two firings, very different

I’ve been making work for a second show in Japan this last two weeks, having shipped off thirty three pieces for the first one, at Pragmata Gallery, last week. it’s horribly last minute especially as the last firing was a bit of a shocker.


I used to have more of this when I first started using the black iron oxide crackle slip combination, and I suspected that I was pushing it. but I was trying for deeper blues and that requires thicker coats of the chun glaze. as you can see I overdid it.


glaze flowed more than I was expecting

a badcaseoftheruns

a shame because the blues were indeed beautiful


but some pieces were exceptional and are on their way to Pragmata gallery. the exhibition there opens on the 8th May.


in the way of things I was perhaps overcautious on the next firing. I was pretty sure that the crackle slip would have calmed down and not open up like this


it is only really a crackle slip when freshly mixed.


and I was right. also I didn’t want it to cover up the imprints of leaves and stems pressed into the fresh clay when I made the pots, nor the runs and layers of the iron oxide.


so the thinner layer of slip gave me these lovely watercolour effects.


this very spectacular bowl came from the first firing.


this from the second. I was rather surprised. was the difference due just to the depth of the chun glaze, as the oxide under it was the same as before? or did the early reduction that I had been chasing, to get the clay feet of the pots toasty, somehow change the action of the oxide with the glaze? we will see what happens in future firings.


at the back of the kiln the blues were much stronger. I have no idea why.


these were at the front. I have to say that what I have been doing works one hundred percent better on a grogged dark clay. this is a relatively smooth white stoneware.


but here is a red grogged stoneware, the pot is very lovely but it could have been much bluer at the back of the kiln.

one of the best

I have four large bottles from this firing which I’m very pleased with, and eight small pieces, bottles and caddies.

the group for japan

plus around eighteen from previous firings. all to be shipped off on wednesday to Oz Zingaro Gallery in Tokyo.

then I’m going to get experimenting.


meanwhile, this beautiful photograph taken in the highlands of Scotland by my daughter encapsulates a lot of the things that happen in the glaze slip oxide clay relationship in these pots


  1. Hi Jane,
    I’m a ceramicist ( and have been desperately looking for a crackle slip recipe with UK ingredients (all the ones I’ve come across are american recipes) and was hoping you;d be kind enough to share yours with me? Thank you very much in advance!

  2. Hi Amy
    I just use Daniel Rhodes’ recipe which I found on the internet. It ought to be in his book clay and glazes, but I can’t actually see it in there. that’s what everybody uses, I think, in the UK and the US.
    so the recipe is
    borax 5%
    zirconium silicate 5%
    felspar (potash) 20%
    ball clay 15%
    calcined china clay (molochite) 20%
    china clay 15%
    flint 20%
    remember it only crackles a lot when it’s fresh.

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