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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…

Ash Glaze Recipe

A few readers have asked about the ash glaze that we developed during Spring concentration at Penland.  It was a great experience for the students who were involved in the process. They did research, line tests and lots of experiments. The glaze that came out of the process is a fairly stable ash glaze.  Yes, you read that correctly. Most ash glazes have some run to them, and yes, we like that puddle and run effect. We like it until we loose a pot because the glaze ran all the way down the pot and onto the kiln shelf and we have to scrape the kiln shelves.  So some stability isn’t a bad thing, especially if the glaze is pretty. This glaze is because it breaks to a nice red-brown but is also a rather pretty, deep blue without looking too much like pure cobalt. In the salt kiln it got a bit lighter and even showed some yellow.  I normally spray my ash glazes because they are so runny. This glaze we were able to dip and still had very little movement. Nice

Blue Ash Glaze by Future Relics Pottery
Peter’s Ash Glaze

The recipe started with the ash glaze recipe I use which is Mark Issenberg’s. I like the look and simplicity of the glaze. I also like that I can fire it to cone 6 in my electric kiln or cone 10 when I get to fire in a wood kiln.
Pottery ash glazes by Lori Buff
Mark’s Ash Glazes (blue and brown)

Potters being the experimental type we couldn’t leave a good recipe alone, we had to play with it which is how this recipe developed. I like the way it looks and plan on doing some work with it now that I’m home and back in my own studio.  My plan is to try to simplify it. I like glazes that use fewer ingredients because my studio is small and storage space is at a premium.

The wood that was used to make this was from Cynthia Bringle’s wood stove. She said it was mostly oak. Different types of wood flux differently so it’s very important to run tests on each batch of glaze that you make.

Peter’s Blue Ash Glaze

50 Wood Ash
30 Red Art Clay
20 Ball Clay (OM4)
20 Silica/Flint

2 Cobalt

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


  1. wow, that is beautiful glaze in the top two pots are those cone 6 ? someone told me once when I showed some pots on my blog which I tried sprinkling some ash on - that ash won't melt at cone 6 but only cone 10 ? so now I have a pound or maybe five pounds of ash and have been carrying it around with me since California that I had ordered from maybe Laguna or Aardvark clay, maybe it's wood ash maybe it's volcanic ash, I heard rice hull ash is desirable too, .

    1. Thanks Linda. The top 2 are cone 10, the mug is cone 6.
      Different ashes flux at different temperatures as you learned with the ash you have. That’s why testing each batch is so important, even if it is a pain in the ash. hehehe

    2. yeah a pain in the ash for sure. ha I sprinkled the ash in a couple of pinch tea bowls and they got bubbly but not melted, then went into the smash pile. , we're going to put in an outdoor campfire and I might try some of that ash in the future. thanks

  2. Those pots are beautiful. I love the variation in the glaze.


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