccessible a non-specialist can be asked to turn advantage of offering accurate control unless the students fully understand the kiln on or off. They do not cause arcing and the loss of the element. such as the celadons. All kilns using in. A gas kiln contains iron. the continual noise of the fan and the A front loader has a hinged door on the pheres. a fire hazard. stoneware glazes requiring a reducing common and on being built in a relies has a lid which is hinged and is opened atmosphere. The main disadvantages of gas kilns and reds. a gas kiln should not be installed is an ample supply of air for the fuel ded. If a sufficient amount of money is are the comparatively high initial cost In addition to altering the colour of available. the has not yet been explained in scientific kiln that is likely to be big enough for installation of a flue pipe and the kiln terms. must be installed in an adequately by reduction from a buff/brown to a Kilns have a long life. kilns require understanding and practice 56 . room specifically for kilns or in a well- large amounts of air are not required. glazes. through a chimney situated at the top Electric kilns the of the elements is greatly life but are made to rise to the roof of the and easy Electric kilns are clean. firing.

. outside bag walls and are then drawn down between the pots. result in an unfortunate explosion. for this is as much a part of pottery as making the pots. under the kiln chamber floor and Although pyrometers are frequently then up through the chimney. A pyrometer should always be tested by comparing the temperature indicated with pyrometric cones. medium and wide range of ancillary equipment is high ratings so no ancillary equipment available. As with electric kilns a control switch giving low. If the kiln to be used in a is burners is useful if the control taps are school some sort of safety device should to be accurately used for consistent be fitted so that the students cannot be firings. tent. should be quite sufficient. which will control the rate of rise in Primary air is that which enters the temperature and turn the kiln offwhen a kiln with the gas or any other carbon pre-set temperature has been reached. controller to electric and gas kilns tions. Failure to do this could and expensive safety devices available. as is often Fig. Such equipment can be useful in a Secondary air enters the kiln at a point school situation where the teacher has where the fuel is already burning and little time to keep checking kilns but permits secondary combustion of the such equipment is very costly and if a partly burned gases. but it should only be undertaken after careful tuition and supervision. Another way is to door lock and if the kiln is likely to be fit a door switch which turns off the left on overnight to pre-heat. A thermocouple and pyrometer are very useful in judging the rate of rise in temperature and for indicating when the kiln has reached the desired temperature. and cones should always be used Fig. plus awareness on the part of the students of the dangers of burning and electrocution. useful. 57 . The arrows power supply when the door is opened necessary in order to reach the required indicate the direction of the flames. If a door switch and padlock are a safety device which will turn off the chimney. Not all up-draught kilns have bag walls. For the individual potter no electrocuted if the kiln door is opened. fitted the students should be quite safe. A Down-draught Kiln. would ANCILLARY AND SAFETY not be at the top of the list. They pass when glaze firing. Students should be encouraged to help with kiln stacking and unstacking. other extra kiln equipment is necessary. gas in the event of the flame blowing out There are other more sophisticated must be fitted. before the required rate of temperature inaccurate they are invariably consis- riseand degree of reduction is achieved. list of priorities had to be drawn up. 33B. The simplest and cheapest is to fit a but a school kiln needs to be fitted with a padlock to the door. which indi- is essential although some can be cates the pressure of the gas entering the helpful. but those mentioned. It is possible to fit a programme All manufacturers providefiringinstruc. They pass it does not prevent burning if the kiln is temperature during the following day. outside bag-walls and straight up through the hot. A water gauge. The arrows indicate the direction of the flames. 33A. so that once the inaccuracy has A few early disappointments must be been noted the pyrometer can be very accepted as part of the learning process. fuel and so permits that fuel to burn. equipment such as a controller. The low medium high switch can be replaced by an energy regulator which gives greater control of the rate of rise in temperature and permits a more even firing. EQUIPMENT Gas Kilns Electric Kilns Gas kilns are supplied with the essential Most electric kilns are supplied with a control taps. An Up-draught Kiln.

The second firing. Stack the pots onto the biscuit-firing the pots may shelf. Sort out the pots into groups of about It is essential that the props form the same height. This will allow the heat to around it. kiln stacking can be a 4. Front view of partially stacked kiln. so that they form a triangle as shown in the illustration. The first better support and are more . foot to foot if they KILN Biscuit-firing When pots or sculptural forms have are of the same diameter. changes the clay into pottery. stand them. never having weeks. 34B. 58 . Three props give the shelf Fig. inside another after the contraction that will occur in the firing. Flat pots such as plates should always Large pots may take more than two be stacked with extra care. Pots can also be stacked rim to rim. 2. CHAPTER arrangement of pots and kiln props. This shelves. Due to the difficulties posed by this method in a school situation it is not discussed here. pass under as well as over the pot and so Assuming that there is adequate kiln prevent an uneven temperature rise and shelving and props upon which to consequent breakage. Place three kiln props about 1 cm (\ in) taller than the pots to be slacked. Small pots In a clay.Plan of a kiln shelf. four props. showing position of the three kiln props. probably crack or shatter. 1. It is advisable pot and drying conditions. will prolong the life of the AND the glaze firing. This is useful when stacking repetition-thrown bowls been made they must be left to become or mugs. thoroughly dry before they are fired. size await firing. so ruining there are sufficient wads to prevent the the pot and endangering the pots pot warping. it will clay and alumina (50:50) ensuring that . so pre- venting an over-heated area. melts the glaze which is applied to the biscuit-fired pot and either wholly or partly vitrifies the 3. Failure to do this can cause remembering how many pots of a given shelves to break or warp during firing. showing the Fig. This can be done by continuous columns separated by the actually moving the pots into groups or by shelves. 8 Most pots are fired twice. If some of the pots are of porcelain or It is usually more convenient to stack another white clay. where the taller stilts will be more secure. immediately above the preceding props. take care that the small pots near the top and medium- sized pots at the bottom of the kiln. touch each other but not the kiln wall.stable than STACKING firing. Really tall pieces should go to the top of the kiln. next shelf is placed on the props and the able space without endangering the group of three props is then placed pots. When one shelf has been filled the fascinating challenge to use every avail. If a pot is to raise the foot up on small wads of only slightly damp when fired. 34 A. depending on the thickness of the other pots placed on them. Some pots made by studio potters may be placed inside larger pots but FIRING and by industrial manufacturers have glaze applied before being fired and are they must stand evenly and there must be no danger of one pot getting jammed THE then once-fired. the biscuit-firing.

A firing cycle lasting 10 hours is more usual and safer. and the rate of rise in temperature vary considerably. then turn the kiln to 'medium' or reg. Some potters biscuit-fire in about five hours but this is risky unless experience has proved that such a rapid firing is suitable for the clay body being used. If the clay body is still very soft and too porous at 980°C the firing temperature should be increased until the ware is stronger but still suitably porous to absorb the glaze. overnight. top-loading kilns should be propped open about 2 cm (1 in) with a piece of thin kiln shelf. if there is one. Biscuit-firing temperatures The temperature to which a biscuit- firing is taken. 7. Kiln shelves are kept flatter and their useful life prolonged if they are turned over each time they are used. If the front and back shelves are stacked in line with one another the effect is to cut the kiln into horizontal layers. Once a shelf is really warped it is inadvisable to reverse it in an attempt to flatten it as this can cause it to break during the firing. Plate 23. 50 for about two hours before putting the kiln full on until 980°C is reached. A mixture of iron oxide and water is suitable for making the mark. If the kiln is not in a separate lockable 59 . Many potters prefer to leave the kiln on 'low' or at energy regulator setting '10'. this will only be apparent after glaze firing. 5. When stacking the front of the kiln ensure that space is left for the tempera- ture cones to stand where they can be seen through the spyhole in the kiln door. For the same reasons. 6. should be left open until 600°C is reached so that all gases from carbonaceous matter and the chemically combined water can escape. pots are not made dirty by rubbing them against a pot made of a non-white clay. The spy-hole and top ventilator. This is made easier if the corner of each new shelf is marked with a small cross. Note staggered shelves. so causing uneven firing temperatures. When stacking a kiln that has more than one bank of shelves it is essential to stagger the height of the front shelves from those at the back. A kiln stacked both expertly and economically. As the last major chemical change and shock to the clay occurs at about 980°C this is generally the most suitable maximum temperature for biscuit-firing. Care must be taken to ensure that the kiln is still safe.

the amount of reduction has will prevent the clay sticking to the much more than 100°C per hour. To avoid confusion it is tinued. check that the glaze has been rather than 1. as the it is both safer for the pots and better found that fairly heavy reduction is latter does not allow the kiln shelf to for some glazes if the average rise in necessary if some pots are not to be be reversed for each firing.000°C to high stoneware at 1. so the following. be blue with an orange/red tip. earthenware stacking is the the initial reduction should not be too necessary to complete a firing during same as that for stoneware. The major difference is that all the in the same kiln. chamber. to be judged by eye. so completely clearing smoke The procedure for stacking a glaze.280°C supply to a very smoky reducing kiln. more air should be admit- functional table-ware is best glazed all in about six hours. of kiln. the time depending on the glazes used. Stoneware stoneware firings it is better to use NEVER suddenly increase the air When stacking work for a stoneware glazes maturing at 1. and turn mously — from low earthenware at clouds of smoke and a possible explosion to full-on at about 10. extreme cases of over-reduction. meanders among the pots. The firing 1.425m 3 (15 cu ft) If the temperature starts to fall when Earthenware plus. and that the glaze has not The firing cycle for a glaze kiln can be recording will enable a particular kiln been applied too thickly. more of a suitable size to give the pot settings required. While and for kilns using natural gas I have sand is preferable to a batt wash. out without ensuring that all the stacked into a glaze-firing than can be ware temperature. proceeds. a chain or bracket should be used. The flame that comes if a pot is not properly cleaned at the it is possible to have satisfactory firings from the spy-hole will be blue for a light base or if the glaze is much too thickly with the initial rise in temperature reduction and cream for a very heavy. as this will prolong properly wiped off the foot or base of the life of the kiln elements. applied nothing will prevent the pot averaging 300C per hour. experience. However. firing. The over. 1 . Good glaze of rise slowing down as the firing light and heavy reduction the flame will application is essential. turn to medium Glaze-firing temperatures vary enor. off the gas and restrict the air supply the temperature has fallen to about Ensure that the glazes used for a until all the smoke has cleared.30. If an electric kiln is to be used for dispersed. 200°C.30. carborundum stone. possible to fire a glaze maturing at and fumes from the kiln. ensure that The rate of rise in temperature is such a middle course gives the best the temperature cones will be seen primarily dictated by the size and type results. is desirable. The stilts are soon knocked from instructions for controlling the kiln available to lock the kiln lid into position the pot after firing and the razor-sharp atmosphere of their particular design of and prevent the kiln being opened by remains can be removed with a small kiln.280°C atmosphere.300°C.300 C. many and the rate of rise can be measured by coating of placing sand. The burners firing is similar to that for a biscuit. doing the same. turn The kiln should not be opened until glaze-firings.280°C and a glaze maturing at 1 . Dusting the shelf with when the quartz inversion occurs. while the final temperature advisable to dust each shelf with a thin burn out of the clay.000°C can then be re-lit and the firing con- firing. should be Gas kiln manufacturers usually provide beneficial to have a brief oxidising fire. including the base. I find As with the biscuit-firing. Then. so risking a quicker than that for a biscuit-firing to give the required results at the mini- run of glaze onto the kiln shelf. When the kiln has almost reached the support on the foot ring or where the Gas kilns and reduction required temperature it is frequently wall of the pot joins the base. to on arrival at school. Except for the use until the kiln has reached 1. heavy as this will result in dull glazes. one NEVER re-light a gas kiln if it goes This means that fewer pots can be earthenware temperature and one stone. when air is re-introduced into the firing will then be completed during the The temperature will be dictated by the chamber.260°-1. It is as there is no carbonaceous matter to mum cost for. unburned gas in the kiln has been stacked into a biscuit-firing. the kiln is first adjusted for a reducing Earthenware that is to be used as while some small kilns will reach 1 . This allow the temperature to climb by recorded. say 8. taking care authorities consider it advisable not to a pyrometer and temperature cones and not to get any on or in the pots. is advice applicable to most of smoke or the burners to go out. through the spy-hole. Only experiment and careful each piece. the only way is to leave the Glaze-firing temperatures a drop in kiln temperature and in kiln on low overnight. school hours. Midway between a and shelf being ruined. ted. particular firing all mature at about the gradually allow air to enter the firing Glaze-firing same temperature. based on over-reduction does cause clouds If type and size of kiln. which shelves and lessen the risk of any glaze particularly between 500°C and 600°C. Most kiln manufac.STACKING AND FIRING THE KILN room. will take 24 hours or more to fire. A lazy flame. Stilts suggesting the rate of climb obtainable for a reduction firing but the temperature are available in many sizes and one or and the necessary gas or electricity must not be allowed to fall. pots must be placed separately without better only to use glazes that mature at any part of one pot touching another. Reduction should not commence unauthorised persons. A large kiln. turers supply charts and instructions rate of rise in temperature will be less each pot must be stood on a stilt. thus giving a lighter reduction. It is obviously im. afternoon. .000 C and If the kiln is in a school and it is of stilts. . However. with the rate smoky reduction. temperature is about 100°C per hour partially reduced. one temperature or. Therefore. at the most.

frequent checks are required. whether a biscuit-firing is complete by factured. it is given temperature held for a longer with a very small spy-hole the miniature advisable to place additional cones at time has the same effect on glazes as a size is very useful.300 C. causing shrinkage. Cones are made of glaze material carefully formulated to they are made in two sizes standard spy-hole. tend to have a more varied colour. Many stoneware glazes are improved if 800 Sintering begins. a little earlier! Stoneware firings completed between 1. opened. if cooled rapidly. A useful. 800 Rapid cooling not safe below this temperature. down to 800 C. bending at successively lower tempera. they are cool enough to handle. containing titanium dioxide are also 1 . 600 Clay just becoming ceramic. Pots are now dry. The two cones bending below the preferring a higher or lower firing can better than a pyrometer for glaze required temperature give warning that be placed accordingly. This will improve Table of the principal changes occurring during the firing and cooling of a kiln.200 Cristobolite begins to be formed. C the cooling. and the cones will be visible through th p 61 . the colour of the clay body as it causes the iron to re-oxidise on the surface. impatient potter to see his finished work Stoneware glazes melted.000 Clay body solid.000 Melt in the clay pulls particles together. end of a reduction firing. It is normal to place the top. the firing is nearing completion and that Some experienced potters judge A wide range of cones is manu. who developed them^or Staffordshire Kiln can be unpacked. 1. matt. Formation of mull ite begins. Rapid cooling also allows the 1 . When the temperature reaches 800°C the kiln dampers must be closed and the COOLING rate of cooling slowed.300 Most stoneware clays vitrified. particularly if cooled unevenly. improved as the titanium has less 1 . Iron-rich glazes. 1 . is rapid. giving the body strength. When the temperature is down to about Crystallisation in glazes down to OC 300 C the kiln door and dampers can be Rapid cooling of kiln can take place to help quality of glazes and colour of clay body. brown when cooled slowly. 300 Most organic matter burned out Cooling 450 Chemically combined H given off up to 600 . and the pots removed when becomes 1. essential for checking the temperature 600 Glaze begins to craze if it does not fit the clay body. in the kiln. but for small kilns and kilns the potter is new to the kiln. If a kiln is new or respond in the same way as glazes. to discover if the kiln give a better indication of glaze be.lasting 1 5-30 minutes. fires evenly. chance of recrystallisingand so becoming Vitrification of red clay. but few choose not to use likely to be needed in the pottery. be taken not to over-fire. chamber and check the cones as the shorter time. that is.250 -1. easily covering the firing range It is obviously essential to ensure that the colour. as opposed to a crystalline red melted. firing. Beware! The temperature rise can be rapid when re-oxidising at the 1 1 Atmospheric water given off. such as Tenmuku. they kilns the standard size is the most necessary precaution. centre and bottom of the firing slightly higher temperature held for a three cones — one bending at the requir. 980 Sharp shrinkage. those glazes haviour that makes them so much tures. Temperature Cones Temperature-indicating cones are 600 Dunting (cracking) danger to clay.1 00 Hard earthernware glazes melted.200 Glazes become increasingly viscous (non-liquid). for rapid cooling C between 800 C C and 300 C can cause dunting— that is. the pot can be split. cones and sometimes after the name of their manufacturer. It is the fact that cones ed temperature for the firing and two kiln is unstacked. so care must 220 Cnstobolite inversion. For the majority of potters and teachers fail to take this amount of heat work. Soft earthenware glazes ranging from red to black. They are sometimes called 573 Quartz inversion from beta to alpha. If it is uneven. Biscuit-firing completed for most clays. Seger cones— after the German chemist 220 Cristobolite inversion. When the firing has reached the required 2 573 Free quartz changes from alpha to beta form temperature the gas or electricity is turned off and the pots left to cool. so FIRING making the clay warmer and richer in colour. Glazes Stoneware reduction can begin. It is amazing how many bend after being subjected to a given and miniature.

It may be considered Earthenware is glazed above all to as a liquid that has cooled and solidified make it hygienic and impervious so that without re-crystallising. It should Glass will eventually crystallise but be glazed all over. can be achieved. glazed for oxides. The most important of the glass- often bright. of all glasses. hard and durable glaze by itself but for thought or a process to be carried out the fact that it has a melting point of in a hurry. Why do we glaze? What is a glaze? GLAZING Pots are glazed to enhance their form and offer a variation in colour and In simplified terms. small years! Only experience will enable amounts of alumina are added to make glazes to be understood and the most the glass more viscous. teristics of a liquid. it is possible to temperature makes it impractical and make adjustments to the form.e. often desirable to leave some areas but glass does not have a crystalline unglazed. it. Earthenware glazes tend Such crystallisation can be observed to be shiny and not very interesting in as an iridescence on the surface of texture but they can show brushed Roman glass and the lead-glazed wares decoration and slip decoration to great of the Chinese Han dynasty. advantage and a wide range of colours. When in the solid state most enhance and decorate porcelain. It would make an excellent Glazing should never be an after. When given propor- indication of their final colour or tions of silica. Anotebook recording the glazes It is sometimes asked: 'Why cannot used. in their unfired state. silica being the most important. a liquid or a but extensive and includes the brown/ solid depending on temperature. is essential if glass be ground and applied to a pot as a glazes are to be understood and used to glaze?' This would almost certainly be enhance the beauty and form of the pots unsatisfactory for two reasons. is a glassy A more texture that clay alone cannot give. The pot might well last a thousand worker to fashion his wares. sticky and suitable glaze chosen for a particular less inclined to run. In many respects glazing 1. no adjustments can be If the melt is too fluid for the glass made.710°C. The most commonly used fluxes Glazes. soda and lime are heated texture. It is materials have a crystalline structure. above 100°C it starts to become a crazing should be avoided but it can gas (steam). For table-ware liquid. The colour range is subdued materials can exist as a gas. It is sometimes used but the ismore difficult than making the pot. the unfired means that the melting point of the pot can always be rejected and returned silica has to be reduced by adding to the clay bin. which are liquids of high viscosity at ordinary porous. The surface of so an attempt must be made to explain stoneware glazes ranges from hard. difficulty of melting it at such a high While making the pot. matt and exception to a scientific rule. forming oxides is silica which is the basis crazing glaze is essential. It is usually impervious for those without a scientific education. are made more impervious and temperatures. be too fluid and would run down the pot 62 . the delicate blue isa typical example. it can be used for table-ware. fluxes. none of the clay being this may take many hundreds of years. for below 0°C it is a C Ying-Ching celadons and the soft white solid (ice). Such glasses can be so suitable for table-ware. without being glazed. left unglazed. glaze firing. formed by a number of inorganic Stoneware is. i. so giving a contrast between structure. aesthetic reasons and to make it more Such a definition is rather technical hygienic in use. technical definition would be: Glaze is For functional wares glaze offers a one of a group of vitreous substances smooth and hygienic surface. which are supercooled wares such as earthenware. Most decorative. pot. A non. in one major aspect the shiny and functional to dry. a glaze coating applied to a pot. therefore. give no are soda and lime. Glass is. and the results.500 C. it retains some of the charac- the clay and the glaze. This process is not irreversible. between 0°C and 100 C it is a of dolomite glazes. Water black Tenmuku glazes. Low-fired called glasses. The too expensive for general use. and once committed to the they will liquefy at or below 1. It would CHAPTER 9 being produced.

Alumina 2-15% A refractory the other 'B'. For example magne- Suitable additions of alumina will enable The refractory element is added to sium—which can be provided in the the glass to melt but stay on the pot so a . Flux material (say 100 gms) of material 'A' in cup A is a compound which has the flux Silica 30-80% A glass former 'A' and the same quantity of material effectof lowering the melting point of Potash 1-15% A flux 'B' into cup 'B'. talc— gives the glaze a buttery surface tively high amount of alumina. therefore. 1 of the strip with 'A' is used. but additions of for low temperature glazes. magnes.000 C and the area in which it is grown. Examples of flux used in stoneware that ash can provide all the requirements Add 10 gms (10%) of dry material glazes: of a glaze. Crazing does not Potash K 2 in which these materials are used that occur in glass-making as the glass is Sodium Na 2 determine the melting point and the free to contract without the resistance of Calcium CaO quality of the resultant glaze. They can therefore be used that on cooling the glass would is. Such tests compare either the melted in the kiln. To lower this high melting ashes contain: two small bowls or cups. More than one flux can be Soda 2-10% A flux water to each cup to make the mixture used in a glaze. A refractory different proportions. Silica (Si0 2 ) This provides: This is the principal glass-forming Calcium A flux Each impression should be numbered material. form of magnesium carbonate or as glaze is basically a glass with a compara. ium and other elements. A glass former about 20 cm (8 in) x 5 cm (2 in) x 1 cm involves taking great care when selecting Water 2 parts. A refractory lations. soda) and a refractory material 90 % of material 'A' and 1 of material % 63 . The Examples of such materials: and tends to make cobalt oxide turn ratio of alumina to silica is usually Aluminiun Oxide Al2 3 purple instead of blue. This will burn out (| in) cut out and eleven indentations is suitable fluxes for lowering the melting as a gas. The four most common stoneware reaction of two materials when mixed A problem presented by glazes but glaze ingredients are: in different proportions or the reaction not glass is that of crazing. a spoon. point is 1. Examples of flux used in earthenware (alumina). 11 with 'B'. to be useful as a glaze. cup 'A' now contains approximately Calcium Oxide CaO lime. are those and affect each other is to carry out a the raw materials and applied to the commonly found in nature and they number of simple tests known as line surface of the pottery before being usually provide more than one element. A flux indentations but it simplifies the calcu- glass coating melted onto a clay form. contract more than the clay and would Lead Oxide PbO to form a glaze. 12 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 /. phosphorous. about 6 mm(£ in) are made with the point of the glaze. but such used the procedure is as follows: Take 1. be free of alumina. With melt is obtained if more than one flux plus iron oxide. and it would craze. and only suitable eutectic. blends. material. onto the kilnshelf. What must a glaze contain? material. and place a given amount 2. Arefractory element proportion of materials giving the The difference between glass and glaze A glaze made from just silica and a lowest melting point is known as the Glass is thus too fluid during the melt flux is soft and runny.300C. cous when being fired. It is then glaze but for the fact that its melting The chemical analysis of wood ash biscuit-fired. This indicates and No. It is the proportions be full of small cracks. 3. A glass former Strip No. 'B' to cup 'A' and 10 gms (10%) of Potassium Oxide K2 Together these materials provide a dry material 'A' to cup 'B'. fill No. Sometimes China Clay (Al2 3 2Si0 2 2H2 0) of a constant mixture of materials in stoneware pottery the fine cracks of This is made up of: when another material is added in crazing are accepted as decoration. which to Many other materials can be used to alumina reduce the fluidity and increase obtain specific colouring effects must obtain various surface textures and the viscosity (stickiness) of the glass. Silica alone would form a Wood Ash and the test strip identified. form a stronger glaze that is more vis. between 1 :5 and 1:10. colour responses. Alumina 1 part. fluxes (potash. the in which different materials behave vat whereas glaze has to be mixed from compounds used. : K . This means Sodium Oxide Na 2 glass former (silica). Add a given amount of the glaze. glazes: together but not necessarily all together. In fact a better glaze Lime 2-30% A flux the consistency of double cream. 1 a glaze Whiting (CaC0 3 ) Also known as lime. This Silica 2 parts. Titanium Oxide Ti0 2 Line Blends Another distinction between glass It would not be practical for potters The best way of understanding the way and a glaze is that glass is melted in a to use refined and pure materials. label one 'A' point a flux must be added. To carry out such tests a strip of clay ware crazing is best eliminated. It is not essential to have eleven To sum up a glaze is a high alumina : Potash 1 part. Potash Felspar ( 2 Al2 3 6Si0 2 ) finger. with earthenware and functional stone. The another material such as clay. There are three necessary elements in Silica 6 parts. but Alumina 1 part.700 C and most clays can If two materials A and B are to be C varies greatly with the type of wood and = only be fired between 1.

particularly large pieces excepted. which by themselves remain dry and dry weight. for Having mixed the glaze. but I must admit to when glazing large pots and for some ditions and the resultant glaze. in the Kyoto Institute of Ceramics Larger potteries mix glazes in a ball. types of decorating. less wastage if pots can be dipped schools. which is rather condition or to have enough practice chemical formulae. Glaze dipping analysing and reproducing early mill but this equipment is not likely to 1. materials can be weighed out. Repeat the procedure of adding available (see Chapter Ten) the glaze mix required. Use a thoroughly clean dust-free Chinese glazes. a litre weigh. are not very expensive and there is far — is probably unsuitable for use in the percentage of each material used. Pots can be glazed without first being proportions. mask. 6 of the strip con. local stone and clay. This method works well prevent over-size particles entering the dered as a quick and unimportant if the materials being used are glaze mix. though outside the scope of this only experience will indicate which will be left free of glaze in case the glaze book. such equipment dust and trimmings from the biscuit- knowledge ever since! He now uses a can be very noisy unless put in solitary fired pot. as prolonged exposure to silica use traditional non-scientific ways of perature prevailing in the pottery. The water to maintain a creamy mix and mix Mixing a glaze porosity of the biscuit-fired clay will thoroughly. glazes good reason for also mixing larger bins to be able to catch pots in the right were expressed as recipes and not as of earthenware glaze. such as a 200 mesh. the method of initiating and varying and sieving thoroughly mixes the glaze It is easy. Only the full-time potter is likely Until the mid-nineteenth century. taking care that they do not few simple glazes composed of wood. Some glazes are must be left free of glaze and about technical formula method will repay best when thick. potter although pouring can be useful the glaze had been applied. Some satisfactory for the school and studio kept of the recipe. generous. when mixed in certain use total dry weight 10 kg (22 lbs). at dipping such pots. Always important always to biscuit-fire to the to cup B' until No. Stoneware glaze materials that the pots only have to be fired once such tests. take great care when handling dry same temperature if any uniformity of tains 50 °„ each of 'A' and 'B\ The strip ingredients. check it for 2. judging the thickness of a glaze. 1 cm (j in) above the foot should also study. such as the fact be kept so as to record the results of available. However. needed to help the last of the materials bad pot into a good pot. the base of the the student or teacher who wishes to thickness. for this reason it is ° 10 of "B" to cup "A" and 10% of 'A' (. and he claims that he be found in a school pottery or small brush or a damp sponge to remove any has been un-learning such technical. The pots must be in exactly the firing temperature and the results rather than have glaze poured over the right condition for dipping and that have been achieved. but only after considerable glazes most used by non-industrial materials but is seldom required to practice. For glaze. noting how much glaze clings to It is fascinating to see how materials a bucket of glaze use 3 kg (7 lbs) total them. If using stoneware.8 kg (a pint weighing 32 ozs). more expensive than stoneware glaze. melt and form the basis It really is unsatisfactory to attempt biscuit-fired but this method— whilst of a glaze. Glazing should not be consi- potters today. It is essential that a notebook to glaze when only dregs of glaze are it has some advantages. Most potters is then fired to the normal glaze tem. such useful to carry out such tests with all the It is better to mix sufficient glaze into as dipping a scrap of biscuit ware in the mainglaze materials. a tial. Experience knowledge of chemistry and chemical Earthenware glazes are generally better will indicate if a 1 cm (\ in) gap is over properties. the clay upon which potters insist on using a very fine sieve. Additional water may be process. runs down during the firing. For a plastic bin of glaze Applying the glaze uninteresting can. it can ruin an Shoji Hamada as a young man worked through the sieve. pouring or dipping. Pots can be glazed that is by varying the recipe. them. nail. otherwise good pot. with sufficient water to make a liquid of after biscuit-firing. benefit from a thick coating. later introducing a which can be dipped the largest pieces glaze and scratching it with the finger third material by making material 'A' a of work likely to require glazing. using a 60 mesh for most purposes. and glaze experi. Fill No. introducing double cream consistency. ash. and dipping the fingers into the given mixture of two materials. coupled with an ability to when applied quite thinly. studio. It is dust can imperil one's health. confinement in an outside store! go into the glaze. the highly from glaze to glaze. firing con.GLAZING 'B' and vice-versa for cup 'B\ Add required for a particular purpose. 2 and 10 of the Assuming that a suitable recipe is also affect the thickness of the glaze strip. Failure to leave these areas understand. analyse and assess the ing 1. free of glaze will result in the glaze formulae likely to produce the glazes whereas a lot of stoneware glazes fusing together the pot and kiln shelf. which will stand on the kiln shelf experiment with new glazes. This is then by spraying. for while a glaze cannot make a understood. preferably wearing a dust glaze is to be maintained. The thickness required varies pot. Basically the method requires a give the best colour and surface. Dipping a pot into This 'cooks method' is still probably Most materials are now finely ground glaze sounds and appears to be easy. 64 . Careful notes were of 100 mesh using a lawn brush. Although useful. Therefore it is ments were carried out rather like a cook The dry materials are then mixed recommended that the pots are glazed might experiment with a new recipe. noting the materials used. Pouring usually results in glaze great certainty and directness are essen- Initiating new glazes being spilt on the bench or floor. others when thin. the different materials and checking the passed through a phosphor-bronze sieve last mentioned is generally the most results after firing.

so ruining both pot and shelf. Kiln mediately the pot is removed from the
shelves are expensive, and the pot-maker glaze the finger on the rim can be used
will be disappointed if his pot is spoilt. to dab on some glaze.
When using untried glazes or double- 4. Thoroughly stir the glaze that is to
dips (which are described later), it is be used. This may
take five minutes or
advisable to leave at least a 5 cm (2 in) more if the glaze is not often used. The
unglazed band above the foot or even best way of checking if all the solids
leave the outside of the pot unglazed. have been thoroughly mixed into the
Leaving the base free of glaze can be suspension is to stir the glaze with the
achieved in one of three ways: hands. Check that the glaze is of the
a) The outside of the pot can be dipped correct thickness.
in the glaze, rim first, so leaving the 5. If the pot to be glazed is basically
base free of glaze. This is the most cylindrical or spherical as opposed to a
straightforward method and to he pre- shallow dish, use a non-drip jug to
ferred whenever possible. pour glaze into the pot. Move the pot
b) The base can be glazed with the pot round until the inside is coated with
then the unwanted glaze scraped and glaze, taking no longer than about
sponged off. 5 seconds. Pour out the glaze, taking
c) The base can be waxed, the pot glazed care to avoid dribbles down the outside.
and then finally wiped with a clean 6. Immediately after glazing the inside,
sponge. The wax mixture most commonly dip the pot into the glaze, so as to glaze
used is candle wax, which can be bought the outside. Hold the pot in the glaze
in large slabs, and some ordinary lubri- for approximately 5 seconds, lift it out
cating oil. This mixture is melted in a and shake off any surplus glaze that
double saucepan, an old glue pot or a might cause dribbles. Place the pot on a
frying pan, care being taken to ensure that clean bench.
the wax does not overheat and catch The way in which the pot is held
fire! The wax can be applied by dipping should have been worked out in Stage 3. 35B Waxing
: the base of a bowl.
the base or if it has a foot-ring or is too A shallow dish can be dipped straight
large for dipping, the wax can be applied into the glaze, omitting Stage 5.
with a fairly stiff fitch brush as the pot is 7. When the pot has dried (this will
rotated on a banding wheel. only take a few minutes except in the
Do not use an expensive brush, and
never a Chinese brush, as the hot wax Fig. 35. Glaze dipping
will melt the glue into which the bristles
are set. It is advisable to keep waxing
brushes separate from other decorating
brushes and clearly mark them. In a
school or college situation it is only too
easy to have good brushes ruined in the
wax pan.
If the wax runs where it is not wanted
the only way to remove it is to put the pot
in the kiln and biscuit-fire it again. It will
not scrape off. Wax resist can be usedfor
decorating ; either the hot wax described
or a proprietary cold wax-emulsion can
be used.
3. Work out the best way to hold the
pot for dipping. A firm hold must be
maintained, with the minimum contact
between fingers and pot. If the pot has
a generous foot-ring or part of it is to
be left unglazed, it is easy to hold the
pot at these points. If the pot has to be
held where it is to be glazed it is
usually possible to hold the rim, using
only one finger on the rim, and im- 35A: Dipping a pot rim-first. 35C Pouring
: the glaze into a bowl.


avoiding the risk of unglazed spots rotate the pot so that the inside is fully
inside the pot, but this will involve glazed.
wiping off glaze after glazing the inside 5. Keeping the end of the spout blocked,
of the pot. pour the surplus glaze out through the lid
1. Wax the foot, the lid flange, and all opening, not through the spout. A little
parts of the lid that will be in contact with will probably pour from the spout when
the pot. This applies to stoneware, in the finger over the spout is released.
which case the lid is fired in position. For 6. When the inside glaze is dry enough
earthenware the lid can be glazed all over to touch, hold the pot with the fingers
and fired separately. inside and the thumb over, so blocking,
2. Thoroughly stir the glaze to be used. the end of the spout.
3. Pour glaze into the pot, using a non- 7. Dip the pot into the glaze, base first,

drip jug. rock the pot forwards to glaze the spout
4. Holding finger or thumb over the end and back to glaze the handle. Ensure that
of the spout to prevent any flow of glaze, no glaze enters through the lid opening
or spout.
Fig. 36. Glazing a teapot
8. Place the pot on a clean bench until
the glaze is dry and wipe the waxed areas
with a clean, damp sponge.
9. Hold the lid by the waxed area and
dip it into the glaze. Hold the lid until it is
dry, then wipe the waxed areas with a
clean, damp sponge. If the lid is thinner
and therefore less absorbent than the
body of the pot, either use a thicker
35D: Dipping into the glaze glaze mix or dip the lid twice.
Glaze trailing
Glaze can be used rather like slip to give
particular decorative effects, under or
over an overall glaze. This method of
decorating was used by Chinese and
Korean potters and is now used by a
number of practising potters. Ray
Finch at Winchcombe, Gloucestershire,
uses glaze trailing in the manner of
trailed slip, using a rubber slip trailer.
36A: Having poured glaze inside the teapot, it
Shoji Hamada, the Japanese potter,
35E: Wiping the glaze from the base of the is poured out into the bin.
bowl. pours one glaze over or under an
overall glaze, using a large ladle, the
case of clay/ash glazes which take half results being direct and free.
an hour or so), the base should be Thick glaze should be used and
thoroughly wiped, even if wax was used. applied either with a slip trailer or by
8. The pot is now ready for glaze firing. pouring. The decoration needs to be
If the pot is to be left for some time directly applied and an over fussy
before firing, care must be taken to approach is best avoided.
ensure that the glaze surface does not Care must be taken when choosing
get dusty. the glaze to be trailed and tests are best
Glazing a teapot carried out to ensure that the trailed
Teapots and coffee pots present glaze will contrast suitably with the
particular difficulties when glazing. The overall glaze of the pot. It should be
shape is quite complicated and great noted that when one glaze is applied
care must be taken to avoid blocking over another there is a tendency for the
the strainer holes. There are, no doubt, glazes to become more fluid and move
many ways of glazing such pots but down the pot.
the following is one that has proved Always apply the second glaze, be it
satisfactory. The waxing of the lid the overall or trailed glaze, when the
flange and base can be undertaken 36B: Glazing the outside of a teapot by first first glaze is just touch dry. If glaze is
after the inside has been glazed, so dipping the base into the glaze. applied over another really dry glaze

it can cause the glaze to flake off. completely dry; this should only take pattern reminiscent of small islands.
Glaze mi glaze a few minutes. Then dip the pot into Wax Resist
This technique, often referred to as the second glaze, taking special care An excellent method of decoration is to
double-dipping, can greatly extend the not to chip or spoil the surface of the apply the first glaze, allow it to become
range of glazes available, produce first glaze. The pot is then left to dry, touch dry, then brush or pour on a wax
colours and surfaces not obtainable which will take rather longer than pattern. The wax is best applied directly
with single glazes and offers an excellent usual, due to the thick coating of glaze. as fussing will cause the first glaze to
method of decoration. Before risking a pot it is better to come off. The pot is then dipped into the
It can be used for earthenware and carry out tests on specially prepared second glaze which will be resisted by
stoneware but stoneware offers more test strips or on scraps of biscuit ware. the wax, so leaving these areas with only
scope. The Chinese, Korean and Japan- When two glazes are applied there is a the first glaze. This method works well
ese potters have exploited the interesting tendency for them to become more when the Tenmuku glaze is applied, a
colours and decorative effects that this fluid than when applied separately, so wax decoration painted on, then the
technique offers and a number of until the results are known, it is Blue Celadon glaze applied.
practising potters use it very success- advisable to leave a generous unglazed Another method of decorating with
fully. area above the base of the pot. glaze-on-glaze is to apply the two
The method is quite straightforward. In addition to an increased colour glazes, then cut and scrape away the
Dip the pot into the first glaze and range, some glazes will crawl when second glaze, so making some areas
allow it to become touch dry but not applied over another, so making a reveal only the first glaze.

Plate 24. Two thrown stoneware plates by Hamada. The example on the left is decorated with
brushed iron glaze, that on the right with slip, wax resist and two glazes. The apparently simple
decoration involves great skill and control of materials.

In some cases crazing cannot be sometimes little more than pinholes but eliminated without completely altering sometimes like small volcanic craters. the is sion. glazes are particularly prone to cracking tion and contraction. but in some stoneware glazes being fluid and a glaze that has a high crazing can be decorative and so is shrinkage rate when applied to the pot encouraged. Shoji network of cracks in the glaze. rectified by firing to a higher temperature The remedy for shivering is the or by reducing the maturing temperature opposite of that for crazing. and too thick an application potash. the glaze must be having a high clay content. To effect this replaced by calcined clay or a gum may adjustment all or some of the following be added. of glaze. A crawled glaze applied over a non-crawled glaze of a different This is the development of a fine colour can be very pleasing. as areas and leaving some areas without ABOUT most schools buy a prepared body the only immediate remedy is to modify glaze. Crazed Hamada frequently uses glazes that ware can be unsightly. can look like dry mud flats or It crazy paving. As the so causing the two to separate and break glaze melts it bubbles— as volatile gases —that is shiver. content should be reduced and the Matt glazes are more prone to pin- high expansion oxides such as soda or holing and care must be taken not to CHAPTER 10 potash increased. alter their surface quality whilst at the 68 . If crazing small additions of a flux. In earthenware where The main causes of crawling are a the clay body is porous crazing is to be glaze that is too viscous as opposed to avoided. The causes This is the opposite of crazing. iv) increase the boric oxide. taking care not to before firing. Whilst generally a glaze GLAZES the glaze. The silica of the glaze by increasing the fluxes. Subsidiary causes of crawling can take place: i) increase the silica. If the glaze proves too viscous.or over-firing the glaze. unglazed patches. soda base invariably craze They should not be confused with the and by reducing the soda the turquoise harmless surface bubbles that sometimes colour would be lost. such as is acceptable it is called crackle. so leaving glaze cracks when applied to the bis- tiny cracks between the sections of cuited pot it is usually due to the glaze glaze. The clay of pinholing are usually caused by body contracts more than the glaze. under. whiting (CaO) or potash (K 2 0) can Crazing is caused by the glaze contrac. glaze overfired so that it boils. other material with a high coefficient Pitting and Pinholing of expansion. appear on an unfired pot as it is with- Shivering drawn from the liquid glaze. permit seepage. To rectify this. but it is excessive compression that result will be pinholing. However. Glaze faults Crawling Glaze faults can be caused by a faulty This occurs during a glaze firing and clay and in some cases it is easier to results in the glaze thickening in some modify the clay body. and such crazing was desired. This results in small. are dusty biscuited ware. iii) decrease any cuited ware caused by too much other materials containing soda or handling. If the firing ceases only peel away at the rim or edges of before the glaze has settled down the the pot. rectified. If the difference in — escape before settling down to a contraction is not great the glaze will smooth surface. unhygienic and crawl to good effect. faults Crazing The following and suggested remedies. be added to increase its fluidity. ash/clay adjusted to have a lower rate of expan. are the main fault. greasy bis- ii) decrease the felspar. Turquoise glazes using which are apparent after glaze firing. colour effects. In order that a glaze does not result will be pinholing. Many examples of Chinese so causing the surface to crack as it Sung dynasty ware have crazed glazes dries. If the fired results prove too alter the maturing temperature or unpleasant some of the clay can be appearance of the glaze. carefully controlled crawling can be decorative. These causes are very quickly v) increase the alumina vi) decrease any . If a ting more than the clay body. Likewise. The former is results in shivering. if the craze it must be under slight compres. an alkaline.

same time remedying the pinholing. The atmosphere until 1 .000 C, and then side are more prone to shattering as there
second cause, over-firing, is remedied ensure that the reduction is not too is no opposing force from the glaze on
by firing to a lower temperature or by heavy. the outside of the pot.
raising the maturing temperature of the The remedy is to reduce the amount
glaze by adding a material such as 4. Associated with the introduction of a of free silica in the clay body or even use
China clay. reducing atmosphere, ensure that the another body.
matt glaze pinholes, it is more
If a temperature does not 'stick' around
likely to be caused by under-firing, but a 1. 000 J. 100 C. Glaze Recipes and Formulas
shiny glaze is more likely to pinhole The following stoneware glazes have
due to over-firing. So, basically, bloating can be avoided proved satisfactory when applied to
Too thick an application of glaze; ifcare is taken with the firing cycles and Potclays' St. Thomas's stoneware body.
too much zinc or rutile in the glaze and when formulating and mixing the clay Most have been used in reducing
too heavy reduction at the early stages body. conditions but comment is given when
of a firing are also possible causes of Dunting and Splitting a glaze has been used in oxidising
pinholing. Splitting can occur if the body contains conditions.
Bloating too much fine silica and/or if the ware It should be noted that the results
The results of bloating are usually is fired too rapidly between 500 C and obtained from these glazes will vary
unpleasant, being bulges or bubbles of —
650°C that is, when the alpha-beta with the clay body used, variations in
varying size which develop in the clay quartz inversion takes place. materials and variations in firing condi-
during the glaze firing. Dunting occurs when the kiln is tions.
The causes are various, but the cooling, usually between 700°C and All have been fired to Staffordshire
principal one is the development of small 500C and results in the pot splitting or cone 9. 1,280°C.
pockets of gas in the clay which are cracking. It is caused by too rapid or
prevented from escaping by the vitrified uneven cooling and is aggravated if the Ingredients Parts
surface of the clay. The gas can be due body is high in free quartz and is fine
to the presence of carbon which com- grained and dense. Blue Celadon
bines with oxygen in the clay to form The remedies for splitting and dunting Potash Felspar 60.00
carbon monoxide or dioxide. The carbon are: Quartz 20.00
is present either due to a rapid biscuit Whiting 15.00
firing which did not enable all carbona- /. Check the free quartz content of the China Clay 5.00
ceous matter to be burned out before body and modify it if necessary. Red Iron Oxide 1.00
vitrification, or too early heavy reduc- Crazed but a pleasant blue. Good on
tion which can cause the formation of 2. Introduce some grog into the body. porcelain.
carbon in the clay.
The other gas that can be present is 3. Take care that the temperature in- Green Celadon
water vapour. This is usually due to the creases steadily when firing and decreases Talc 10.2
biscuited ware being vitrified yet some when cooling at a steady rate particularly Potash Felspar 30.0
water penetrates the vitrified surface between 500° C and 700° C. Whiting 13.5
during glaze dipping. If the subsequent Quartz 32.4
glaze firing is rapid the water vapour is 4. Ensure that no draughts enter the kiln China Clay 13.9
unable to escape before the surface of when cooling, particularly between 700° C Red Iron Oxide 1.0
the clay becomes fully vitrified so that and 500° C. Non-crazing. Soft green colour with a
when the clay becomes plastic in the typical talc waxy surface.
high glaze firing, the water vapour is Shattering
able to expand and cause bloating. This is closely allied to shivering and Dolomite Glaze
The remedies for bloating are: dunting. It can cause pots to break up Potash Felspar 48.5
after glaze-firing, or on occasions this Dolomite 25.2
/. Ensure that the biscuit-firing gives can happen sometime after the pot has China Clay 22.7
ample time for all carbonaceous matter been removed from the glaze kiln. Whiting 3.6
to be burned out and that the kiln vents It is caused by the body being too A matt cream/white glaze with a satin
allow such gases to escape. high in free quartz (silica) which can surface. Pleasant brown and purple
cause the body to have a low contrac- flecks.
2. Do not over-fire the biscuit ware. tion rate compared to the glazes applied
980 C-1,000 C is usually a suitable to and which make the body brittle.
it, Tenmuku
firing temperature. As the pot cools, the glaze is in such a Cornish Stone 71.2
state of compression that it splits the Cornish Stone 71.2 Firing temp
3. Donot take the glaze-firing up too clay body. Large pots, particularly flat Whiting 8.0 1,280°-
rapidly and do not introduce a reducing plates which are only glazed on one Flint 4.5 1,300 C

. !

Iron Oxide 6.8 dark purple. 5% tin oxide gives an take a simple recipe such as:
Ball Clay 7.0 opaque white. All are affected by Potash felspar 80
Bentonite 2.0 reduction. Whiting 15
Non-crazing. A red/brown glaze break- China clay 5
ing to black when applied thickly. A or an established recipe which shows
shiny wax-like surface. Testing clay bodies and glazes promise.
There are two approaches to clay- Weigh out a given amount, 200 gms
Semi-shiny Brown and glaze-making and testing— the (7-8 oz) total weight is a useful quantity
Soda Felspar 25 'cook's approach' and a highly techni- for tests, making approximately 0.2
Dolomite 15 cal scientific analytical approach. litres (^ pint) of liquid glaze. Sieve the
China Clay 25 The 'cook's approach' takes a known glaze and apply to a test strip of biscuited
Bone Ash 10 and proven recipe as a starting point, clay approximately 5 cm x 3 cm (2 in x
Quartz 25 and modifications are made to it, 1£ in) or preferably to the inside of a
Red Iron 10 remembering and noting all variations. small test bowl. Such test bowls can be
A semi-shiny glaze with colour variation This method works well if the behaviour thrown or pinched out, and 2 cm (| in)
of red, brown and black. A useful of the various materials is known and is a useful diameter. They provide a

glaze in oxidising conditions. it is possible to fire a reasonable number better indication of the behaviour of a
of tests. It is hardly economic to fire a glaze on a curved surface. Then, if a
Talc White kiln just for tests. glaze proves very fluid it merely pools in
Talc 16.68 The analytical method is to formulate the bottom of the bowl instead of spoil-
Potash Felspar 27.50 the clay and glazes using chemical ing a kiln shelf.
Whiting 12.37 analysis of the materials used and Number the test with iron or manga-
China Clay 13.74 working within recommended limits nese oxide and record it in a notebook.
Flint 29.70 for these materials. This method requires The record should give the clay used,
A semi-shiny glaze. Non-crazing, even an understanding of both chemistry glaze recipe, firing type, firing tempera-
on porcelain. Pleasant waxy surface. and mathematics, and is really outside ture and the result.
Blue/white in reduction, creamy white in the scope of this book. Its chief To the basic glaze add the fourth
oxidation. advantage is that serious errors and ingredient: 1%-10% can be added
disappointments are less likely, an depending on the material, sieve and if
Yellow Ash intimate knowledge of the materials is necessary add more water so that the
Dry red clay 48.9 gradually built-up, and if a particular glaze is of single cream consistency.
Wood Ash (soft) 48.9 material becomes difficult to obtain, Apply to a test bowl or strip, numbering
Bentonite 2.0 it is possible to satisfy the formula and recording the test.
A semi-matt glaze. Yellow to green in using different materials. Repeat this procedure at 1 %
or 2 %
colour. Useful in oxidation and reduc- It must be admitted, however, that intervals until sufficient tests have been
tion. The wood ash used is primarily few studio potters regularly use clay undertaken. The total useful addition
from soft woods. and glaze formulae when experimenting. can be gauged from previous experience
They tend to use the 'cook's approach' and the notes on the various materials
Dry Blue Ash for obvious reasons. in Chapter 2 and Appendix 1
Wood Ash (soft) 33.0 The 'cook's approach' to glaze Such tests may be carried out to alter
China Clay 33.0 experiments the surface of a glaze from shiny to
Felspar Potash 33.0 This approach to glazes is similar to matt, to make a transparent glaze
Cobalt Oxide 0.5 that of a cook who takes a basic cake opaque, to make a crazing glaze fit the
A dry blue glaze, breaking to green recipe, then varies it to alter the flavour clay body without crazing or to colour
where thin. Useful in oxidation and or texture of the cake, recording the the glaze.
reduction. new recipe for future use. When the tests have been fired
The wood ash used is primarily from If the line-blend experiments dis- assess the results and record them under
soft woods. cussed in Chapter 4 have been under- each of the listed glaze tests. It is as
taken, and the information given in which show
well to delete those recipes
Raku Glaze Chapter 2 and Appendix 1 on glaze promise and pursue further tests
High Alkaline Fritt 85.0 materials is referred to, an under- with those that look hopeful. All good
Whiting 5.0 standing of the effects of the different glazes involve a certain amount of
China Clay 10.0 materials on each other will have been luck or intuition but careful records
Firing temp. 750°C-850°C. established. help in obtaining such lucky breaks
A which colouring
clear, shiny glaze to For earthenware glazes a basic frit, As an understanding of the materials
and opacifying oxides can be added. firing at the required temperature, is a is acquired and some basic glaze recipes

l/o copper oxide gives turquoise. 2% good starting point. To this frit may be become established, the tests will be-
manganese plus 0.25% cobalt gives a added other materials. For stoneware come more straightforward and useful.

Whether to decorate a pot and by which has been used by most cultures,

DECORATION method, or to leave it to rely on its
form and glaze for beauty is always a
including the Chinese, Greek, Roman,
Nigerian, Inca and Medieval English.
difficult problem. In many cases it was applied for
For the past three decades or so reasons of use; for example, the small
decoration has been out of fashion- loop handles applied to the belly of a
particularly decoration that is not a Chinese Sung dynasty pot were origi-
direct result of the making process. nally for threading a rope to assist in
There seems to be two principal reasons carrying the pot. The handles applied to
for this lack of decoration.A conscious jugs and the knobs applied to lids
rejection of the highly decorated work continue to be essentially for use,
that the pottery industry was producing although they fulfil the secondary yet
in vast quantities in the Victorian era important role of being decorative.
(and continued to produce well into Direct modelling has also been used
the 20th century), and a desire to return purely for decorative purposes, such
to the simpler straightforward work of as the modelled faces on some Medieval
the country potters. English jugs and the swirling coil
The second reason is the fact that decoration used on some Nigerian pots.
many of our recent potters who excel A step-by-step description of how to
as pot-makers and are very competent model is hardly appropriate but care
throwers, have not had any graphic should be taken to ensure that the pot
training or the time in which to become is damp enough to accept additions

equally competent decorators. There and that none of the modelling is
are obvious exceptions to this general more than about 2.5 cm (1 in) square in
trend— for example David Leach, who section unless grogged clay is being
decorates by applying metal oxides used. Modelling over 2.5 cm (1 in)
such as iron and cobalt with a Chinese square should be hollowed to avoid the
brush Alan Caiger-Smith, who applies
; danger of breakage during firing. Sprig-
metal lustres to a Majolica glaze; ging permits more elaborate and delicate
Michael Casson, who also uses brushed designs to be applied. This method was
oxides as well as brushing on slips and used by the Romans, Medieval potters,
dry ash glazes and Henry Hammond, the German salt-glaze potters and
who uses painted pigment with such Josiah Wedgwood. The latter's work is
delicacy. still produced and consists of delicate

In the last few years more potters white decoration on a blue or green
have started to decorate their pots, even ground. Such decoration was ideal when
if somewhat tentatively. However, when first produced— the period of the archi-
it is noted that until the 1940's very tect and interior designer Robert Adam
few art schools were able to teach their who used such delicate relief decoration
students to be competent throwers due in his house interiors.
to the fact that there just were not any The method involves the use of
teachers available who could throw, shallow moulds made from wood,
the general technical standard of pottery plaster, or more commonly, biscuited
has greatly improved. Perhaps in a clay. The mould is prepared, taking care
few years time more potters will have not to have any under-cuts that will
the technical ability to decorate, as prevent clay from coming away freely.
well as discernment and restraint. Deco- The moulds should be quite small,
ration can be placed under various not more than about 5 cm (2 in) across.
headings according to the method of Clay is pressed into the mould, then by
application. pressing a flat blade onto the clay the
Modelled Decoration relief is lifted from the mould.
This can take the form of direct It can either be kept damp while
modelling onto the pot or low-relief more reliefs are made, or placed directly
ornament which is first modelled then onto the pot, which should be just
applied to the pot; this is known as damp enough for the sprig to stick
'sprigging'. without using slip.
Direct modelling can be applied as The advantage of sprigging is that the
CHAPTER 11 feet, knobs or handles. Such modelling surface of the pot is not disturbed and

The pots are those of the ranging from the basket-like impres. rolled that the clay is firm enough to permit string. allow adequate thickness in the wall of even freshly-thrown clay. best decorated before assembly. . Always experiment on a slice Plate 26. 72 . Slab pots are the pot. used in various forms by most cultures. great antiquity. sea shells. 17th-18th centuries A. This will allow the impressions to be made before the clay becomes too stiff. too dry it will be found difficult to cut. the clay body. If the Fig. much favoured by the the same motif can be repeated. and the ideal of close integration So. Care must be taken when using stamps and 'found objects' not to use too many different objects or to over- decorate. DECORATION impressions can be made when the pot has stiffened but is still quite soft. A sharp- The impressions can be pressed into the ened piece of bamboo is probably the soft clay in a number of different best tool for this purpose. It consists of a carved cylinder of clay. pebbles. by carving This can be done with a wire as soon the appropriate letters. a tool of copper-red decoration. a clean cut without a burr being left stiff brushes and clay stamps. Painted with stoneware jar by Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie. Korean porcelain pot of the Vi of clay before committing the pot. If the clay is pot has been coiled or thrown the impressing a repeated pattern. be used to as the pot is thrown. dynasty. Care must be taken to The roulette should be used on soft. cog-wheels. the simplest being to press in method is to apply slip to the partially 'found objects'. A great skill might be involved. What are almost certainly some of the Impressed Decoration most beautiful pots ever made have This method of decoration has been been enhanced by the use of incised Fig. Another ways. ration is to use a roulette. The Romans. or when it is impress the potter's name. thrown. 38. cotton reels. even though pot to impress a repeated pattern. be used. convex surfaces and can. wood or metal which danger that the decoration can is can be rolled along the surface of the become fussy and lifeless. a the sprig-decorated wares produced by spindle inserted and mounted on a industrial potteries. Impressed decoration. given to the incising without disturbing The techniques used are quite simple the surface of the glaze. Another means of faceting the pot is Incised Decoration (Sgraffito) to beat it when leather-hard. British studio pottery: an attractive Another method of impressing deco. Such a more sophisticated roulette is one where criticism could be levelled at much of the roller is drilled in the centre. handle— rather like a pastry wheel. nuts and bolts. Carved stamps. It is necessary to ensure pieces of wood. 37. and then the sides cut. plaster. wall panels and small panels that can be attached to a pot. one type of incised decoration between pot and decoration is combined involves the cutting away of fine lines with a spontaneous and direct approach when the clay is leather-hard. Chinese T'ang and Sung dynasties sions of Neolithic pots to the decorated which were thrown in white porcel- attachments of English 18th century laneous clay then incised with a decora- creamware. screw-heads. By using thick proved a popular method of decoration celadon glaze apparent depth has been for pots and for wall panels. In recent years it has tion of simple flowers. It was Plate 25. rather like sprigging. otherwise the result will be muddled and the pot will not be enhanced. leather-hard. The Cut decoration wheels can be shaped for concave or Pots can be cut or planed to give facets.D. The objects could dry pot then incise through the slip to include: nuts and bolts. If it is a slab pot it is better to cut out all the slabs and decorate them before assembly.Roulette— a carved cylinder used for along the edges of the cut. and other similar objects may decoration. Similar objects can be used to decorate tiles.

the glaze flaking off is reduced. Some twentieth For stoneware add up to 25% of century potters. China. then once fired. Glazeis easier to incise glazes. It is held like a the hard outer layer of the bamboo the slip and the body must have a similar shrinkage rate if the slip is to adhere and the slip will influence the colour being the cutting edge. with practice this USING SLIPS gives crisp. of the glaze and vice-versa. Slip is simply a sieved liquid Wax Resist when on an unfired pot as the risk of clay. A bamboo fluting tool. the slip and any glaze that is applied over it are interdependent. (i) Ball clay 100% creamy white The greatest exponents of fluting were (ii) Buffclay the potters of the Chinese Sung Dynasty body 100 % creamy white —such decoration responding to cela. with The wax is painted onto the leather-hard 73 . but it is still very difficult. Thrown. effective is to incise through unfired slips used are effective at the higher This simple dipping method can be glaze. Most Chinese increase the range of colours obtainable the range of colours obtained by over- pots were glazed before being fired. held horizontally. rather more clay is removed by fluting Some basic slips are: than by the other methods of incising. it has incised decoration. provi. particularly if colouring oxides are added to a basic A white slip. have revived this part of the glaze melt. that is heading of incised decoration. The Fluting colour will vary with the firing tempera- Fluting can be included under the ture and the glaze. The (v) Red clay 47% A black slip bamboo tool is cut to a chisel end. hard-edged fluting. the colour of which can vary. the decoration but one that can be very ded care is taken to ensure that the second will probably crack. the is and the clay body. Plate 28. so leaving a contrast of glazed and temperature required for stoneware. type of decoration which can either be (iv) Red clay 100% Red/ brown in Thrown. Stoneware jar of the northern Sung and David Leach. with earthenware but it can be used former will not take up sufficient slip A more difficult form of incised very effectively with stoneware. isto dip a leather-hard pot into slip. 39.12th centuries A. dynasty.D.D. the body breaking to hard outer layer being the blade. An example of Japanese Seto ware from 13th-14th centuries A. The metal tool is used like a Dark brown in woodworker's plane and gives the stoneware fluting a slightly-rounded section. The range of biscuit-fired pot if a non-flaking glaze colours can be extended by mixing is chosen. extended by dipping the pot into various unglazed lines. notably Bernard Leach China clay to prevent the slip becoming Plate 27. (Hi) China clay 50 % white don glazes in the same way as their finer Ball clay 50% incised decoration. holding it at different angles to to great effect by the potters of China means of decorating and it can greatly make patterns with slip and increasing during the Sung dynasty. and from both earthenware and stoneware lapping the slips. slips and by adding metal oxides.This method was used Slip can be used in many ways as a slips. L 1 Fig. and will cause the pot to collapse. Experi- ence will indicate the best consistency for each slip and each process. 11th. Always remember that the clay body. so Slip Decoration Care should be taken to ensure that the giving a contrast between the pigment Slip decoration is usually associated pot not too wet or too dry. from red earthen- possible to incise through a glaze on a ware to white ball clay. It is the type of clay used. which is body through •*:"? 1 Manganese Cobalt 5 1 % some stone- % ware glazes Slips should be sieved through a 60-mesh sieve and be approximately the consistency of double cream. Many other slips can be mixed. bamboo. pot and an incised decoration cut. pencil. it has incised decoration with brown glaze. and olive cut with a metal tool or a piece of cut body earthenware green celadon glaze. and is Buff clay 47'% dark blue drawn in an arc across the pot. although applied. if any. Such Dipping Pigments in the form of metal oxides crisp fluting is very effective when a The simplest method of slip decoration can be brushed onto the leather-hard semi-matt white glaze is used.

in itself. merchants. to stick it to the pot and slip brushed on.D.5 cm (f-1 in) Paper stencils can be cut from thin thick and the slip between 3 mm-6 mm paper (newspaper is moistened ideal).D. Take care it does not catch churches. and filled with a slip that will contrast cup with three or more handles. 74 . sharp pattern.). some of his pots manner or in a free way using the using Hakeme surely ranking as among possibilities offered by brush strokes. as The technique used for slip inlay has Plate 30. A possible reason ration was sometimes based on plant for its introduction is that white clays forms and sometimes almost geometric. the most notable of the 20th century. Care should be die which produced a tile with a sunken taken when brushing slip to ensure that pattern. The thin stencils can be persuaded to stick decoration was first cut into the leather- to large thrown pots if care is taken to hard pot. are. Ugfj XI :<<\ in the 15th century. ! — DECORATION pot where the body colour is to be Shoji Hamadais one of the few retained. The pot is then dipped or brushed with The Hakeme technique is. The deco. The wax can be painted as modern to use the Hakeme potters simple bands or in a representational technique successfully. The great practitioners of inlaid method of decoration is more suited to slipon pots were the Koreans of the slab pots and shallow dishes. available from potters' coarse brush. quite simple. opposed to aesthetic reasons. A large Chinese brush or a slip— and when the inlay became leather- glazing mop. technique remained almost peculiar to Far less slip is used if it is brushed on Korea and was not much used in China. slip. despite being admired by members of Whether Korean potters first brushed the Chinese Sung court. The tiles were used by most cultures. When dry the brushes. a dipping the pot into slip. with the result that many potters. A. which will hold plenty of hard the tile was scraped flat. revealing slip. The superb melted over a low heat until it begins tiles which were used in many medieval to smoke. (i in-| in) thick. Hakeme is a type of brushed slip became leather-hard it was scraped which originated in Korea and was later down to reveal a sharp pattern. It is interesting that this Korea. although Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 A. *• • • • - than when a pot is dipped into slip. English earthenware 'tyg'. particularly on the small-lidded boxes. the thicker the wax required. hence their long life. 1636. or (b) a mixture of paraffin Inlaying Slip wax and lubricating oil. is obscure. often of introduced to Japan by Korean potters amazing delicacy and detail. the results are in is either stamped or cut into the clay and a honey-coloured lead glaze. Some medieval pots were inlaid with When the slip has dried a little the paper slip but it was not frequently used on stencil should be peeled away. When leather-hard the pattern ample slip is applied. An impression Thrown in red clay with white slip decoration Whatever the reason. processes involved in its execution and The mixture of wax and has to be oil hence the time involved. are usually the most suitable a clean. The second This method of decoration is little- type is more often used and the thickness practised today but is perhaps due for a can be varied by adding more oil. A tyg was a many cases quietly beautiful. and can still be found in the fire or spill less-frequented and less-worn parts of Brushed Slip such churches. The tiles were 2 cm-2. The probable reason for this The thicker the medium that has to be lack of popularity is the number of resisted. A dull green celadon glaze was usually particularly in poor countries such as applied. were basted into the cuts when the slip . This pots. are fine examples of the This method of decoration has been bold use of slip inlay. The brush can be used in a tileswere dusted with galena and fired graphic way or just as an alternative to to low earthenware temperature. including the made by pressing the clay into a wooden Chinese and our own. already been mentioned. slips of contrasting colours prevent the paper creasing. The slip needs to was filled with a slip of another colour be rather thicker than would be suitable usually a red tile was filled with white for dipping. on slips for such economic reasons. used white slip with caution. rare. revival. Thick white slip is brushed The wax used can be of two types : (a) onto the leather-hard pot with a very A wax emulsion. compared with red clays.

Bernard Leach made this earthenware cracking. dipped. hole. If the slip is inclined to stand up to be produced by a few country potters too much it can be thinned. should be added to the slip. are matching the shrinkage rate of the slip to that of the clay body and the fact that the slip soaks back into the pot as it dries. The main difficulties that arise. blobs. English Staffordshire earthenware until the 1920's and 1930's— the last carefully jolted. a rubber bulb with a glass or plastic It was during the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries nozzle. thankfully. the large Toft plates. with their trellis ation. If the slip does not contract as much as the body during drying and firing it can cause the body to split. That the Roman occupation but such refine. rather like plates with exuberant slip-trailed decor. and should be leather-hard and the slip the con- so starts to peel away from the body. 40. this fault can be rectified by adding some very plastic clay with a Fig. Hamada decoration is piped on. with the clay body. dish in 1923— studio pottery at its best The basic method is to dip one side of It is essential to be direct and no attempt 75 . but not wet from throwing. figures and delicate the pottery industry. an even line of slip can be slip-ware should not be confused with drawn across the pot or slice of clay. The fingers can be Plate 31. 1675. with slip. a sistency of double cream. or the pot Plate 29. Due to the fluid has produced some fine work using this quality of slip. Despite the industrialisation of work in two colours. this applies to ground. inside or A clear glaze should be applied so as to outside. would cause it to collapse. Then. they can be decorated very effectively. by careful control of the that English slip-ware really flourished slip-trailer. a demon- producing their large commemorative stration of the potter's skill. The bowl slip contracts more than the body. clay with a low shrinkage rate. a slice or one surface of a pot. shallow dish than on a pot. slip-casting which is primarily an indus. the ness and skill to be effective. The clay should be soft when stoneware and earthenware. This method does not permit any Slip trailing can be likened to icing a detailed work but requires great direct- cake— a basic ground is applied. struggle to keep going just before the An even more direct method of pottery revival that started in the 1940's slip-trailing is to use a ladle with a small and is. so making more than one infilling necessary. The slip decoration in red clay on this country potters sadly gave up the sinks into the slip ground. It Thomas Toft and Ralph Simpson. At this time slip-trailing is fluid. when some fine examples of poured or sucked into a trailer— usually brushed slip decoration were produced. Slip trailing Only one surface is slipped to avoid the Slip had been used in England during pot becoming too wet and heavy. direct and sympa- the well-known slip-ware potters. apart from skill of cutting the decoration. ments departed with the Romans and Slip of a contrasting colour and a little slip was rarely used until the 14th thicker than that used for dipping is century. While before the slice of clay is pressed over the slip is still wet. were can become highly complex. for with practice This is an extension of slip-trailing. . although it is frequently used when only Press-moulded dishes are best decorated the ground slip has been applied. dish is intended to depict King Charles II hiding in the oak tree. but pots Combing should not be excluded. thetic to the form being decorated. used in place of the leather or wood. Slip decorating using a rubber slip- high shrinkage rate. so giving a smooth reveal the decoration. still with us. If the trailer to decorate a small bowl. such as China clay. The best not discussed in this book. a piece of stiff the mould — ensuring that the slip is leather or wood with rounded teeth is not tacky but the slice is still damp drawn through the slip. to the slip. care being taken not to scrape the slip trial technique for making pots and is ground with the trailer nozzle. so that the trailing c. making straight enough to press over the mould without or flowing lines. it is easier to use on a technique. slip-ware con.

a series of parallel lines are Marbling shaking and twisting as the slips will mix trailed in white slip. delicacy. Tz'u chou stoneware of the Chinese Sung dynasty. painted decoration. 76 . so dragging on a slice of clay from which the slip one slip out into the other with great can be wiped and a fresh start made.D. Thrown with semi-matt glaze and brushed iron decoration. 17th or 18th century. a slice of clay by feather combing. with made by Michael Casson in 1973. Thrown winter-shape tea-bowl by dynasty. then make a series of blobs around the examples of feather combing. Tenmoku on red a superb piece slip. Stoneware with iron decoration. tice. Plate 35. As with slip-trailing. directions. either to a flat decoration is to apply the first slip on section dealing with domestic ware rim or a scalloped edge. Painting with pigments Painting with pigments was one of the most widely used methods of decoration employed in the West from the 9th century to the Industrial Revolution of the early 18th century. jolted so that the two slips form a trailing.DECORATION to alter the decoration should be made slip to trail the lines and to draw the encouraged! The bowl or slab of clay as this will only make the decoration feather across the trailing in alternate is violently shaken and twisted while messy. of the 18th and 19th centuries have good frequently favoured by country potters. The board is then This is yet another variation of slip. but this requires The bowl or slice is then shaken or is placed on a board and a slip ground considerable dexterity and much prac. Thrown. Porcelain pot of the Korean Yi Plate 32. A more potters for decorating large moulded the decorated slabs can be pressed over definite way of producing marbled dishes. A. but this is not to be numerous ways. twisted until a marbled effect is achieved. It is better to practise is drawn across the clay. It can be used as a rescue The methods of slip decorating smooth surface. Then a feather. If a feather is not available. Shoji Hamada. to make the pattern too complicated by still wet. has become messy. together into a muddy mess. Plate 34. while the ground is decorating in this way. The latter was the inside of a bowl or on a slice of clay. is poured over it— usually a red slip. 960-1279. Variationsonthisbasicmethod rather than ruin pots with poor are to use more than one colour of decoration. the slipis still wet. Thrown pots can also be decorated edge with a slip of a different colour. Most museums that have a a mould and trimmed. which operation if the slip-trailing or feathering described can be varied and combined in has been sharpened to a long fine point. so making the various Feathering a bristle plucked from a hand broom slips run into each other and producing This also follows on from slip-trailing makes a suitable alternative. It is magic to watch a skilled potter Care should be taken not to attempt A few minutes later. It was certainly the most widely used method of decora- ting in China from the Tang dynasty Plate 33. a pattern a little like marble or the and was much favoured by country When the slip has ceased to be tacky contour lines on a map.

be overcome by without using a step-by-step commen.D. The small ing it. pot to anotherand particularly in schools tinued in the pottery factories was. that holds promise. dipped into the glaze. 4 parts talc.and can be confirmed by glancing at any glaze firing. As the name implies. and provides a will give a strong blue when used in the decorated by teenage boys. Constant repetition for it is a nice surface upon which to particular. is stronger and can withstand more It would require a complete book to creasing abstract rhythm which is often handling. accurate but is alive. but it will give some idea of the strongest of the colouring oxides. which aids become experts with a brush. established a system of division of line for which it is not suited. Some potters use gum arabic of the same pattern over a long period paint. Far more care must be taken overglaze enamels. It should Allow the brush to do the work— do painting. In many ways. or transferring colour from one amount of hand painting which con. or gum of tragacanth. uninspired and smudging the decoration before it is owes little to its method of application. brushwork is not tight and mechanically ing by inquisitive fingers. 41. literary or paint on the slightly damp unfired clay. make it harder and less they have devoted all their time to strokes and combinations of strokes powdery when it is being dipped into becoming competent pot-makers and can be tried with each brush. and there is the danger of inquisitive fingers continues to be fussy. Whereas iron oxide mundane things thancareful brushwork. representational element and in an in. the early Delft square liner. be remembered that the Chinese potters not attempt to make a brush paint a talc and colouring oxide will vary. the pot a pot. It can be done china clay. From the top: a The surface of a biscuit-fired pot is not by the Moors in Spain.) to the end of the Ching benefit from blending with the clay and dynasty (19 12 A. a cut-liner. In stoneware. much-admired Sung dynasty pots were what can be achieved. used as a smooth medium. The dis- The Chinese prepared such manuals.(618-906 A. talc also affects the colour. but it is The only way of striving toward such for some of the colour to come off during outside the scope of this book and much a goal is to have a selection of brushes of glazing. a Chinese brush and a as smooth and receptive to the brush potters in Holland and the Chinese of glaze mop. as the unfired clay but it does have the Sung dynasty illustrate the way in advantages. A selection of brushes. Some colours. particularly colours. 77 . the decoration will give a yellow/brown when used in This could be responsible for the is painted onto the pot before it is the ratio of 1 part iron oxide. free and yet advantages are the danger of the colour illustrating sixty or more ways of controlled. This prevents them from run- during the earlier period. A study of the brushwork executed Fig. and enables the colour to be have not had the time or training to possibilities of each brush are revealed. application. although most traditional firing. mops and any other type of brush mixing the colouring oxide with some tary. using make the colouring oxide less fluid the fact that it is out of fashion). 1 part talc. collection of European pottery made The colouring oxides only need to be before the early 18th century and a mixed with water and ground on a comprehensive collection of Chinese glazed with a palette knife before tile pottery.). It is thought that many of the oxides. The colour Representational patterns are probably while the pot is green or after biscuit obtained varies considerably with the best avoided. The patterns have a descriptive.D. Painting depending on the strength of the colour- labour so that each process in making a on a fiat surface with paint is not the ing oxide being used and the colour pot was carried out or supervised by a same as painting on a pot with metal required. is that fairly liquid poster paint. notably blue. soft can. Both of these disadvantages can be learned by using different brushes different sizes — liners. Incised decoration the subsequent biscuit firing fixes the was also very widely used. These facts ning during the glazing process . The clay and talc not use brush decoration (in addition to can be tried out on paper. until the the glaze. so preventing smudg- and colours that can be used to decorate. running during firing and a tendency painting leaves and so on. which were diluted when packing the biscuit kiln so as to with oil instead of water and applied to avoid scraping the decoration or smudg- an already glazed surface. 4 parts china thoughts might well have been on more Under-glaze painting clay. 1 part superbly-free. The pot is rather fragile for use of transfers and the application of handling. which introduced the considered. cobalt oxide. Chinese. The pot is decorated then describe and illustrate the brush strokes more beautiful and suitable. ratio of 1 part cobalt. biscuit-fired. Various when glaze fired. In order that not China clay and talc when grinding it One reason why many potters do too many pots are ruined. The proportion of china clay. the brushes ready for painting. The best dipped into glaze. The main disadvantage of European brushwork was killed by painting on the raw pot should be industrialisation. cobalt in symbolic origin. specialist. whose means of practice. to a large extent. it is better to glaze used and the type of firing. Less time and kiln space which brushed decoration can enhance of time has resulted in a loss of the is needed for the biscuit-firing. even light-hearted results.

despite a revival in the 1950's. al. so that the decoration can be excellent. — : DECORATION To sum up the advantages and disad. antimonate to fired or unfired pots. though very few potters now use it. copper. Touching-up the decoration should The basic method for Majolica ware This has given lustre a bad name. together with the glaze that such as Fremington clay in England Silver Sulphide 30 is applied. Lead glazes tend to be visually hour— by which time the temperature If the decorating has been applied to softer than those using a lead/borax should be about 700°C. Suitable lustres are obscure that which it covers. a tin glaze is applied. decoration. Further reading is recommen- oxides onto unfired glaze. although the Moors intro- bers'. East from the 9th century and it draw in detail and then fill in with paint. is then brushed off and the lustre This involves painting with colouring of colour and be used directly. 78 . The oxides pottery to paint onto the unfired pot. avoid disturbing the glaze surface the which will remain a surface powder after Overglaze painting brush must be soft. The ochre. rings— small loops of clay which have is dry. After biscuiting. the colour. It is rather like water colour glaze can be craze-free. not be confused with on-glaze painting alone or in combination. which follow later in this chapter. touch dry but not bone dry— the be withdrawn from the kiln to judge possible so as to avoid smudging the colours may be painted on. spell of popularity in Europe during the or placed on a banding wheel— it tively high failure rate compared to 19th and early 20th centuries. Red Ochre 70 prediction of results quite impossible. not oil painting where a starts to fuse at 1. such as Leeds and sizeof the pot to be decorated. lustre twice will add more oxide and so alter fairly high shrinkage rate. The ingredient. wares of a similar kind. It should The oxides most commonly used. which could lead fired to 650°C in oxidising condition. The pot can be held in the hand trie popularity of stoneware. They were used in the Middle pot as guides for painting but do not has remained in use ever since. decoration. for painting the same area is to make the pots from a clay with a Painted with skill and restraint. Delft. the some uniformity of colour is to be had not been discovered in Europe. and which The lustres are applied to a fired tin painting.000°C. Such wares are best mixed with water and ground whereas in a school it is better to paint were inspired by the brush-decorated on a tile or piece of plate glass with a on the biscuited ware. used lustres brush is then loaded with colour and time and skill involved in brush to cover a pot completely and so make the decoration executed. second or third application of paint will fairly strong and less likely to chip. Tin glaze does not run. The technique of unevenness tends to show. tin oxide in particular. and imposed when decorating. This technique glaze. are iron. The oxides can better for the individual potter who Overglaze painting was used to be mixed before application or super- has control of all the processes in a decorate Italian Majolica. of lead and vanadium. the rela. vantages of applying brush decoration which refers to painting onto fired cobalt. Keep the guide lines practically decline is due to a number of factors. if making porcelain or white stoneware decorating has been completed. The a more even distribution is achieved. Its recent technique. Unfortu- depends very much on the shape and stoneware. duced it into Spain and it had a brief invisible. so becoming glaze which will soften at 650°C. achieved— see list of colouring oxides pots of red or buff clay were glazed with to avoid the danger of chipping.060°C plus 10-12% tin oxide will and ochre are mixed in vinegar so that be chosen and applied. so pot should be fired as soon as possible. stable and the second will give the glaze in a very dry kiln as any steam will thickness of application. approximated even after considerable former will render the glaze more No gum is used. The oxide paint. or series of pots. It is the Gault clay— high in calcium— was tradi. So as to whether the pots are fired. Surely it is this element cracking in the glaze. white stoneware and porcelain that palette knife— they should be used When is to be painted the decoration had been imported into the Western thinly. a white opaque glaze and decorated Lustres can also be applied to a tin Faint pencil lines can be drawn on the before the glaze firing. If the pot is already biscuited base for a glaze in these days of poisoning glaze is known it is better to have test it should be glazed as soon as the colour scares. polished. the expense of the glaze nately potteries. The pot is then refired experience of the quantities to use. The kiln is firing conditions. the results of suffice but it is better to use a glaze with the smaller particles are dissolved and under-glaze painting can only be a low alumina and low clay content. and a low-drying shrinkage and so prevent cause the lustre to dribble. The ochre distributes the metal evenly Unlike oil paint or household emulsion Any earthenware glaze firing at about and prevents volatilisation. Cornish stone assists then strongly reduced for about an the thrill of pottery. be avoided. so all sufficientcolour should be ground to world from China. it appear to be made of silver or gold. Until the an unfired pot it should be fired as soon frit. but the latter is probably a safer behaviour of the lustres on a particular as it is dry. where a particular colour can 1. the Sunderland in England. care should be When the glaze is almost dry— that been glazed and decorated— which can taken to handle the pots as little as is. it is probably glaze with enamels. Once the complete the pot. of chance and hope that contributes to to crawling. Copper Carbonate 30 parts fact that the amount of colouring oxide tionally used but as this is difficult to Red Ochre 70 parts applied will greatly alter the colour obtain in some countries alternatives- obtained. glazes. manganese. remained a dominantly Middle Eastern as though you were 'painting by num. hold a large amount firing. ded before trying out painted lustre. opacity. In both cases. that makes any definite have to be used.

restricted firing range. dull greens are produced— they tend to firing. browns ranging from dark red to black. up to 10% is used in some low-fired yellows and thus it is probably better to It is quite pointless having a bag of earthenware glazes. a great variety supplied by the potters' a decrease in firing temperature until very difficult to mix good reds and merchants. firing temperature and firing atmos. child-like colours most effectively. or a frit. due to the cobalt being impure. usually between 700 C and 800°C. or a little clay. are all derived from metals. be they The following lists some of the more When used as an underglaze pigment common metals such as iron and copper useful colouring oxides: it is best painted on unfired clay so that or less familiar metals such as uranium. oxide although we can now choose from sufficient. Cobalt Oxide Co 3 4 due for a come-back. Always pleasant. combined reduced stoneware. It stone. The black discretion. Coiled and At normal earthenware temperatures turquoise when 2-3 % of copper oxide unglazed. be it the dark red/browns of when colouring slips. however. is responsible Chrome is frequently used in prepared used by studio potters. used. buy enamels from the potters' everything listed because (a) some The range of blue tints obtained merchants. Alkaline glazes produce a green/ Plate 36. frit in the proportion 1:1. It is. so its use must be Copper Carbonate Cu C0 3 restricted. cause purple tints. It is a very versatile oxide.1% and 1. Iron be heavy and flat and always opaque. in a well-ventilated kiln to the tempera. The Chinese Sung potters rarely used results in only very small quantities Enamels can be mixed by using a lead any other pigment in addition to iron being required. The cupric and cuprous oxides and the Chromium Oxide Cr2 3 carbonate are used to give a range of The green type of this oxide isthat most colours varying from greens to red. yellows ranging from cobalt oxide is the one most used. but it medium with which to mix the enamels. The blues used on Chinese knife the enamels are painted onto the check that an oxide is suited to the Sung and early Ming pots were soft and glaze-fired pot. low alumina glazes with greenwhen up to 4% of copper oxide is tin oxide and chromium oxide give red added and then fired in an oxidising or orange when low fired. both the black and grey some would say tasteless— bone china phere. Antimonate of lead it sinks into and partly combines with It is these pigments that are responsible Approximately 3PbO Sb 2 3 the clay. When painting on biscuit The 'Naples Yellow' of the paint box. various is added and fired in an oxidising decoration. Peruvian water pot. colours— than have numerous colours modify cobalt with iron and manganese. —and get to know how to use a few and manganese. Used with greens ranging from gentle soft hues to at all firing temperatures. It can give soft blues. 750°-800°C. To this colour. the quantity increasing with ing oxides are added. acceptable Lead glazes produce a warm leaf- High lead. In stoneware glazes and quartz base in the proportion of and it remains the most useful colouring between 0. it can add welcome colour deep dark shades. This. black and white slip and at stoneware temperatures. with the strength of colour obtained. Cobalt oxide.0% is usually ° lead 40 : quartz 60%. it is best fixed by mixing it with Cornish A useful yellow for earthenware. a lead and soda base can give yellow. It to the otherwise restrained tones of a pale honey to yellow/brown. firing. to make good use of a restricted palette containing other oxides such as iron ture recommended by the enamel sup. lead glaze in useful oxide for painting on Majolica. allowed to dry and fired firing temperature being used 1 1 is better . par- volatile and great care must be taken ticularly in reduction firings. quantities up to 10% and when used as the tin glaze preventing any tendency a pigment is best mixed with a soft lead of the cobalt to run. This type of decoration is now seldom being the most plentiful. It is unfortunately Iron responds well to different glazes. pleasant. and is a very powerful flux. It is volatile at stoneware temperatures. It is a can be added to a clear. although some for much of the colour apparent in our underglaze colours and can be useful of the recent work by students at landscape. Cobalt Carbonate Co C0 3 associated with the highly ornate. bloom' on otherwise copper-free pots taining tin to check that chromium is can result from the presence of copper — not present unless pink tints are in a kiln. ! On-glaze decoration (Enamels) for the colour of natural rocks. They have a slight fluxing effect and are particularly at low temperatures. 'pink when using earthenware glazes con. 79 . This substance Copper Oxide CuO or Cu 2 is highly poisonous. colleges of art indicate that it might be the earth or the yellow of clay. (b) danger from tends to be hard and not altogether After mixing on a tile with a palette poisoning and (c) high cost. Colouring pigments that are not understood or used to Talc is also useful although it tends to The colouring pigments used in pottery advantage. It is often better to = plier. Hamadausesbright. with red. who also sell a turpentine oxides having very limited use due to a varies with the glaze applied. a variety of and cobalt carbonate give stable blues wares of the pottery industry.

yellows can be 10 % of dioxide. The most commonly used iron is red particularly in reduction.DECORATION A soda glaze. This must be used. the red will vary from bril. earthenware.who do not understand the adding iron-bearing clay. brown similar. additions of manganese. Stoneware glazes will accept up to when fired in reduction at earthenware In stoneware glazes. the edges of pots are usually fired in a that are not very attractive. slips. Matt glazes can be produced reducing atmospheres. A mirror black can be obtained from yellow to purple. about 0-5% generous with its application. The glazes tend to be opaque many different forms. Over 5 % of copper oxide to 10% of iron oxide. iron oxide comes in modifying other glaze pigments. Crocus Mart is Fe 2 3 metallic 'bursts'. which it quietens from a hard use of oxides and tend to be over. soft stoneware glaze with of red iron oxide. Great care thickly. often firing tends to promote rust-reds and Nickel is stable and refractory. It is useful for colouring A high Barium glaze with copper celadon as opposed to green. therefore. available from potters' merchants but Yellow iron is a natural hydrated iron In stoneware glazes heavy reduction most potters use only one or two types. It produces brown/yellows. In a lead glaze zircon and vanadium the colouring oxides for it will produce Manganese Dioxide Mn0 2 can combine to give a blue. when it leases like those associated with Egyptian and iron oxide which has a small particle size a grey/brown colour. such as red cobalt. high whiting glaze will promote blue purple/browns. A clear. even blue. Iron can be added to glazes by used to modify other oxides such as students. cobalt can give some pleasant blue/greens in Brown. at which stage it gives a temperatures. Iron Chromate FeCrO^ Iron-spangles are practically insoluble Vanadium Pentoxide V2 O s Yellow Ochre Fe2 3 H 2 and are used to produce speckle and This pigment is not often used when it. Most are readily as cobalt and copper.070°C in the glaze so causing a matt surface effect on clays and it fluxes glazes when it undergoes a chemical change and a resulting opacity. speckle and is used more frequently adding materials such as calcium and such as copper and cobalt. and iron being used to obtain a black the stoneware range in an oxidising duced in a stoneware glaze by adding up slip. a overglaze pigment. The dioxide gives some by underfiring a clear shiny glaze by formodifying the tintsof other pigments. such are used. as should attractive in a borax glaze. it gives an amber yellow to warm dioxide gives a purple brown colour. both give the same alumina which will cause the glaze to responsible for the colour of clays. much associated with the Chinese Celadons. Up to 5/o of iron is added. should be used for this purpose. a purple/plum colour. The firing should be oxidising. causing unpleasant. It is volatile at high temperatures alumina. glaze. similar way to red iron. It is also useful without speckle. It is can cause bubbling on the surface of the but Rutile (Ti0 2 ) will crystallise in a 80 . obtained with the addition of up to 2% lustrous metallic black smaller quanti- . atmosphere. which break to red on gives muted browns. but not so bright colours .). because of the tin or titanium present. copper oxide gives a red/purple glaze ware glaze. greys and greens with china clay and/or talc. In lead glazes A lead glaze with 2 3 ". Persian wares. it gives pleasant used. Such crystalline when reducing atmosphere but fired in and ceases to be a flux. It is at its least or by painting under or over the glaze. 1-3% of Note: The addition of copper to a glaze reducing atmosphere. oxide with larger particles which can overglaze pigment on a tin glaze when Black Iron Fe 3 4 cause a speckle in the glaze. oxide containing some impurities and can turn the oxide grey. of manganese uses of copper in a glaze (3000 B. rust-reds and black are pro. produce the grey/blues and greens copper. It should be applied it is decidedly unreliable giving anything glaze soluble and unsafe. become crystalline. an alkaline glaze with 2-3% will give A lead/soda/tin glaze with 1-5% of are obtained with a leadless earthen. Depending on Yellow iron Fe 23 used alone but is more useful for the yellow required amounts of 5-10 % As can be seen. The same glaze will useful as a modifier with cobalt and reduction. Black Tenmuku oxide being used. it gives a green colour. when fired in an ties in reduction will give grey tints. In oxidation it Pigments can be made by mixing Tenmuku glazes.C. it is usually combined with tin or Spr angles fe 3 4 Iron chromate produces grey when titanium to give yellows. oxidation promotes black but black mattness in a glaze. is. and copper is by the addition of 8% iron and 2% renders it unsuitable for use except when best put out of the reach of eager cobalt. It is 1% of copper oxide will give a red in oxidising firing. liant to unpleasant red/browns.070 C C it glazes are more common in stoneware not in an oxidising atmosphere. Iron Oxide Crocus Martis is a natural ferric It can be useful when used alone as an Red Iron FejO?. few colour and have similar properties. This is one of the earliest and gives an even colour. glaze should be high in silica. Black iron behaves in a blue to a soft grey/blue. Iron is probably the most important of clay. produces a bright turquoise.. Used on Majolica tin glazes as an depending on the firing and base glaze when fired in a reducing atmosphere. Iron has a fluxing Manganese is a flux up to 1. Iron is also than the carbonate. at 1. Reduction Nickel Oxide Ni0 2 gives a black metallic effect. low in or free from not volatile. In reduction can make soft insoluble earthenware the clay body. small crystals form clays being iron free. a great variety of colours by mixing it Manganese Carbonate MnCo 3 Opacifiers with different glazes and by firing at The carbonate is finer grained than the Opaque and matt glazes should not be various temperatures in oxidising or dioxide so giving a smooth colour confused.

in Boric Oxide. and do not appreciably affect the surface rate of the glaze. and is used to produce matt wall tiles. same degree of opacity. with tin and titanium. crawling. 7-12% being use in soft earthenware Majolica glaze. This can be done by Zirconium Oxide Zr0 2 of the glaze which can be shiny and not replacing or reducing the plasticmaterial Zirconium is not such a useful opacifier matt. In stone- ware. It has a tendency to crawl — ware glazes need 3-5 /o. 81 . titanium (5 %) can produce creamy whites with a vellum surface. in the glaze. reduction can cause patches of white. Earthenware glazes require 5-10% of tendency of a glaze to crawl so take this which helps prevent the running of tin oxide to become opaque and stone. Opaque coloured glazes can more zirconium is required to give the tures. Great care must be taken to avoid blistering and crawling.lead glaze when tired 1. it dulls colouring oxides. In an oxidising firing rutile gives some warmth that is lacking if titanium is used. clay can be replaced with calcined clay. does not always favour colours as does Tin Oxide Sn0 2 Some Majolica glazes have no clay tin. Zinc Oxide ZnO Zinc is a useful flux when used in quantities of up to 2%. The plastic as tin as it gives a harsher texture and zirconium. Very thorough mixing is necessary Tin is the most useful opacifier both at content in order to avoid the risks of if white specks are to be avoided. gives a darker colour. normally clay. if the glaze crazes as it dries crawling Chromium oxide should not be Opaque however. Rutile (titanium containing some iron).050 C up to colours. it increases the Tin increases the viscosity of a glaze. Probably better used in combination Plate 37. This tendency can be lessened present in a kiln with white Tin glazes as the suspension of small particles in a by making the pot slightly damp but the chrome and tin combine to give glaze. Like tin. It is used in lead free 'Bristol' glazes as flux and opacifier. it provides a milk-white background tin ceases to opacify but an uneven It is best used in a glaze which is low upon which pigments can be painted. It gives a creamy/buff colour in earthen- ware when 8-9% is added. Zinc can be used in larger quantities in earthenware and stoneware to give matt opaque glazes. to give blue 'Chun' effects. It is probably best known for its be prepared with tin oxide. Coiled Peruvian earthenware jar. In heavily reduced stoneware glazes required. sometimes very sickly. into account when using. making copper a dull brown. making iron muddy and dull but causing copper and cobalt to give an interesting range of colours. such as celadon or Tenmuku. It is used in the manufacture of kiln furniture and can be used as a batt wash by using 10 parts zircon to one part china clay. with brown painted slip on white ground. Titanium Oxide Ti0 2 Titanium is not frequently used in glazes but is very useful if a matt surface as well as an opaque glaze is required. result from glazes. titanium and zinc. It affects the colouring pigments. In stoneware. The advantages of zirconium are that it is much cheaper than tin and it avoids the danger of chrome/tin pinks. is likely. These particles reflect the light is best cured by reducing the shrinkage pinks. Rather earthenware and stoneware tempera. titanium can react with an iron glaze. The principal opacifiers are: tin. sometimes pleasant.

or indeed any other craft. pottery incorporates is of normal classroom size 15-20 clay preparation. preferably action. particularly when the clay on the ground floor. cupboards having to clear up. If the pottery room stressed elsewhere. both on the ground floor and near to a ments that will reduce the size of the delivery entrance. It is quite hopeless FKiln to have groups of students for only G Kiln Room 30^45 minutes. Basic equipment number 2 is that the number of students It is essential that the necessary basic using the pottery room should not equipment available before pottery is exceed the number of useful working is undertaken. 1. As has been manage with less. Closely connected with prerequisite 2. CHAPTER 12 class to a manageable number. Time A Bench Sufficient time must be available to the B Pug-mill teacher and students. It seems quite pointless areas. masters that 30-40 students cannot be The basic equipment and facilities accommodated for pottery at one time for setting up a school pottery are: but if they are invited to see a class in a) A room of adequate size. Pottery-making requires a mini. glazing and glaze- sometimes persuading head- difficult firing. so a lot of heavy carrying and frequently sympathise with the pottery wasted time will be saved if the room is teacher's argument and make arrange. The room should be almost exclusively 82 . making of pots and students will fill it to over-flowing! It is forms. Kilns and clay are is being wedged and kneaded. An hour is the under. Suggested layout for a school pottery. either in or out of C Clay bins school hours. shortest useful time but for secondary KSink and high school pupils half a day is to be preferred. they heavy. 42. be taught in school it is essential that Ideal layouts are seldom possible but ample two prerequisites are satisfied. E Wheels nuity and application. biscuit-firing. to include pottery in a school curriculum mum of about a square metre (1 square if the pot cannot be fired either in a yard) per student although small professionally manufactured kiln or in primary school pupils could probably a home-made outdoor kiln. storage and shelving is essential. is to Fig. Shelves over. B222 V»A YM/M///////MM/M/MMWWm/Mfina SETTING-UP HHBB0 A SCHOOL B POTTERY H WMW//WM/Sjr/M7//M»//»»»»M H K H W//W/W^/wW/V^^ If pottery. so that the craft can be D Wedging and kneading bench undertaken with some degree of conti. for they no sooner get H Shelving I Damp room and clay store involved in their work than they are J Bench for glazing.

Wherever has to be stored until it is taken away by the store is it must be cool so as to ensure the students. pleasing aptitude for the basic skills. firing. particles of silica over a long period of but many potters like to work on a slate Clay needs to be stored in an airtight time. for ing that the kiln or kilns are fired on g) Storage bins. Such particles are present in clay or marble slab. A cupboard for storing unfinished work room is cool and the clay is kept wrapped is also very desirable. The easiest type to when only small groups are able to pot. Storage bins are required clay is messy and whilst a pottery should average twice a week. Such slabs can some. a kiln or kilns having a sheeting . When the work has been and glaze materials. e) Work benches. so a damp- depend on the money available. a kiln is the single to c damp. If a storeroom is used as a kiln f) Shelving. amount of pottery to be undertaken. it will be suitable for use most work is hand-built an ordinary for a year and more. sturdy benches dipped into a deep bin of glaze. Plate 38. It is and suitable for washing down. fibre glass or galvanised iron.Par is shelves total capacity of . When the pots or ventilation either from windows or an forms have been made. 83 . Remember that most sizeand type of bin depends on the difficult to use the room for clean work work requires both a biscuit. plus a bench for moved. it is worth tolerating the allowedfor each student.17m' (6 cuft) is about which can be regularly soaked with water. which can result from inhaling fine keep clean are those covered with formica generous bins of glaze are best prepared. Adequate storage shelves or materials are essential in any pottery room ensure that there is sufficient cupboards are essential. Heavy. the floor should which to knead. Plastic quartz and flint. firing. fumes for the sake of having the use of wedging and kneading. soaked in a strong water-tight bin. The type of kiln bought will soft to be wrapped in plastic. rather lower than the working benches. if not essential. so even cerned about the dangers of silicosis are to be preferred. Boards of various sizes and the kiln. Many show reasonably up-to-date with firing. the finished work the school hall can be utilised.used for pottery and clay sculpture. to dry out on a shelf where they will not be c) A storeroom or storage area for clay damaged. clay but such bins are rarely suitable for keeping the dust to a minimum.and glaze. Such a cupboard number of possible students and hence has to keep damp inside it. Assuming that prerequisites be wrapped in plastic sheeting to keep it a are available. notably times be bought. assum. Health since the pots must not touch each other. it is essential to have one bench with a soaking down clay for reclamation as the If a pottery-room is to be built or a slate. if such a room is not available The work must then be stored until it can perhaps a storeroom elsewhere or under be glaze-fired. A cold water tank. Ideally the kneading bench should be ideal reclamation bin. a floor gully into which the water usedfor as the clay will stick to the bench. If in plastic bags. The fumes to be used when kneading. the cupboard is necessary. they must be left extractor fan. If the store. such as drawing. It is therefore essential when older property is being demolished. as it is better to leave a tank of gas kiln is to be used and desirable if This permits the whole weight of the body wet. Formica or any other trowel or spade to dig out the wet clay be of quarry tiles or smooth concrete with sealed surface is unsuitable for kneading soon splits the bin. and are kept closed. h) Boards. concrete or hardwood top upon weight of clay and water and the use of a room properly adapted. If a storeroom near biscuit-fired it must be stored until the to the pottery-room can be used this is students attend the class to apply glazes. If100 secondary school students These conditions can be achieved by use the pottery studio for about l\ hours lining a cupboard with strong plastic each per week. two tanks. is fully used it will be necessary to have A separate room for kilns is essential if a about 60 cm (24 in) from the ground. cupboard is satisfactory as the work can d) A kiln. and not just dry out a little before spreading out the from kilns can be unpleasant if breathed pressure from the arms. so If formica topped benches are used. for glaze and dry material storage. bin. and that glaze packing takes up Plastic dustbins or trash cans are suitable The floor shouldbe non-dust harbouring more kiln space than a biscuit-firing. freshly soaked clay to mature and electric kilns are to be used. ideal. Finally. The be well organised and tidy it is extremely times in one week. Children generally find pottery the minimum capacity with which to keep and by ensuring that the doors fit well classes both interesting and fun. glazes and dry materials. and be so the volume of work likely to require constructed that warm dry air is kept out. and clay for reclaiming needs to be dust and some glaze ingredients. If the pottery-room b) A small room for use as a kiln room. makes an swilling down the floor can be swept. if the pots are thrown most essential piece of equipment for all on the wheel they are far too delicate and potters. The tanks can be only be installed in the pottery studio and square metre ( 1 square yard) should be mounted on wheels so that they can be nowhere else. that the clay is not dried out. or even obtained free. sometimes three for clay. clay on absorbent boards to firm-up for for long periods but if an electric kiln can As far as possible a bench area of 1 pugging or kneading. making plaster-of. However. bins are suitable for storing prepared that the floor can be washed daily. far easier to glaze when the pots can be and safety inspectors are naturally con.

being vertical. Both types are available — both types varies the larger the nozzle usually expensive so they are an extrava. Some of the These are not essential pieces of equip. I am sure most potters pugging and the money available but it pots are also necessary if a potters' would agree that a kick-wheel without a always seems advisable to get a pug-mill wheel is available. Being able to turn the pot around on models are not recommendedfor schools. the amount of clay requiring clay can be dried prior to pugging or Chapter 4. m) Sundry items. does not scored so there is little. assistants' time is taken into account. Those schools that have one or more as gravity assists the downward direction Boards upon which to build coil and instructors teaching pottery full-time of the clay. ience plays a large part in deciding which amount of clay that is likely to require Boards upon which to place thrown wheel to buy. for it is amazing how the Hessian or pieces of old sheets are needed foot is no easy task. prior to glazing. wood or hard asbestos are probably the from a large number of manufacturers. the greater the output of clay per hour. The money would almost certainly clay into the barrel. It is easier to wedge nylon fishing wire with a toggle at each to operate it comfortably. gance except for use on the potters' Whilst personal preference and exper. amount of clay requiring reclaiming to prevent clay from sticking to the bench tiring. In The difference between a whirler and type of wheel requires little maintenance addition basic services such as water. a banding-wheel is that the whirler is always an advantage. Most potters' suppliers market pug- purpose. The preceding headings give the potters also use banding-wheels when each offering different refinements. Once in use the wheel. if any health kiln. as it is made into slices. The size chosen will depend on the wheel. or decorating a pot. If an instructor is benches. thin stainless Traditionally the potter walked around a table models. or were used in industry. clay. If the room. are able to spend an adequate amount of they are considerably more expensive. Marine ply. cardboard tubing and strips of wood to do not use a power-driven wheel. Many available from a number of suppliers. and can be very. basic requirements of accommodation applying wax resist. Primary schools have no need reclamation will be such that a pug-mill kneading and which can be used as of a wheel for young children are is essential unless a lot of time is to be kneading boards for clay that is just invariably too small to use a wheel. I) A pug-mill. Cone-driven wheels are steel wire cut into 30 cm (I ft) lengths coil pot as it was made but the space in a excellent but usually far too expensive with a wooden toggle at each end for pottery-room does not normally permit for school use and light-weight table cutting the clay. secondary school machine. necessity if pottery is to be undertaken need to be available. Absorbent boards upon which wet to make pots — this is made clear in full-time. A pug-mill becomes a possibly including three phase supply. The smooth finished type 2 cm tional forms to make on the wheel. This and equipment for a school pottery. 84 . These may find wheels beneficial if the students therefore easier and quicker to use but can be round or square. wooden modelling this. All sorts of odds and j) Bench whirlers or banding wheels. nulls but the main choice is between ff in) thick can be bought as a large sheet Secondary and high schools that under.C. particularly when painting to mechanically. It certainly is not on a large scale. Whirlers or wheel driven by a D. best materials to use. with or without a seat for the potter. they are usually much better at inventing for use. . and requiring far less space. seat is really not very useful. to light-weight throwing on the wheel. the and cut into pieces. tools. ranging from the more obvious items are sponges and ment but they are very useful when large heavy cone-driven wheels that are bowls for cleaning up and for use when making coil pots. Vertical pug-mills are slab pots are also necessary. require a plate and lever to feed in the clay hazard. Absorbent asbestos board is ideal for this forms than thinking out suitable func. so it is only and knead the clay than to use such a end are needed for preparing slices of suitable for the older. There are many types of wheel available. kiln. wheels on the market. placed on a bench whereas the banding. There are many electrically-driven ends are useful to the potter. SETTING-UP A SCHOOL POTTERY room. The barrel of the asbestos is slightly damp and is not cut or be better spent on a larger or additional vertical type. Round batts are and kick-wheels. wheel is on an adjustable stand. suitable drainage and electrical services. of various sizes. are a must. Care must be taken to take very little pottery would also be barrel of the former being horizontal and wear a simple mask as the asbestos dust wasting money if they indulged in a requiring a plate and lever to push the can be a health hazard. finishes and degrees of comfort. but any plywood The two main types are power-driven The size of the barrel and nozzle of off-cuts will suffice. but it such models are turned by hand instead of act as thickness guides and thin wire or requires an operator with fairly long legs by an electric motor. they are probably cheaper. and spent wedging and kneading clay ready slightly too damp for use. Rolling-pins or well-tried and popular among those who Hand-operated pug-mills are available. clay storage and clay are essential to have potters' wheels in order teaching pottery or any sort of clay work available pottery can start. motor with the innumerable objects which will make banding-wheels are very useful when speed controlled electronically as opposed decorative impressions when pressed into decorating. If and of any material that will not warp or time gaining the basic skills of throwing. on one foot and kicking with the other necessary. Standing with an output greater than is thought i) Equipment for making slices of clay. student. a horizontal and a vertical type. Such wheels are now soft clay. The 'Leach' type kick-wheel is builds up andpugging is a boring necessity. k) Potters' wheels. the cost of the teacher's or technical break up when made wet. pieces of hack-saw blade for a whirler is a suitable substitute method About midway in the price range is the scraping pots and for decorating. continuous bands around a pot.

618 West. Porce- CHING (Manchu) A.D.D.618 .g. durability. D. 1644. Far Plate 39.A. Chinese pottery invariably named is The body was sometimes engraved after the dynastic period during which then with glaze. 220).D. Chinese B.I 280- A. to A. the railways.I 644 make 'marbled' or 'Agate' ware. after a Emperor or a dynasty. 1279 mottled green/brown on a white body. Increased contact with the Disturbed period A. CHINESE POTTERY Both technically and aesthetically. D. The history and development of pottery THE is closely linked with the general development of man and In the chapters dealing with the his cultures. but rather Porcelain was probably discovered backward-looking and withdrawn. Lead glazed wares were mostly SUNG A.D. making POTTER'S and decorating of pots.220 ceramics set. pottery in particular has been and continues to be a great source of T'ANG period inspiration. and the interplay of one culture with another. made in the style of earlier bronzes. Kilns built through which resulted in pottery being reminis- hillsides. YUAN (Mongol) A. can provide a valuable back- ground to a better understanding of its possibilities.I 368 Clays of different colour were mixed to MING A.A. When it is Hellenistic influence on some wares. in philosophy and the arts. A. noted that wares that have been regarded e. From this resulted the famous Sung 85 . What follows is a brief summary and all students of pottery are urged to read more specialised books on the history and development of ceramics and always to associate such develop- ments with the general development of a culture.but a more general assessment of the craft as it has developed over the centuries. Glaze often ended filled itwas made. They the patronage of the Imperial court sought to make pottery with the hard- led to the vitrification. However. Pot of Chinese Han dynasty (206 Eastern pottery is unsurpassed. for Tang wares have been found TANG A. resonance and ness.D. A. An outburst of creative activity in this period following the wars of the dis- The principal Chinese Dynasties turbed period. the Emperors of HAN period Ming and Ching dynasties built up Large granary wares and wine jars collections of earlier work.D. in this period. Moulded relief was used. D.D. 1912 lain was creamy white with celadon and amber glazes.906 in Egypt. dim trans- translucency we in the West associate lucency and even the colours of jade. the vastness of the subject is not excavated until the construction of realised.D. sometimes more specifically in a wavyline short of the base. when many tombs were disburbed. resonance. A. CHAPTER 13 with porcelain. particular tech- niques and forms are frequently referred HERITAGE to.C. as classical were being made in Han Most examples of Tang ware were times. amphora-shaped vases. DA'368.220 . SUNG period Some wares lead glazed and stained with This was a period of great achievement copper.D.C. refinement of materials and cent of early jade and bronzes. Standard of Chinese HAN 206 B.907 - A.D.

Ting The early porcelains had fine flowing lack of oxygen. During the later Badarian culture. the Pottery.C. The pots were fired to earthenware To begin with during this period. which iron and potash (from wood ash). In some Chinese artistic influence was ways the Ming period was to T'ang as paramount over most of S. Clay was daubed and Plate 41. swift looking. in particular made in response to European demands. (Reduction = Lungchuan. consequently most pottery was hand- built. this dark slip was almost a the use of cobalt for painting on Over-refinement and 'cleverness' be. brush work was used for decoration. The wares were round-based. The first consistent use of pottery and are now in Istanbul. Ko. played no part foreign market often dictating the shape in the lives of the wandering hunters and and decoration. by the Sultans of Turkey and Egypt. CHING dynasty ( Manchu rulers) notable black-topped wares were pro- Sung ware is claimed to be the best Under the Emperor K'ang Hsi came a duced. as did pre- Plate 40. Chun (blue). Greek Attic-ware amphora of Late dynast)' (early 14th century). These outstanding pots appear pottery ever made. The Imperial Court ordered ese developed their own pottery wares. GREEK WARES they supplied a wider market.C. fired clay. during the firing process. EGYPTIAN WARES The earliest pottery— Tasian Ware derived from basketry. pressed onto baskets. say from about 8000 B. both by Western great flourishing of all the arts. A few new glazes causing reduction to the inverted rim famous Sung wares: Ju. fine white porcelain decorated with which were usually much simpler than cobalt (blue) and coloured enamels. whereas Bronze Age pottery is usually found in burial sites (Long Barrows). brown glaze (Tenmuku). They rejected Sung taste in favour Chinese influence of T'ang and brighter colours. the tive skill did not result in pleasing Chinese were forward-looking and crea. Processes were the same as in black top was caused by the flames The following are some of the more the Ming period. Decoration was often geometric in inspiration and either incised or impressed. probably by women. those of China. lines. including to be derived from stone forms and the collections and Japanese Tea-masters. with a black/ the Ming period became backward present day. came all-important (Chien Lung). glaze. were used and slight variation in shapes. pottery. The Potters' Wheel did not come to Britain until the late Early Iron Age. for much As time went on large grotesque Greek pottery is famous for its figured of Asia was under Mongol rule. The greatest collections food-collectors who lived during the of Ming 'Blue and White' were made old and middle Stone Ages. our Renaissance was to classical Greece Korea and Japan. sometimes with burnished slip. were superbly made and the later as was the first glaze. 86 . unglazed. pottery. 720-700 B. YUAN dynasty (Mongols) decoration was as bold and fresh as the Sung ware remained in fashion but best Ming porcelain. tive.E. Chien. Asia. Persian forms with finicky decoration were decoration executed in glossy black on influence on decoration. Pots and glazes of the T'ang period were copied which often makes the dating PREHISTORIC WARE very difficult. — THE POTTER'S HERITAGE celadon wares. Stoneware pots of great Japanese invasion of China (1592-98) fired. Basket-like forms persist to the beauty were also made. then crudely Geometric period.) Slip was used a little (white). Free. Pots were exported. which enabled men to live in settled communities. as we know it. Porcelain stem cup of Chinese Ming historic pottery. Most examples of Neolithic and Early Iron Age pottery have been found in domestic sites. being a very fine clay containing porcelain. MING dynasty although perfect marvels of manipula. However the Japan- and Rome. Kuan. After the came with the discovery of agriculture and the domestication of animals.

D. and a third handle times. the Romans Cream ware was earthenware with a imitated the Greeks in their pottery lead glaze using a white clay body. Staffordshire earthenware underwent Despite the satisfactory balance and tremendous refinement in the 18th and proportion of Greek vases. 1670. durable and were so highly prized. English salt-glaze bottle made by — reduction atmosphere— re-oxidising green Florentine ware was made. Common salt decoration. salt combined with the silica in the clay example. It has incised floral in Pottery in the 17th century by John the Etruscans. gloss-red Plate 43. also manufactured in Bristol and Liver. rather like The potters' wheel was used for most icing on a cake. functional. the Hydria was a water jar with Salt glaze ware was first made on a to form a glaze. being achieved. inclu- ding water jars and lamps have survived in considerable quantities. e. all over the Roman Empire. a majority of Dutch Delft ware is a later Majolica Greek pottery was simple in form and and is an imitation of Chinese Ming large scale in Cologne. However.g. Dwight for making salt-glaze stoneware 87 . and other coloured clays. stole all markets and set the highest standards for present-day ROMAN WARES industrial ware. (Any ware with overglaze painting Plate 42. reached its culmination in Staf- was for pouring.C. from the name 'Faenza' where Plate 44. Amphora was century. The Moors were Arabs from North Africa. vigorous pattern trailed on it with white neck to prevent excessive evaporation. the Alhambra in Granada. Greek Attic.ware dating from the beginning of 5th century B. having simple incised bands Blue and White ware. clay was developed at the Fulham earthenware which was originated by France 2nd century A. Of red body. the forms and decoration. the The shapes reflect the function. including Britain. Such ware was was thrown into the kiln when it and no figures. they lack a 19th centuries. hence the name Majolica ware. England. Domestic ware of this period. their same as used for salt-glaze stoneware. Krater was a bowl for fordshire in Britain during the 18th mixing wine and water. although used in Medieval head and earning. smooth. who were greatly influenced by Islamic work. Roman Samian-ware made in Somme. on a tin glaze is called Majolica. They are best-known for the magnificent buildings they constructed in Spain.D. However. Such were relief-moulded. The red gloss was obtained by dipping the raw pot into a suspension of siliceous clay which fused when fired. atmosphere. a very high standard by the Toft and Simpson families. Dwight in Fulham about A. so forming a simple glaze. two handles for lifting the pot onto the Slip-ware. it has bold for oil storage etc. It was ultimately made decoration in imitation of cut glass. This Cream Ware (called 'Queens' under may be due to the inspiration obtained the patronage of Queen Charlotte) from the silver and gold wares that which was cheap. reached its maximum temperature. Samian wares are notable. Josiah Wedgwood's feeling for the use of plastic clay. tiles and hypocaust. For pool. The best pieces were Greek pottery. as have Roman bricks. These wares that is ball clay and calcined flint. and had a narrow. Spanish lustre ware reached Italy via Majorca. being Moslems them- selves. EUROPEAN POTTERY Roman Empire After the collapse of the therewas no major development in European pottery until the Moorish invasion of Spain.) Another name for a similar ware is temperatures in an oxidising atmosphere Faience. As in so many things.

the greatest potting genius were metallic in form. whilst all the pots are packed in applied. Large storage pot from the palace at Bottger. Onto that it can be high-fired in the biscuit- these colours white decoration was firing. included soap rock from Cornwall. is reduced and That is. Pale in the field of porcelain manufacture. often inspired by Meissen products. He later had cream ware business men and goldsmiths. accounts for the metal forms of some of In the 1760's the architects Robert the Chelsea wares. copies of Meissen. by the high glaze-firing. The porcelain body production today. This ware was later made in Spode France and Germany. When Chelsea Wedgwood set up by himself he concen. These was to be used so much by Wedgwood. pots The factory mark of 'Chelsea' was form and decoration which classical in an anchor. enamelling themes of decoration and building and gilding being used. the makers and Wedgwood used a high biscuit-firing of his age. often the patronage of the Medicis in Florence. which is caused used but some wares were slip-moulded. This is the ware we It can then be low-fired in the glaze- still produced by Wedgwood. teapots imported from China. Some were known as Etruscan In 1749 a patent was taken out by the ware due to the decoration used. were underglazed black and were stone. plaster-of-Paris moulds were porcelain becomes a cheaper commodity made from fired and glazed master within the purchasing power of an moulds. so reducing kiln factory which produced 'hard-paste" salt-glazeware and the red stoneware losses and enabling him to apply the porcelain. This enamelled and gilded. Englands greatest contribution clay was applied to the white pot. i. The advantages of Bone China are yellow and black wares were made. sage green. figures and leaves. This factory was the first to use enamel which was expensive. Eventually This factory developed in Stoke on Plate 46. often in the form of Greek sand to prevent warping and cracking.e. right through with metal oxide. lilac. English medieval jug found in Oxford. Slip was poured onto the increased market.THE POTTER'S HERITAGE inan attempt to rival imported German and low glaze-firing. Jasper Bow factory which mentioned a material Ware was also developed. Later use of bone ash. Due to the import of Chinese porcelain. working in Saxony. mould and allowed to form a coating of Bristol and Worcester the required thickness on the plaster. The Bristol and Worcester factories This is the method often used in mass combined in 1752. blue. the first Plate 45. This proved Derby impossible at first but a soft paste This factory was established in 1750 to porcelain was eventually made under produce transfer decorated ware. discovered Trent. point. Wedgwood later became ENGLISH PORCELAIN Whieldon's partner (1754-59). The first English porcelain was made in trated on glazing other people's ware. Wedgwood quickly adapted his decorative figures were being made. The work was and John Adam introduced classical usually highly decorated. 88 . This was produced partly by 'calcining all animal whitestoneware which couldbecoloured substance'. and copies of the Soft paste can be scored with a steel white unglazed Sevres figures. Whereas the European fac- He improved cream ware which he tories were promoted by royal patrons. Fulham glaze very thinly. By the 1750's styles. see firing. thus the high wastage rate of The wheel continued to be potters' traditional porcelain. kaolin and so established the Meissen Chelsea Factory. It is 5ft (180cm) high. In other words. He introduced his 'basaltes'. which gave the ware a green colour by EUROPEAN PORCELAIN transmitted light. which produced Bone only a surface wash of the coloured China. the Bone China introduced by the Knossos in Crete. Whieldon. work to this style. teacher of Joseph Spode and Josiah Wedgwood. The earliest English examples were made use of moulded decoration which Cream ware was later used by Thomas produced in 1745 at Chelsea. sought to make porcelain. He is better known as the backers being former goldsmiths. many Europeans transfers on a large scale. Chelsea. Bow and Bone China ware. glazed then sent to Liverpool for transfer Chelsea was started by a group of decoration. dark blue.

270 Handbook and Winston 90 1. All cones ted on the right for the cones more com- 060 980 006 are numbered so that the correct cones monly used 065 990 050 1.120 101 Art and Technique of Raku H. 165 760 kiln at a given moment in time but When the second cone has bent over so 150 790 015 measure effectsof heat when applied that its tip is touching the stand the 155 800 for varying periods of time.100 002 Technique of Throwing John Colbeck Batsford 15 1. They should lean at an 170 730 017 indicators.130 102 Artist Potters in England M.160 104 A Handbook of Pottery E.230 108 Kenzan and his Tradition Bernard Leach Faber & Faber 75 1.070 An Illustrated Dictionary Robert Fournier Van Nostrand 010 1.150 Technique of Pottery D. 100 900 009 indication of when glazes are likely to The principal cones available are the 090 920 008 be mature than a pyrometer. like a pyro. NOTE: The rate at which the Tin Glaze Pottery in Europe Alan Caiger-Smith Faber & Faber temperature rises affects Staffordshire and the Islamic World and Orton cones in slightly different Ceramic Review Published bi-monthly ways. Yanagi Kodansha International Ltd. : can be identified. 080 940 A wide range of cones is available and the American Orton cones. The 085 950 with squatting temperatures of 600 C cone reference numbers and approxi. so the equivalents for the two by Craftsmen Potters Association types of cone are only approximate.080 of Practical Pottery Reinhold 10 1.170 105 Clay and Glazes for the Potter Daniel Rhodes Pitman 50 1. The chemical firing is complete.200 and Operation 65 1.140 103 A History of Pottery E.110 001 Pottery in Britain Today Michael Casson Tiranti 20 1. Staffcone Temperature C Orton cone APPENDIX ONE Three cones of consecutive numbers should be used. Rose Faber & Faber 30 1. so cones give a far better over-fired.180 Stoneware and Porcelain Daniel Rhodes Pitman 55 1.280 110 Spanish Folk Ceramics Jose Lor ens Amiga and Editorial 95 1.They do not.000 055 1. measure the temperature in the can be seen through the kiln spy-hole. Construction Daniel Rhodes Pitman 106 60 1. 89 . English Harrisons' Staffordshire cones. The first cone acts 140 815 014 changes that occur in clay and glazes as a warning that the firing is near 130 835 013 vary with the rate at which the tempera. 070 960 007 to 1.215 107 The Art of the Modern Potter Tony Birks Country Life 70 1. Nelson Holt Rinehart 87 1. Cooper Longmans 45 1.250 109 Ceramics 85 1. Leach/S.050 A Potter's Book Bernard Leach Faber & Faber 020 1. Cooper Longmans 35 1.260 Ceramics— A Potter's G.040 005 004 BOOK LIST FOR FURTHER READING 035 1. completion and the third cone indicates 120 855 012 ture is increased as well as the actual how much.190 Kilns: Design.020 1.500 C.240 The W orld of Japanese Herbert Saunders Ward Lock 80 1. the steps between cones mate squatting temperatures are indica. Reigger Studio Vista 25 1. 075 970 varying from 10 C to 50 C.300 111 The Unknown Craftsman B.030 1. the second cone indica- 220 210 600 650 020 019 USEFUL INFORMATION ting the finishing point of the firing. if any.290 Jose Corredor-Mathias Bhume Barcelona 100 1. angle of 10 and be placed where they 160 750 016 meter. 200 670 Pyrometric Cones They are placed either in stands supplied 190 690 018 These cones are made of ceramic by potters' merchants or in a piece of 180 710 material and are Time Temperature grogged clay. Billing ton 40 1. the kiln has been 110 880 011 temperature.010 APPENDIX TWO 040 045 030 1.060 003 Pioneer Pottery Michael Cardew Longmans 025 1.

Calcium Oxide CaO 56 Low Medium CaO 100 1 Refractory by itself. Used in Bone China bodies. Fluxing Material Formula Weight Ability Expansion Contains % Comment Aluminium Oxide Al 102 Very Re. Activity increases with other oxides on rise in temperature. A useful ban wash. 4. Rarely absent from stoneware glazes. Affects degree of fluidity of molten mass. 2. 2. Barium Oxide SaO 153 Low Low BaO 1 As for Barium Carbonate. 197 Low Low BaO 79 1 Produces glass with high index of refraction therefore more brilliant than other earths. useful for improving plasticity of 2 3 2 H 2 0+ nH 2 clay. Increases the elasticity of a glaze and so lowers tendency to craze. Can give opalescent and broken effects. 5. 4. A glass former. Very plastic. Most useful when incorporated into a frit for earthenware glazes. Barium Carbonate BaCO. Boric Oxide ¥ 3 70 High Low or Negative B 2 3 100 1. 3. keeping the glaze in suspension. Soluble. Increases tensile strength and lowers coefficient of thermal expansion in relation to alkalis. Borax dehydrated Na^ 2B 2 3 or 202 High Low 2B 2 3 69 1. A matting agent in excess. Controls matting and refractoriness. . 2 3 2 3 fractory therefore its stability. particularly porcelain. . 3 90 . Can be used over a wide range of temperatures. even opalescence. 2. 3. Bentonite Al 4Si0 High 1. therefore of limited use but is useful for Na 2 B 4 7 no 31 lower fusion point of a glaze. 2. In excess it increases refractoriness and causes mattness and then crystallisation. Calcined alumina in glaze curbs crystallising and reduces tendency to crawl. 4. SOME COMMON GLAZE INGREDIENTS AND THEIR PROPERTIES Mol. Intensifies colour. Low Al 1 00 1 . Increases hardness of glaze. Frequently provided in the form of Whiting (CaC0 ). Calcium Phosphate P 2 5 46 Pining and pinholing when used in excess. 2. 2. Bone Ash 3Ca0P29 R 5 310 Low Medium CaO 54 Small bubbles induce opacity. About 2% added to a glaze acts as a deflocculant. Acts either as base or acid in molecular formula. 3.

2.1 4.7 2. Litharge High 2. With Cornish stone.4 2 3 Anorthite 2SiO. 2 2 3 Pegmatite (variable) SiO„ 3.4 2 3 SiO. 2 3 8Si0 Al 2.5 2.4 the main stoneware fluxes. Gerstley Borate is a reliable colemanite found in U. Used in stoneware glazes both as a flux and for giving the glaze a pleasing matt surface. this can 2 3 Orthoclase Sid 64.China Clay Varies 258 Low Al 39. 3. Highly viscous so preventing the glaze from becoming too fluid. Reduces thermal expansion so reduces risk of crazing. 6Si0.A. CaO Al 278 Good CaO 20. Used to raise fluxing temperature in glaze. 5. 2 2 3. Seldom used due to being poisonous. 22. Frequently the main flux in stoneware and the secondary flux in earthenware. Unpredictable in large quantities. 6. 91 . Useful in glaze to help it adhere to the biscuited 2 3 2 2 3 2H pot and provides silica and alumina 2 Calcined Al 2Si0 222 SiO„ 54. A powerful flux.5 1 Only non-soluble form of Boric Oxide. 5. High brilliance due to high refractive index. Na^O Al 524 Good Na 11. Al 1 9. A naturally occurring material the analysis of Carbonate of calcium MgC0„ MgO 22 which may vary.9 1. 2 3 SiO„ 68. Soda. A felspar found in England.8 3. Felspar K. Usually free of iron. Dolomite CaC03 1 84 Good Low CaO 31 1. Lime. Cornish Stone Nal^O Al 644 Good Medium Nar^O variable 1. Al 18. Potash. AI Al C 36. 4.0 Al 556 Good Medium I^O 16. the former often giving a bluish colour to the raw material. Can produce broken and streaked colour. An insoluble source of Magnesium and Calcium. when it can cause crawling. 3.9 3. 2 3 2 Colemanite 2CaO 3B 412 Strong Low CaO 27.8 Lead Oxide PbO 223 Very Low PbO 100 1.3 silica base but with a varying basic flux. 4. the felspars provide one of 2 3 2 Albite 6SiO.8 2. Highly viscous so preventing the glaze from becoming too fluid. 7. 2 Al 2Si0 Al 43.5 1 Large particle size prevent plasticity. Usually made into a lead frit which is safe when used correctly and is insoluble. Contains fluorspar and mica. Soda or Calcium but more than one flux is usually present. All the felspar are minerals with an alumina/ 2 3 1. and magnesium 2.8 be Potash. Can cause glaze to crawl if used in excess. 2 3 5H B 50.S. Intensifies colour. 3. 2 3 Kaolin Theoretical Si0 46.

Decreases tensile strength and elasticity. Lower expansion than soda so more can be used. 4. Usually introduced to glaze in Talc and in Dolomite. 4. 3. Colour behaviour similar to that of soda. The formula is theoretical and some potash is 3 2Sid Al 2 3 invariably present. Forms important part of clay bodies. e. Useful in bodies when felspar content tends to cause shivering. Sid 2. producing a brittle glaze. felspars. Very high expansion rate so tends to cause crazing. 3.g. High in alumina and soda compared with most felspars. 3.. fractory 2. Nepheline Syenite Na 2 Al o 462 Good Medium Na 2 variable 1 . 2 2. 4. Useful in earthenware and stoneware glazes for reducing the melting point. Low expansion rate reduces risk of crazing. as strong as soda. Strong flux. Magnesium Oxide MgO 40 Low Very MgO 100 1.3 molecular equivalent of RO. 2. volatilising above 1 200 C Lithium Oxide Li 30 High Low LLO 1 A very strong flux. A matting agent when in excess of . In reduction it boils and bubbles. 3. Increases hardness of glaze. 5. The glass former in glazes. Acts as a flux at high temperatures. Present in many glaze materials but is also derived from flint and quartz. Sodium Oxide Na 62 High Very Na 1 A strong flux present in many glazes. Much more expensive than soda. 92 . 5. 3. Soluble. Low Sid 100 1.. 2 2 High 2. Mol. Can give pleasant buttery surface to glaze. Present in most stoneware glazes. Very active flux. 3. Low 2. therefore must be fritted or obtained from mineral containing potash. Tends to have a lower melting point than most felspars so is useful when the melting point of a glaze is to be lowered. . Fluxing Material Formula Weight Ability Expansion Contains % Comment 4. Potassium Oxide r^O 94 High High r^O 1 More refractory than sodium oxide. Silicon dioxide (silica) Sid 60 Very re. 4.

4. With dolomite the source of Magnesium in glazes. etc. Oxide PbO 223 Tin Oxide SnO 151 Barium Carbonate Ba C0 198 Lithium Oxide Li 30 Titanium Oxide Ti0 80 3 2 2 Boric Oxide B 70 Lithium Carbonate Li C0 74 Uranium Oxide U 842 2 3 2 3 3 8 Calcium Oxide Calcium Carbonate CaO CaC0 100 56 Magnesium Oxide Magnesium Carbonate MgO MgC0 3 40 84 Vanadium Pentoxide Zinc Oxide ¥ ZnO 5 182 81 3 Chromium Oxide Cr 0_ 2 152 Manganese Oxide Mn02 87 Zirconium Oxide Zr0 2 123 93 . Raw material has high shrinkage which makes application of glaze difficult so is best caicined. 5. In small quantities. 2%. Talc 3Mg0 4Si0 2 379 Good in Low MgO 32 1. amounts 3. 5. 2. it acts as a flux. 4. Soluble so must be fritted or obtained from soda bearing mineral such as the felspars. therefore the brilliance of a glaze. Used to replace lead in Bristol glazes which are used for sanitary ware.0 94 Molecular Formula weight Copper Carbonate CuC0 124 Silicon Dioxide Si0 60 3 2 Aluminium Oxide Al 102 Iron Oxide Fe 160 Sodium Oxide Na 62 2 3 2 3 2 Antimony Oxide Sb0 291 Iron Chromate FeCr0 172 Strontium Oxide SrO 103 3 4 Barium Oxide BaO 153 Lead. Necessary when producing turquoise from copper oxide. Whiting CaC0 100 Good Medium CaC0 3 100 1 . Strontium Oxide SrO 104 Good Low SrO 1i 1 When replacing calcium on a molecular basis it increases fluidity and solubility. The non-poisonous carbonate is normally used. Low thermal expansion helps prevent crazing. In larger quantities makes glaze more viscous. 6. Zinc Oxide ZnO 81 Good in Low ZnO 11 1. small 2. . Can be used as one of the bases in an earthenware glaze. More expensive than calcium. 3. The chief source of calcium in glazes. 4. An active flux in small quantities. Increases refractive index. Gives the glaze a buttery surface. The Oxides and Carbonates commonly Cobalt Oxide Co 241 Manganese Carbonate MnC03 115 3 4 used in Ceramics Cobalt Carbonate CoC0 119 Nickel Oxide NiO 75 3 Copper Oxide CuO 80 Potassium Oxide 10. 2%. 4. 3 See calcium oxide. Forms crystals in saturation and so mattness. H 2 small Si0 2 63 2. amounts 3.

21. 86. 11-12 Bentonite. 18. Ruth. 52 Campbell. 18. 14. 71. 91 Felspar. 13 dry prepared body.73. 17 inlaid slip. 14. 7 Cones.62. 18 red. Collaring. Michael. 87 sawdust. 12 wax resist. 50 8. 71 Decoration lime. 51 Chattering. 19-21. 61 Figures. 14 Clays. Raku. 7 Coiling. 79 geology. 91 Orton.75.51. 8. see Glazes and formation. 7. 52. 79 Fire bricks. Ray. 30 Etruscan ware. 64 Fremington. 70. 49. 7 Crackle. 25. 77. see Clays red. 17. 78-9 Air. 19. 11-12. 77. 43. 78. 68. 86 oxide. 14. 13. 15-18. 73 Formula. 88 Borax. 8. 63. 91 Calcine.90 fire. 33 Cooling. 24 earthenware. 17. 16. 18 Bag wall. 67. 88 Cream ware. 25. 11. 75-6 Fluting. 85 buff. 51. 50 Crazing. 86 Blunging. 26. 23. 9.70 Colour. 11-13 feathering. 23. 52 76-7. 53 Casson. 56. 15 see also Firing and Biscuit ware. 14. 87 Burnish. 8. 33. 60 Chrome oxide. 41-2 69. 7 primary. 7. 13. 15-16. 9. 88 Decoration. 14. 88 storage. 74 stoneware. 77. 12. 91 plasticity of. 31. Dwight. 85-6. 8. 90 preparation. 7. 8 biscuit. 42-3. 23. 24 Banding wheel. 17 china. 76 Foot ring. 16. 79 Alkalis. primary and secondary. Deflocculation. see Glazes enamels. 63. 90 Seger. 8. see Glazes Cracking.48. 14. 71 overglaze. 8 potash. 8 Celadon.59-60.71 'Agate' ware. 90 29. 70 Eutectic. 78. 71-2 Anorthite. 7 oxides. 17. 23-7 Faience. 51-2 Ching dynasty. 68. 8.71. 38-9.63. 8. 7 Saggar marl. 18 Dishes. 73. 87-8 Barium oxide. 8. 71-8. Dan. 75 INDEX Adam. 37. 66 Cardew. 55 locally dug. 55-6. John. 7 Crawling. 34. 18 Duckworth. 73-4 'Arita' ware.69. 7 impressed. 69 Barium carbonate.48. 13. 28.73-6 Analysis. 29. 8. 33. human and animal. 71 Cornish stone. 70. 70 Chuck. kiln. soluble. 8 Bone china. 60 Chinese pots.91 painted.66. 14. 79 Bronze Age pots. 17 slip. 33 glacial. 88 Bone ash.61 Ceramic. 79 coil. 14. 7 Copper carbonate. 88. 7 plastic prepared body. 7. 73 buying. 9.61 Filter-press. 7. 78 trailed slip. 17. 72-3 Fritsch. 80. 76 Bung. combing. 51. 60 China clay. 21 glaze.58. 68 cycle. 34-5.70. James. see Firing reclaiming. 17. 73 fluting. 21. 59-60 Chelsea ware. 38-9 Batts. Robert. 12. 8. 24 94 . 9 Enamel. 8 Chiin. 13 Engobe. 72.70. 84 porcelain. 28 grogged. 8. 7 Colemanite. 17 short. Elizabeth. 37. 12. 89 soda. 70 Bentonite. 17. 9. 49 Cobalt carbonate. John. 63 Boric oxide. 18 Dolomite. 87. 25. 91 Calcium carbonate. 91 clay. 11-12 undeiglaze.67. 17. 9 38. 91 oxide. 52 Biscuit firing. 13. 73 Earthenware. 14. 34 mixing by hand. 25. 79 Feathering. 71 Alumina. 71 Flint. 8. see Clays Cutting off. 69.88 Africa. 69. 29 Dunting. 13.63. Michael. 13. 17. 1 Caiger-Smith. 7 Staffordshire. 8 Bath. 18 relief. 7. 8. 90 shrinkage. 51. 79. 88 body.71 Delft. 69. 86 brushed slip.90 incised. 79 Finch. 69 sedimentary. 52 pigments. 14. 77-8 Arbeid. 8. 18 Dough mixer. 85. 75 Antimonate of lead. 8. 24. 7. 79 Flux. 16. 90 weighing. 39. 89 27. 86 57 Crank's Mixture. 9. 72 Frit. 91 Gault. 76-8. 28. 81 bonfire. 13. 17 Carborundum. Callipers. 8 ball. 7. oxidised. 8 Ash. 32.60. 51 Chimney. marbling. 51. 76 modelled. 12 Egypt. 85. 8 Firing. 56 Crete. 87 Atmosphere. 14. 90 testing.70 52. 8. 78 sprig. 39-40 Bowls. Alan.68. 28. 12. 1 Adam. 28 Centring. 88 defects. 22. 24. 24 Glazes Bloating. 12.

69 Turning. 68. 67. 31 brown. 38. 69. 80 Line blends. Greek pots. 13. 74 shelving. 69-70. 84 Hamada. 63. seeClay Spouts.52. 22 Titanium dioxide. 56. 56. 31-2. 21-3. 57 Manganese oxide.63. 52-5 Potassium oxide. Firing and Glazes 90-3 sawdust. 32. 62 Lamp bases. 67 Magnesium. 9. 83 electric. Bernard. 56 pinch. 9. South American. 38 64. 70 Rutile. 76-7. 76. 64 top-loading. 71. 80.93 Japanese pots. 38. 71-2 furniture. 20 Marbling. 9. 78. Majolica. 71. 23 storage. wax resist. 82-3 Warping. 24 Indians. Glass. 49-50 iron. 67. 68-9 Spode. 78. 62. 77 Sgraffito. potter's 37-50. 70 Lime felspar. 88. 63 Tin oxide.87 Slip. 23. 70 Pegmatite. 52-5 see also Firing. 43. 49 Kilns. 67. 24. 87 see also basic equipment. 7. 55. 64 Lids. 78 lids. 14.70 ash. 16. 24 i Grog. 70 Wood 14. Si Hacksaw blade. 88 Shattering. 78 25. 92 Silver sulphide. 81 Levigation. 22.38-9. 9. 77 Lead frits. 81 Raku. 87. 57 Pitting. 85. 6. 64. 87 Limestone. 81 Jasper ware.92 tools. making a.68-70. 28. Henry. 49-50 stoneware. 63. 14. 9. 17. pottery in. 45-7 defects. Neolithic pots. 50-7 Pitchers. 24 Souring.68.51. 69. china Pincombe.55. 86 Kneading. 72.20-1. 16. 33.75. 84 banding. 9 Kaolinite. 70. 17. 19. 26 Strontium oxide. see also Clay Spy-hole. 80 trailing. 86. see Clay. 88 Pebble forms. 9 spouts. 68 Leach. 92 Clays. 63. 49-50 matt. 9 Yuan dynasty. 68. 70. applying. 31 Glazes and Kilns historical backgcound. 86 Iron oxides. 71 Moorish pots. 9. 68-9 Sphere. 8 85. 86 under-glaze. 9. 17 Tea-pots. 6. 56 Porcelain. 9 51. 64. 63 Stoneware. 9. 29. 9 Temperature. 9 Tube sculpture. see Decoration boards. 13-14. 80 Lead oxide. 43-6 Refractory element. Sung dynasty. 63-4. 85-6 ash. 9. Alan. 77 see also Glazes. 38 Majolica. 52-4 28-36 slab. 20-1 Prop. 68-9 Pyrometer. 66-7 Schools. 80 Sodium oxide. 18. 63. 36. 91 Soda felspar. 68-9. 73. 60. 37-8 Han dynasty. 69. 77 Leach. 36 77.60. 7. 7. 85. 13. 80-1 Lime.32. 77-8 Korean pots. Joseph. 9. 85. 8. 58-9 23-7 coil. 93 Sieves. Ralph. 9. 85 Moulding. 23-4. 52 Surform blade. 71. 83 Wheel. 75. 56. 50 80 Lithium oxide. 91. 36 Medieval pots. 70. 14. 40-1 lead.53. Eileen. 14 Roman pots. 9. see Whiting Roulette.57. 56. Helen. 71. 86 sundry items. 73 Quartz. 88 Handles. 73 bench whirlers. 51-2 Pots.52 Glazes benches. 37. 6. 67. 86 Lustre. 62-3. 69 Terracotta. Thomas. 37. 74 Meissen ware. 16. 64-6. 79. 34 Templates. 71. 27 Soda. 8. 74 gas. Thomas. 62. 8 Pin-holing. 60-1. 8. 56-7 Potash. 71.63. 68 Whiting. 68. 26. 49 Oxidising. 9 see also Clays testing. 18 Vanadium pentoxide. 17. 68. 68. 61 95 .71 Nickel oxide. Raku. 32. 9. 59 moulded. 17. 74 Pug-mill. 16. 63 24. 34. Potash felspar. 56. 14. 80 Lewenstein. 31 earthenware. 38. 13. 93 alkaline. Sprigging. 9 Splitting.51. 86 Sintering. 81 opaque. 83 Water gauge. 60. Mesopotamia. 13. 6. 34. 9 gum arabic. 84 Wedging.28. 14. 9. 57 Plasticity. 9 Whieldon. 15. 37 Hammond. 75 Ming dynasty. 86. Nepheline syenite. 20 winged. asymmetrical. 36 Zirconium oxide. 68. 85. 66. 78-9 Japanese spiral. firing.80. 62. 77. 42. 69. 18. 92 71. 14 Persia. 9.73 Throwing. 69-70. 88 slicing equipment. 69. 14 bowls. Josiah.86-7 oxide. 88 electric. 33 Refractories.69-70 Skimming. 69 down-draught. David. 8. 79 stacking. 31. 52. 71. 9. 87 Iron Age pots.82-4 Wallwork. 63. 87 Leather-hard clay. 8. 74 Slurry. 37.77* over-glaze. 18. 35-6 Talc. 87 see also Decoration Zinc oxide. 71. 8. 9 kick. celadons. 63. 56. 84 hand. 28. 59. 73. 81. 75. 62 54-5 oil-fired. 11. 9. 14. 80 Simpson. T'ang dynasty. 62. 57.33. 26-7. 9. 87 59-61. 80-1 bull's head. 69. 78 Saggar. 13. 6. 9 gum of tragacanth. cylinders. 9. 88 Hakeme.49. 8. 8 Red ochre. 63 Rhythm.25 wrap-around. 83-4 Wedgwood. 70 60 Stilts. 45-7 mixing. dipping.62-7. 86 wood-fired. 51. 6. 92 Tenmuku. 87 Toft.48. Shoji. 67. 9. 91 Raku. Rosemary. 87 salt. 28.89 dolomite. 48 Shivering. 93 Kaolin. 54. 48. 70 up-draught. 33-5 colour.36. 17.92 Wren. 38. 17. 45-7 front-loading. 86 Silica. Litharge. 9. 13. 9 Galena. 34 soda. 48. 66. 70 Sand.29. 32. 28. 74.

PL 21 suggested the content of the book and kindly read the manuscript. Moreton St. : reproduced throughout the book. 76-77 PL 32 : Michael Casson Shimbun Publishing Co. 26-27 PL 10: Thornhill School. PL 11: Author.. PL 30 Fitzwilliam Museum : To the following books which supplied PL 31: Victoria and Albert 14-15 PI. PL 5 : The Fidham Museum. Sunderland. and to Cover: Photograph by David Shapley. photographs of work by his students. Library . Library. Composition of earth's Museum. Hamadu Shoji. Museum. The Potterv. published by Faber & Faber. Harrow. Thornhill School. . PL 34: Author. Daniel Rhodes.J. 24-25 PL 9: Fitzwilliam Museum. 28-29 PL 13 Victoria and Albert : Museum. published by 20-21 PL 6: Victoria and Albert 78-79 PL 36: Pittrivers Museum. 72-73 PL 25-28: all Victoria and Table of Pyrometric Cones to be The Pottery. found in Appendix One. by Bernard Leach. : crust on page 1 . by Michael Cardew. London S. published by Longmans. photographs used to illustrate this 34 35 PL 16: Robert Fielden. spread. Museum . AlbertMuseum. 16-17 PL 4: Mary Evans Picture PL 33: Victoria and Albert Quotation on page 42. Albert Museum. 50-51 PL 22: Thornhill School. PL 8 : Victoria and 84-85 PL 39: Ashmolean Museum. 2: Mary Evans Picture interesting source material Library. Sunderland . Thanks are due to the following for 32-33 PL 15: Victoria and Albert by the following in the preparation of permission to reproduce the Practical Guide to Pottery Museum. 96 . PL 35 : Fitzwilliam Museum. from whose 1-5 Photographs by David Shapley Bridges! Author. Pages 66-67 PL 24: Mr&MrsGIyn To Podmore & Sons. Credits are given spread by 38-39 PL 17 Fitzwilliam Museum. To Robert Fielden for the drawings book. 3: Central Press Museum.W. manuscript. Milly Saunderson who typed the with thanks to Barry Guppy. published by Asahi Photos. 80-81 PL 37 Pittrivers Museum. All Victoria and Albert 42-43 PL IS: Author. 58-59 PL 23: Wendy and Peter To James Peggs who kindly provided Green. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Author and publishers wish to express Illustrations 30-31 PL 14: Victoria and Albert their appreciation of the help afforded Museum. 22-23 PL 7: Victoria and Albert 82-83 PL 38: The Fulham Pottery. 86-87 PL 40-44 : all Ashmolean A Potter's Book. School. Pioneer Pottery. 88-89 PL 45-46: Ashmolean Museum. . PI. PL 12: Author. 1 :: :. Page 7. Pitman. Special thanks to Michael Casson who Museum photographs are Crown 46-47 PL 19-20: Lascelles Secondary Copyright Reserved. Sunderland. fascinating catalogue is reproduced the with thanks to Barry Guppy. 10-11 Plate 1 : Spectrum Colour 74-75 PL 29 Fitzwilliam Museum . Clay and Glazes for the Potter by Pottery.



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amateur and professional. A II the important skills and techniques are explained with care and enthusiasm. Its basic materials are simple. . Colin Gerard's book is therefore a comprehensive guide to a livin g craft for the amateur potter. its techniques uncomplicated and easy to understand. and although the emphasis throughout is on the practical* the author never allows the reader to lose sight of the craft's traditions audits creative possibilities. male and female. as well as for the pottery teacher and school student. Yet over the centuries it has developed into a highly satisfying and practical art-form* equally rewarding to young and old.The Potter's craft is one of the most ancient. and certainly one of the most useful. one of the most creative.