Sunday, May 13, 2012

All Nuka, all the time

I did something Friday that I’d never done before. I fired a kilnload of about 100 pots which were about 95 percent glazed in a single glaze. In this case, the Nuka recipe that I’ve used in the past few firings. 
Those who have looked at this blog off and on over the past few years know that I usually use at least a couple of Shino glazes, a bit of copper red, a temmoku, a basic ash celadon, one or two more. 
My best pots over the past couple of years have been fairly rich in glaze detail, but also pretty dark. And I wondered, in fact, whether my preference for darker pots were beginning to reflect some kind of personal darkness. Or maybe it was just that those glazes were working. 
In any case, my first experience late last winter with a new Nuka ash glaze recipe (wood ash, though, not the traditional rice hull ash) changed my outlook a bit. At least for a time. I loved the milky blue-white pooling of the thin glaze and the translucency when it’s thicker. This particular recipe came from D. Michael Coffee of Pagosa Springs, Colo., in a post online, and it worked equally well - though with slight differences - on my brown Miller 750 stoneware and my white B-Mix. 
So, with nothing left in the studio but about five pounds of brown clay and 100 pounds of white, I thought I’d use it up and glaze virtually everything in Nuka. Which I more or less did. The glaze is dependable, doesn’t run at high temps like some ash glazes, dries quickly after dipping, breaks over stamping and cutting, and - I discovered - is great over black slip brushwork. 
There’s no doubt more to discover about it. But I need to get more clay ...

I should say that I had unloading help Saturday morning from my friends Brenda Horrigan and Jin Ji. Brenda is an old hand at this thing. Jin was new at it and very excited. She may, though, think that this particular potter never fires anything but white pots.

Here are some photos for you.


Dennis Allen said...


Dan Finnegan said...

I'm in the same place, Hollis. I had two different "white' glazes in this last firing that I'm excited about. A change must be a'comin!
That last bottle is museum worthy!

Hollis Engley said...

Thanks, guys. It's funny. I call it "white," but at times it's blue and some people call it "gray."

angela walford said...

very nice..a change is coming indeed! nuka has such a range..looks like chun sometimes, lovely stuff H

Anna M. Branner said...

Beautiful, love the milkyness that comes through in the photos. Change is good!