Processes

I love to hear from people who are interested in my work and process. So, feel free to get in touch.
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All of my clay work is handbuilt using slabs of low-fire, earthenware clay. I use either Highwater Clays’ Lymen Red clay body or Standard Ceramic Supply’s Red Clay with Grog #104.

 

I bisque fire to cone 06 (1830ºF) using an L&L e23s Electric Kiln with a Vent-Sure downdraft vent system. For my first firing, I program the kiln to "Slow Bisque" with a 2 hour preheat. I also have a Skutt Glaze Tech kiln which is very handy for firing tests or small kiln loads.

 

Often, I use paper patterns cut from newsprint or cardstock to help both the design process and technical construction. 

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Once the clay has been bisque fired, the work is ready for glaze application.

 

I use a combination of low-fire slips, oxide washes, Amaco Velvet underglazes and glazes in my work. The ceramic slips and glazes are mixed by hand using various raw materials, chemicals, oxides and stains. Check out the link above for recipes, or check out my Low Fire Friday Blog posts.

 

Some of the slips and underglazes are applied prior to bisque firing and then the layering continues with additional oxide washes and glazes. I have found with the crawling glazes, the thicker applications create a thicker bead or texture. Each glaze will then be brushed on by hand.

 

I glaze fire to cone 04 (1940°F) using the the same electric kiln set to "Slow Glaze".

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In my current work, I kiln cast glass using 90COE clear cullet from Bullseye glass.

 

I use the same kilns for firing both glass and clay! Using a downdraft vent helps heat and cool the kiln more evenly which is critical for preventing thermalshock with glasswork.

 

The kiln cast forms are created using a low-tech version of a traditional lost wax casting technique.

 

My line of glass pendants go through a series of firings ranging in temperature from 1725°F to 1225°F before they are wrapped in sterling silver wire.

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There’s a great salvage yard near me where I am able to source most of my material. Once I bring my steel finds back to the studio, I keep it stored outside so that it is allowed to get that “natural patina” also known as rust.

 

Using a Hobart Plasma Cutter, I am able to cut through sheet steel up to 1/8" thick. This cutting process is what gives the metal that irregular "crinkled-looking" edge I love.

 

While I am able to do some of the steel work myself, I often enlist the help of local steel fabricators.