Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jingdezhen is such a wonderful place. I have to share it with all my potter friends!!
Most Jingdezhen porcelain factories adopted automation systems in the early 70's. However, many detail works are still relied on skill worker until this day.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cone 6 Glaze - Revisit

After Grace attending 1st Grade and Alex going to middle school, blogging became the last activity that I could reserve my energy to engage. I had abandoned my blog for almost a year. Until last week..........A blog reader posted a question about the Orange Street recipe:
DKat: Could you please tell me if the Orange Street is supposed to add up to 136.5?
I mindlessly replied:
Me: Hi DKat, could you tell me what 136.5 is referring to? Are you asking about a particular material?
Today, another blog reader helped me to point out that:
Powen, What DKat is referring to is the standard practice of listing base glaze ingredients in percentages that add up to 100%. The coloring agents and other additives such as Bentonite come after...............................

Thanks to DKat and Janine pointed out this issue. Please use the recipe as is.
In glaze calculation, after an Unity Molecular Formula was converted to Batch Formula, the recipe should total 100%. For Cone 6 glazes, however, this rule does not always apply to.

Many Cone 6 glazes we use today were converted from cone 9/ 10 glazes, and the easiest way to do so is adding Gerstely Borate or Frit, or replacing a stronger feldspar, ex, Nepheline Syenite or F-4 Feldspar, to the original recipe. This is why the Orange Street does not add up as 100%.

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%


Monday, February 25, 2013

Catawba Valley Pottery Festival

Since early February, I have been working on the up coming Catawba Valley Pottery and Antique Festival. My studio is now full of greenwares and bisque wares. If I had a groundhog kiln, I would fill it by now.
I have learned that most collectors come to this show only for a certain potters' works. Since this is the first time I participate in this show, I hope that my works can attract my own collectors.
Based on the traditional standard in Catawba Valley, 20 lbs clay should make at least a 6 gallon jar/ jug. Here are some 8 and 2 gallon lidded vases I prepared for the show. They should look great in transparent green, brown or turquoise glazes. I will post finish pieces after I run glaze testes.
The 16th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery & Antique Festival is on Saturday March 23 from 9am - 5pm.
7 Gallon lidded vase with peony design
7 gallon lidded vase
The frog is trying to catch a bug (on the lid) for lunch..............
but he isn't aware of himself going to become lunch of the snake
A Southern pottery is incomplete until it tells a story 
a 2 gallon lidded jar with a frog-knob 
Swirl pots can not be missed in Catawba Valley
This is my version of swirl - marbling jar
Big swirl-marbling bowls

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking Forward to the Year of Snake

2012 was a very busy yet productive year. Learning traditional southern pottery in Catawba valley has tremendous influence on my works.
This doesn't necessarily mean that I begin to make southern style pottery. Coming from a ceramic engineering background, I used to focus too much on technical aspect of ceramics. After met Kim Ellington and learned about Catawba Valley pottery tradition, I became more humble to the material and to the process.
One of my favorite piece from 2012 productions was made from Catawba Vally natural clay, traditional 7,5,2 Alkaline glaze, and fired in Kim's groundhog kiln.
I am anticipating the transformation of my works in 2013 just like this piece.......


Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Hart's Square Groundhog Kiln Firing

I was fortunate to have some pieces loaded and fired in Hart's Square groundhog kiln over Catawba Valley. It's my very first hand on wood firing experience and very first time using alkaline glaze.  
The shape of my pots that usually works well in gas reduction firing doesn't seem to fit with alkaline glaze. I need to explore new forms that would hopefully amplify the quality of alkaline glaze.
How ironic. Alkaline glaze was dominant type of glaze used by Chinese potters for over centuries, and I, a Chinese potter, after potting for 12 years, finally used alkaline glaze the very first time in Catawba Valley, North Carolina.

Large Bowl with regular Alkaline glaze

Large planter with regular Alkaline glaze

Groundhog kiln at Hart's Square
Future firing crew

Blasting to cone 11