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Marbling Clay Cups

One of the beauties of being at Penland School of Crafts is the freedom to experiment. Not that we can't do that in our own studios, it just feels easier in an environment like Penland.  I decided to try some marbling since I had worked with some Orangestone clay and some Loafers Glory which is a nice, white stoneware.  The first thing I did was check the shrink rate of both clays.  I assume if they were very different the piece would be weak if it didn't break apart completely.  Nobody wants a pot to fall apart in the kiln.

I wedged both clays then cut the wedged clay into smaller pieces which I slammed together making little clay sandwiches.  They did look tasty.

Marbling clay balls by Future Relics
Clay Sandwiches

I threw the sandwich balls into basic cup shapes and made certain that I cleaned off any slip that remained on the outside. Removing the slip reveals the separation in colors.  At this point they looked a bit like fudge swirl ice cream.

Mixed Clay bodies by Lori Buff
Unfired Marbled Cups
I didn't glaze the pieces at all, they were going to be fired in the salt and the soda kilns so I decided to let the kilns atmosphere do the work. I also fired the cups on their sides so that the salt and soda vapors could get inside the cups easier.

Marbled pottery cups by Future Relics
Fired Marbled Cups

Here's the finished pieces, the darker color is the Orangestone, the lighter orange is what happens when Loafer's Glory meets atmospheric firing. It's a really warm and pretty color.

Check out the other blogs on the blog roll and the potters of Mudcolony.

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


  1. can't wait to see the marble cups after they are fired, will you use a clear or transparent glaze, the unglazed cups turned out super

    1. Hi Linda, the last picture is the finished cups. The salt and soda glaze them.

  2. I like how subtle the colors are. They are really nice!

  3. Lovely results Lori :)
    Penland looks like a great place to be creative.
    Do come across Jack Troy in your area?
    He came to Australia a couple of years ago and I found his approach very inspiring.

    1. Hi Sadhana, Penland is a great place to be creative, you're right.
      I've not met Jack Troy but I do love his work. You were fortunate to meet him.


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