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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Squaring Pots

One of the techniques that I played with while I was at Penland was to square and texture a pot. I started by making a pitcher with fairly straight sides.  Before taking it off the wheel head I squared the corners by running one finger from the bottom to the top on the inside while simultaneously running 2 fingers on the outside if the pot at the same corner. I then removed the pitcher from the wheel and let it dry to leather hard.

When the pitcher was dry enough to attach the handle I started flattening the sides with a rasp. This creates quite a nice pile of shavings and an interesting texture. I could have smoothed it out with a rib but I liked it and thought the glaze would play well on the surface. Once the rasping was complete I could attach my handle and do any trimming at the foot that I wanted.

Squared ceramic pitcher by Lori Buff
Square Pitcher

 The square pitcher is really nice for beverages that you want to serve cold because it sits very nicely in the refrigerator with all the square cartons.

Next I tried making lidded jars with this same technique. These were a lot of fun because I wanted to keep the feel of the thrown, round pot while having the square sides and texture. I tried a few styles of lids, these are my favorite.

Squared ceramic lidded jars by Future Relics Pottery
Square Lidded Jars
Finally I knew I had to make a squared teapot. I threw the base and squared it off then set it aside to dry while I worked on a few other things. While it was sitting on the shelf in front of the window the light hit it just right and another student remarked about how beautiful the shape looked. I was busy thinking about the next steps of the teapot and failed to notice that until it was brought to my attention.

Squared handmade teapot by Lori Buff
Squared Tea Pot

I really liked the look also so I didn’t texture it but just left the grooves from the squaring.  Once it was assembled and glazed I really like the way the light plays on it. At first I didn’t love the simple lid but it has grown on me. It seems right due to the simplicity of the pot. I’ll be refining this form in the future.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. Those jars are awesome! I love the glaze.

    1. Thanks Michèle, it's one we developed at Penland, email me if you want the recipe.

  2. These are all stunning, but I guess my favorite is that teapot. Simple and elegant!

  3. Oh hot dog, wow, new approaches to work for you, wowie! YES, the texture = stunning!

  4. they are all beautiful, the teapot is sublime, I wouldn't change a thing about it, although I did find myself looking for a handle to the lid but adding one would change the whole look.


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