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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…

Textured Oval Casserole

Oval pots are fun to make. They tend to be a bit of extra work because you have to make a bottom and the sides and attach the two together. That creates several opportunities for cracking in the kiln or even before the piece is fired. I don’t make many of them but when I do I normally love them.

This is the latest oval casserole I made. I throw the bottom on a plaster bat then I throw the sides. The reason for using a plaster bat is to have the plaster draw some moisture out of the clay. After a short time the bottom can be removed from the bat and thrown on a table to stretch it into a more oval shape. This creates great texture in the bottom of the casserole as long as I leave some throwing lines in the clay when I’m throwing it.

Handcrafted, ceramic oval casserole by Lori Buff
Stamped Oval Casserole

Next pull the sides into an oval and attach them to the base. This needs some good slipping and scoring and lots of compression on the join. I cover the piece with plastic and let everything sit for a day or two. This helps the moisture level in the clay become more even and helps to prevent separation and cracking. It’s not a bad thing for these pots to dry slowly.

This pot has a rolled edge that I added texture to with a stamp. I like the way the glazes played in the texture and muted it a little. I think I’ll play with this idea a bit more.

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


  1. I like the rolled textured lip and the handles attached below that

  2. Super cute casserole :) the lazy way to make them, of course, is to instead whack it into an oval when it is wet!

    1. Thanks Gary. I've tried doing that with the casseroles but the bottoms are never as nice.

  3. Nice pot! Thanks for the reminder; I used to make ovals years ago.

  4. Beautiful! I love to make them as well... but the cracking issue is frustrating. I miss sheffield t-3 clay. I rarely had a crack when using that clay. Highwater on the other hand is more prone to cracks.


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