About the Process
I throw all of my work by hand from a porcelain clay and glaze each piece individually using a precise and time consuming technique called crystalline glazing. While making a traditional pot requires five steps, this technique requires eleven.
I mix all of my glazes by hand, adding the right combination of zinc, silica, and frit to enable two-dimensional crystals to grow in the glaze during the firing process. Next, I apply three coats of glaze with a Japanese style paintbrush.
During the firing, I program the kiln to hold for long periods (sometimes as long as two hours) at extremely high temperatures. These “holds” give the crystals time to grow.
Glaze stabilizers like alumina inhibit crystal growth, so I can’t include them in the glaze. This means that crystalline glaze runs down the pot rather than adhering to the sides. To prevent the glaze from running onto the floor of the kiln, I throw a pedestal that perfectly matches the foot of each piece to catch runoff glaze. After the firing, I carefully remove the pedestals and grind the pieces twice: first with a bench grinder to remove any rough pieces of glaze, and then with a rotating silicon carbide disc to achieve a smooth finish.