Thursday, February 23, 2012

A new glaze in the past two firings

A month ago, I was taken with Randy Johnston's use of a Nuka glaze in his wood-fired pots at the Pucker Gallery in Boston. Most potters probably know that Nuka is a glaze of Japanese origin, usually made with the ash of burned rice husks. A true Nuka, at least from what I have seen and read, is a milky blue-white, which will break on high points, much like a Temmoku.
I found a recipe using mixed hardwood ash on the website of D. Michael Coffee (∆10-reduction/) and I give him full credit for what I think is a lovely glaze.
I tested it on a few small pots last week and liked what I saw, though it seemed like the glaze was applied a bit thinly. This week, I took a few cups of water off the top and fired again yesterday. I like what I see this time, also, though I think I might have gone a bit too far with the water removal. I'll add more to the bucket for the next firing, trying to find the happy medium.
I want the glaze to show the clay beneath - the facets and cuts and anything applied after throwing. But I also want it to cover the pot with that white, patchy blanket. Next time it should do that just fine.
Yesterday's firing was very, very thinly packed. I think there were perhaps 50 pots in there. I had to fire anything available in order to get one pot in that HAD to be fired this week.
Photos, from top: Small vase with the thicker version of the new Nuka; teabowl from last week's thinner mix of the glaze; two Shino teabowls on rough clay; a Shino platter with copper red pour.


Michèle Hastings said...

i like the thinner number two teabowl, but i understand about your desire for the thick application. Jeff and I have been talking about mixing up some nuka. when i was making pots at the NH Institute of Art I used the nuka glaze a lot... it was reliable in a classroom setting where you had no control over firings or glaze mixing for that matter.

Tracey Broome said...

I have a friend experimenting with some nuka glazes and getting beautiful results. Combined with temoku, so beautiful!

Krystyna said...

Very beauty cups, I like it :)

Paul Jessop said...

Nice, Very nice.