R and D of WinterNight

Thrown and pulled chawan using 1.25lbs of Hawaian/Redstone cone 5 blend stoneware. The foot is hand cut and the design is paper stenciled using Whillies White slip. Bisque fired to 06. A thin 50/50 Blck(blue) wash has been applied and wiped off. A thin studio SAG Shino was used to glaze the exterior and a Fritted White Liner used on the interior. Fired to cone 6. Wet sanded with a diamond pad after fireing. 

There was a lot of new boxes ticked off with this round. The foot is very nicely cut. The undulation of rim is beautiful. It’s got heft but it’s well balanced. Nice for the coming winter. The surface is soft and alluring. The SAG Shino really is coming into its own as I figure out how to use it. The 50/50 black wash blushes blue through the glaze and reminds me of the cold winter moonlit nights under a full moon and fields of crisp white snow. That feeling it congers up inside me the the reason enough to make a few more.



Pleasure vs Happiness

Pleasure is the delight that’s chased everyday, we are always left seeking more…

Happiness lays in a state of contentment for what is…

Making my work brings me pleasure…

but it’s the relationships that my work attracts brings me happiness

Note: Out of the two dozen cups that were fired as part of this particular series, this was the one that had my eye on all the way through the process. It’s been like cheering on a frog at a frog jumping contest. It can be going well all the way up to the point that it veers off and leaves the race. Similarly, it was a huge surprise when it crossed the finish line, that all the testing actually lead to lifting this one out the kiln. It’s the culmination of so many questions, lessons, and resolved details. One of several trophies from this summer’s kilns. Pure pleasure.


Most of the time, life moves at a contenental pace. Slow and easy…. 

Everyone seems to be praying for major changes, both with their work and their lives. At this point, not me…

I’m cool with slowly meandering my way down this path. It might be slow, but it’s mine… until something dramatic shakes it into being something completely different, I’m going to enjoy relaxing into the slooooow success of just making the work without expectation or need.

Pork Dumpling Filling

Pork Dumpling Filling

1 1/2lb ground pork (Asian grocers course grinds all the tasty fatty bits mixed in with the meat)

1tbs ground ginger

4 cloves minced garlic

4 chopped scallions

4 tbs soy

4 tbs sesame oil

5 cups shredded cabbage

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup Shredded carrots

1 tbs honey

Steam in basket for 20 minutes and add to soup or fry and steam as an apitizer.

Studio Notes

Yesterday it was put forward that the original design’s floral motifs were solid blocks of color. The new designs were more open and busy. 

I was wondering if the dynamic could be shifted again by filling in the flowers with a sponged on cobalt slip.

Just seeing what blue on blue does should be worth the effort. The real question mark is whether the slip will peel away from the underglaze. 

GhostBloom Revisited

The starting point for this series of cups is a piece from this spring’s test firings.

What is it?

Why do I like it?

What needs to happen?

“GhostBloom” 2017

It’s an alluring ghost flowered chawan. Lots of character…. The specckeled clay body blasts through all the surface layers, the blue underglaze, willie’s #6 tile slip, and the SAG glaze all are tied together from the body outwards. The big element of the piece is the soft matt surface of the SAG glaze. (Many would call it problematic, but watching pretty much everyone that has picked up this work absentmindedly pet it, convinces me that I wasn’t barking up the wrong tree by pursuing  surface texture.) The simplicity of the double headed bloom design made me smile too. The blocky stencils made a strong positive vs negative balance, and while I enjoy what happens when I follow the design around the piece, (it makes me feel good inside), I want to see what happens as the flowers are more styleized. 

Cut paper stencils
I’d like to know it it shifts the design away from simple, moving it more towards noise, or if it creates something different and unanticipated.
The second slip layer has been applied and waiting to Bryan a bit past tacky before the third layer is applied.

The flowers were originally fields of blue, now they are essentially lakes of white rimmed by blue. (Maybe a solution is to fill in the flower stencils with blue slip before peeling the paper.)

This round will get a 50/50 cobalt stain wash before being glazed and fired to cone 6-7. (note… the last layer was supposed to be a hakeme layer, but the slip bucket literally ran dry.)

(Studio note: Use a Cone 6 Malcolm Davis Shino to glaze a few of these, waxing in firefly halos to direct soda flashing just to tell the story properly.)

Willie’s 6 Tile Slip

Cone 6 to cone 10+ greenware white base slip 

9.8 Nepheline Syenite

68.63 #6 Tile Kaolin

1.96 Bentonite

4.71 Grolleg

4.90 Flint

This white slip has been my go to base slip for cut paper stencil work for the past 3 years. I have no idea where the recipe originated from… but it’s dependable for thin applications, thick hakeme brushwork, or for building up layers without peeling off. It’s been repeatedly tested from cone 5 to 11 in electric, gas, soda, and wood, all with very satisfactory results.

Mix it up thick and defloculate it with a dash of sodium silicate. Color with oxides or mansion stains 3% – 10%.

Apply to greenware wet to leather hard.

Works well with other slips, but doesn’t adhere dependability to underglazes.