Monday, December 20, 2010


Toward the end of my last pottery cycle, I was doing some studio management; inventory, cleaning up, straightening up around the studio. I came across a plastic bag marked “majolica” and realized at some point, I had a half bucket of glaze left and I dried it out and broke it up and stored it away in some grocery bags. This initiated a quick kiln load of majolica pots.

As a potter, I first encountered majolica glazing at CSU with Dick Schneider. His majolica style was fluid and abstract, it set a base line. Years later I spent a summer on scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Art and was able to work around Bill Broulliard, Judith Salomon, Linda Christianson and Linda Arbuckle. It was my initial exposure to a high level of majolica ware with both Arbuckle and Broulliard having a profound fluency decorating on tin glazed pottery.

So two weeks ago, I threw a group of 8 plates, some serving pieces and some teabowls in terra cotta to make for a full majolica firing. I reconstituted the glaze, made a group of colored washes, bisqued the pots, glazed and set about using some of my old standard decoration on the pieces. This past Friday I fired the kiln and unloaded on Saturday. Everything made it through the firing, some pots looking better than others. It was a quick cycle and the surfaces are unlike anything else that I do currently. Decorating majolica is fun, each firing leads to new discoveries and tips on how to glaze, decorate and fire. Next time around, I’ll fire a cone cooler.

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