Thursday, April 10, 2014


"Patience is a virtue" is the old adage that I did not pay any mind to this morning. My pottery is single fired, meaning that I glaze raw pots without bisque firing first. This brings in the conundrum and graceful dance of putting moisture (in the glaze) back into a drying clay vessel. The walls soak up the wet glaze pretty fast and can become very flexible, very quickly. I make my pots pretty thin and this usually works out just fine. When I put glaze on the inside and the outside of the piece I usually need to wait between glazing the inside and glazing the outside in order to let the walls set back up a bit. I was rushing to get ready to go to the museum for work this morning and thought, "maybe it will be okay if I just go ahead and double dip these mugs now." WRONG!
I arrived home this evening to find the handles collapsed off of the sides of the mugs and sitting in little, sad pools next to the vessel. These are the lessons that keep me humble.
The nice thing about single firing is that when I screw up a pot, it goes back to the pile of scrap clay to be recycled for future use!


Shawna Mayo Barnes said...

How are you able to recycle the clay after it has already been "contaminated" with the glaze? It changes the color, doesn't it? I was going to say, "won't it affect the outcome when you bisque it?" and then remembered you only single fire.. lol. But still, how can/do you reclaim the claim the clay that has already been glazed?


Liberty Stoneware said...

Hi Shawna, The clay that I recycle mostly gets used for flowerpots, so the contamination of a dark glaze or the white slip does not bother me when it gets all mixed up. I've not seen a difference in the outcome, but would say that there is a higher proportion of uncontaminated clay (from scraps, etc) in the reclaim than clay that has been glazed. It always seems to come out a dark brown and I add some grog and make flowerpots with it!

Liberty Stoneware said...

Also, the glazes I use are either a clay (similar to Albany Slip), or a glaze that is very high in clay content, so much less contaminants than may be in a bisque ware glaze.