Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I have mentioned that a number of my current glazes are based on turning my trimming scraps into glazes, but I am not sure I mentioned how and when it came about. At the tail end of living in PA, I ran a bisque which included a pot that had been too close to the wheel while I was throwing terra cotta. I didn't notice the splatters on the piece and when it came out of the bisque, the terra cotta had fused to the pot, so I decided to glaze fire it anyway. Out of the glaze, it had turned into an almost Albany Slip like surface, so the die was cast; that is what set me on testing the terra cotta as a glaze. After a number (a big number) of tests with several additions to the base, I first came up with a rather nice, deep, rich amber glaze that reminded me of an Ohi ame-yu glaze and the name stuck. With more testing, I was able to make the medieval green, ao, tetsu-yu and temmoku all from the base with minor alterations and a certain percentage of the base calcined to solve the crawling problems.

The next step was to start to develop a vocabulary for the use of the glazes and the ame-yu was the first in line. White and black slips showed through the translucent glaze as well as copper and cobalt overglaze decoration were the first logic steps. I am not sure how I got there, but I made these Mediterranean styled pots and I thought, what makes more sense than to glaze them in a Japanese influenced Ohi Ame-yu glaze. Illustrated is a 12" tall jug with braided coil lugs and a copper rain pattern over the body of the pot. This piece was recently sent to me in an attempt to make a mate for it. The owner wants the pair to stand on opposite sides of a mantle. Though this is not my favorite thing to do, it sure beats trying to recreate a lid for a pot and after all, a challenge is a challenge.