Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Works

Personal Size Blue Ash Berry Bowl
Personal Size Shino Berry Bowl
Large Bowl with Amber Celadon/ Blue Ash Glazes
Large Bowl with Copper Red/ Blue Ash Glazes

Shino Tea Caddy
Here are some new works that just came out of cone 10 reduction firing over the weekend. I found some interesting glaze combinations: Copper Red (inside) works well with most dark glazes (on outside).
At the same time, I also found that never use Amber celadon (inside) and Shino (on outside) on the same piece. Unfortunately, 1/5 of kiln load were in this glaze combination and they went straight to dumpster.
I am so used to with monochrome ceramics. Finding good glaze combination on one piece is quite challenging. I probabily shouldm't always trust my intuition.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plates / 志野, 黑釉小盤

Recently, I try to trim and cut round wheelthrown plates to create flower-like design. A lots of process, but I will still keep it simple. Here are some images of my new plates.

Five-side floral plate with Shino glaze
Foue-side floral plate with iron saturate glaze
Round plates were cut to five or four sides with surform
Using slip to trail out lines
Same shape but different slip trailed designs

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Just would like to show off some students' works from my beginning wheel-throwing class at UNC-Greensboro. What a rewarding teaching experience!!
These young kids are full of energy and creativity. I have tried very hard to equip them with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to transform their creative concept into reality.
For this class, I did encourage them to copy well-made ceramic works; traditional or contemporary. It was the way Chinese artist learned from their master for centuries, and this was the way I examined how well they have learned from this class. 
I also included two interesting works from my previous hand-building class: A Tang dynasty lady playing Guitar Hero and a Japanese Haniwa working on his lap top.

Lidded jar with carving

Lidded jar with carving

Lidded jar with springging

Lidded jar with Shino glaze

Tang lay paying Guitar Hero

Haniwa working on his lap top

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cone 10 Reduction/ 10 號錐還原燒

After doing some adjustments inside of the gas kiln I fired at UNCG, I finally gained some control of cone 10 reduction firing. Each firing made me become more humble. I used to believe that I knew everything about pottery. This kiln, however, made me relearn many things.

OX  Blood  Red

OX  Blood  Red

Amber  Celadon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cone 6 Glazes / 6號錐氧化燒

On my previous post, I mentioned that two glazes on my tea pot – Orange Street and Creamy Rust are in Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. I think I was wrong. A blog reader couldn’t find the recipes from that book.
Here are the two glaze recipes I would like to share.
Just a friendly reminder!! Cone 6 glazes react to work-heat ratio slightly different from the cone 10 glazes. A different firing program could change how the glaze turned out from firing. Always run some tests on smaller pieces before you use them on your “real” works.
I fired my works in Cone Art kiln (have I ever mentioned that Cone Art is my favorite kiln since I was working for the porcelain company in Taiwan : ) with fast glaze program and hold at cone 6 for 20 minutes.
I got most of cone 6 glazes from Sawtooth School for the Visual Art, Winston-Salem, NC, where I am teaching an intermediate/ advance wheel-throwing class.

Silica 15.2%
Talc 13.8%
Dolomite 8.1%
EPK 4.5%
Gerstly Borate 17.9%
F-4 Feldspar 46.8%
Red Iron Oxide 12%
Bone Ash 12%
Crocus Martis 6.2%

Custer 26.6%
Strontium Carbonate 3.3%
Frit 3134 30.6%
Wollastonite 10.6%
Talc 2.3%
EPK 8.4%
Flint 18.2%
Red Iron Oxide 6%
Tin Oxide 5%
Zircopax 8%

my glaze logs recorded how I applied and fired each glaze

glazed the whole piece in Orange Street and then dipped around 1/3 of the piece in Creamy Rust 

when Creamy Rust is over Orange Street, it tend to run

Monday, March 7, 2011

24th NC Pottery Conference

Over the weekend, I attended the 24th NC Pottery Conference and worked with 6 Chinese students from ECU to help out with translation.
It was a wonderful conference that provided an opportunity to American potters to get a close look of Jingdezhan porcelain making process.
There were 5 demonstrations going simultaneously; Wheel throwing, Trimming, Under glaze decoration, Over glaze decoration, and Slab-building. Each master has been working in his/ her professional field more than 10 years. They were like treasure boxes for the attendances to explore.
If you missed this conference, you can visit Odyssey Clay Center and Penland this Wednesday (slide presentation only) and ECU Speight Auditorium on March 14 and 15 (demo and penal discussion.)

5 presenters from left to right (in front of monitors): Master Feng, Shangjin (overglaze painter), Prof. Feng, Weina (underglaze painter), Master Dai, Guanyu (trimmer), Master Zhan, Shaolin (thrower), and Master Xie, Zhenghua (slab building)

Master Zhan, Shaolin - throwing with no sponge and no cutting wire. He apply slip from his hands to pot and cut off pieces from the hump by fingers

7 hours of works (more pieces on floor). Some pieces were designed by audiences with specific dimensions

  Taking a short break in front of his works

Master Xie, Zhenghua joining slabs with no scoring. On Jingdezhen porcelain, scoring would create uneven join surface and increase shrinkage. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Seven things about me............

My wife often tells friends not to ask me about how she and I met. She says I would make the romantic story become a documentary. However, since I accepted Meredith’s “award”, I would like to tell 7 things that you may not know about me.........

My father was born in Henan province, China, which is the birthplace of Chinese civilization. My father followed ROC government to Taiwan in 1949 after ROC army was defeated by Communist army.
My mother side of families migrated to Taiwan from southern China during the early 19th century. After I learn how to tell romantic story, I will let you know how they met (It’s really romantic.)

I have a very lay back personality. It’s probably due to my birthday, I think. I was born on March 6 and I was actually one week overdue.
On March 6, according to Chinese calendar (the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 345°), the first thunderstorm of the year will wake up all the hibernated insects/ animals. I was probably woke up by the thunder and decided to come to see the world.

When I was a baby, my family lived in a military housing complex near an air force base. Linda’s husband, Gary, used to station there.
I used to “sleep like a baby” till one day, my grandmother visited. She said to my mom “Po-Wen is a such wonderful baby, even fighter jets passing by with such loud noise, he can still sleep so well.” Guess what? Since that day, according to my mom, I began to cry badly whenever fighter jets flied by my house. I believed it’s a lesson many parents had learned!?

Military housing complex was a mainlander neighborhood in Taiwan. Therefore, I could only understand Mandarin when I was little. When my family moved to a Taiwanese neighborhood, some neighbor kids would trick me to get my toys by confusing me with Taiwanese. After few weeks, I gradually became fluent in Taiwanese, and began to trick them to get my toys back. Now I can easily switch back and forth between two dialects.

After graduated from college in Taiwan, I decided to take a test and became a reserve officer served in Chinese Marine Corps (Taiwan).
I served in a LVT unit. Most of my military lives spent either in the ocean or on the beach. Sometime when I close my eyes at night, I can still " hear" the ocean in my ears. I missed that 5K run in the morning and 200+ push ups at night kind of life. Now, I can even hardly finish 50 push ups.

My wife is a Korean. At home, we speak 3 different languages. My kids speak to my wife in Korean, to me, in “some Mandarin” and mostly in English. Between my wife and I, in English.
My wife and I did occasionally communicate in Taiwanese though. Most Korean pronunciations are very close to Taiwanese. When we couldn’t express a certain word in English, we would try to say it in Taiwanese or Korean. 99% of the time, we could figure out the words that we tried to say.

I love to cook. One of my professors used to say that most good potters are also good cooks. I don’t know if I am qualified to be a good potter, but I am sure I am a good cook. My kids can prove it!!
When I was little, I loved to talk to my mom in kitchen when she was cooking . I think I unconsciously learned how to cook during the conversations. Some time I would cook my mom's dishes to ease my homesick.

Well, I don’t know much about other blogger, so I think I am not going to pass this down to next 15 people. However, if any of you would like to share what we don’t know about you beside your pottery, please feel free to do so.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tea Time II

Here are few more tea pots that just came out of kiln yesterday.
After switching from Cone 10 reduction to cone 6 oxidation firing, I came to realize that cone 6 oxidation firing is a whole new realm in the ceramic world to explore. I feel it's foolish to reproduce cone 10 glaze quality in cone 6 glazes. 

Currently I just modify found cone 6 glaze recipes; mostly added more flux or overlap two glazes to make them slightly “runny”. A clean 45 degree cut on the foot rim can prevent the glaze from running to kiln shelf.

 creamy rust over orange street (from Mastering cone 6 glaze)

floating blue over mystery blue/ green

 floating blue over very black

mystery blue/ green over floating blue

no tin white

mystery blue green

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea Time

Making tea pots is more like meditation to me.
Here are some tea pots I made during those "snow days". I will use some of them to run glaze-blending tests and post later.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to Alex

Fourteen years ago, I came to the United States to study ceramics. Fourteen years later today,  I am celebrating my son Alex's 10th birthday. Time flies, I have to admit. I think, having a wonderful family is my biggest accomplishment.
Alex has also working very hard to accomplish many things he loves to do: Tae Kwan Do, Piano, Ski, and study (with me holding a bamboo stick behind him :) I have learned how to be a father after became a father.
Happy Birthday Alex!! Take your time to explore the world around you. No rush!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Etsy Shop Opening

While taking some rest from teaching, I have been busy working on setting my new Etsy Shop. I found out that I had missed many settings in my previous Etsy shop. This time, I took it slow and followed instructions step by step. I am looking forward to see some good progress this time. Feel free to visit my shop!!