Putney: day 2

In the morning I helped pack the earthenware kiln, and set it going. I learned about cones. Then I mixed up a glaze for Simon (the main technician) from one of the School recipes.

In the afternoon I mixed more glazes, and advised students on how they could achieve certain effects they liked on already-fired work for their own bisqued pieces, using the available glazes.

In the throwing room, I wedged up the recycled stoneware clay which had been sitting on its plaster bat. Then I recycled some crank body.

After lunch, I spent the rest of my afternoon researching a Very Specific Kind of Glaze for Hazel (the ceramics tutor) – she was interested in how it was possible for a glaze to crack over a surface the way Pina Lavelli’s does.

Through these hours of research, I came across the work of many artists whose Ceramics I had not previously encountered, so I wrote down many names!!!


I also wrote down a selection of raku glaze recipes from ceramicartsdaily for when I go to Canterbury, as Julie (my teacher when I studied there, and my contact there) had expressed an interest in experimenting with raku firing while I was at the school.


Of the artists whose work I came across, those whose work most closely resembled the crackling, crawling glaze achieved by Lavelli included:

  • Karin Östberg (site)
  • Takuro Kuwata (site)
  • Lois Aronow (site)
  • Hannah Bould (whose work I came across in October while in York)

I found out about the Japanese Kairagi glaze, for which the recipe is as follows:

  • Feldspar -80
  • Kaolin     -20
  • +a flux of choice such as Frit 3134 or hardwood ash
  • at Cone 6 Oxidation firing

The more Kaolin in the glaze, the more it pulls away from the clay body beneath: the glaze cracking relies on the porosity of the clay to which it is applied, so greases and oils, fine dust (including porcelain powder), heavy underglaze or stains can greatly affect the overall effect achieved.


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