Portfolio

Click on the images below to view each piece in more detail.



About the Process

Crystalline glazing is a unique glazing technique in which crystals are grown on the surface of the pot during the firing process. Good crystalline glazing is a balancing act between glaze composition, firing schedule, glaze thickness, pot shape, and pedestal construction. When all of these factors are aligned, the crystalline glazes sing. But knock one factor out of alignment by only a small margin, and the results can be terrible: no crystals, ugly rough crystals, broken pieces, bizarre colors, or strange surface bumps.

To achieve the two-dimensional crystals you see on the surfaces of these pots, I mix several glaze ingredients together in very precise ratios. The two important ingredients are zinc oxide and silica; these two minerals combine during the firing to form zinc silicate crystals. Once the glaze has been mixed, I apply three thick coats to every piece using a large Japanese style paintbrush. Crystalline glazes are very runny when fired, so after the glazing process each piece is a glued to a pedestal designed to catch the runoff glaze. Next, I load the pieces into the kiln and fire them to approximately 2345 degrees Fahrenheit. A brief “hold” at this temperature is followed by a temperature drop to ~2000 degrees Fahrenheit. I hold the kiln at 2000 degrees for approximately 2 hours; this is the primary crystal growing period. A few more programmed temperature fluctuations, and the kiln shuts off.

After allowing the kiln to cool naturally, I unload the pieces and tap the pedestals firmly on the ground to separate them from the pots. Once the pieces have cooled completely, I grind the bases with a bench grinder and again with a rotating silicon carbide disc. Finally, the pieces are carefully washed and dried before being priced, photographed, or sold.

Uses


Gift Ideas

Teapots, canister sets, and vases perfect for weddings, birthdays, and Christmas gifts.


Home Decor

Four bright, arresting colors that grab the attention and pair well with any color scheme.


Cremation Urns

Beautiful, carefully crafted vessels to honor your loved one.

My Story

On the journey from quitting college to self-employment.

My Story

I was raised in Northeast Florida, and I began throwing pottery on the wheel in 2008, at the age of 18. Initially, I took classes at a local ceramics studio, but before long I wanted more instruction and training. In the spring of 2009 I designed an Independent Study Project focusing on ceramics through New College of Florida, and later that year I elected to leave college altogether in order to pursue my passion for ceramic art full time. In the spring of 2010 I traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study and work with ceramic artist Judy Motzkin, and that fall I relocated to Asheville, North Carolina in order to become part of a vibrant arts community. While working with Judy I caught my first glimpse of a crystalline glazed pot, and in 2011 I traveled to Oregon to study the crystalline glazing process with artist Dale Donovan. I fell in love with the process of crystalline glazing, and I have since developed a body of work utilizing crystalline glazes. In early 2012 I made the leap to full-time self-employment as an artist; currently I sell my work online and through local craft shows like LEAF, The Big Crafty, and Bele Chere.

 

Artist Statement

I design and create a line of decorative and functional crystalline glazed ceramic art. Through my work, I attempt to capture and preserve the same gestural spontaneity, lift, and breathlessness seen in the highest point of a dancer’s leap or the repeated, rhythmic release of a fly-fisher’s cast. My pots are meant to serve as humble vessels that embody a sense of play within a paradigm of precision and grace. They are sometimes cheerful and saucy, sometimes sedate and deliberate. I like to think that they speak for themselves, imploring the user to touch, hold, use, and fill.

 

Contact Me

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contact info

  • Address: 40 Lakeview Road, Asheville North Carolina, 28804
  • Telephone: (904)607-0456
  • Email: BrennaMcBroom@gmail.com

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