Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monster Clay Club Anniversary

If you are coming to the Monster Clay Club Anniversary Bash at John's Man Cave ...please RSVP to 828-688-1354 and tell him if you are coming and what you are bringing for food.

Don't miss the PARTY of the YEAR!

John Britt

Fantastic Handle Making Workshop

Fantastic Handle Making Workshop at John Britt's Pottery Studio. The workshop is Saturday: August 2, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Great Linda McFarling and the lowly John Britt will conduct a one day, hands on class on how to make wierd and funky handles. We will also show you how to make normal handles that will make your work better!

We will teach how to pull, handbuild, throw and make various other types of functional and non-functional handles.

$75.00 (includes a delicious lunch). Space is limited to 8 people.

For more information on the class and information on registering call 828-467-5020 or email

This is one of the best deals around! Don't miss out. $75.00!!! Plus lunch to hang out with the Great Linda McFarling.

Sign up now before we go out of business!

John Britt

Digital Photography Class

Joy Tanner and I added another section to the Digital Photograpy Class.

Sign up now so you don't miss out on this great class. You will save you tons of money over the course of your pottery career taking your own photos and it is faster and better than having someone else take them!!

Basic Digital Craft Photography Workshop at John Britt's Pottery Studio. Call 828-467-5020 or email for information on registering.The workshop is Sunday: July 19, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Joy Tanner and John Britt will conduct a one day, hands on class on how to take digital photographs of your three dimensional ceramics/crafts using a simple, low tech approach for the beginner. $75.00 (includes digital photographs of 2 – 3 pieces and a delicious lunch).Space is limited to 8 people.

This is a great class! Worth every penny. You you would spend that on just one photo session!
We had two very successful runs of this class in the spring and it has saved everyone a ton of money and time. To know how to take high quality digital photographs of your work is essential to a crafts person.

Don't wait to sign up for this one! We had to turn away a bunch of folks because of the excessive demand.

Sign up today to hold your spot!!

John Britt

Cone 6 Beads Glaze

Got this nice glaze from Kari Hopkins and it was called something like SDSU Lichen (a.k.a. San Diego State Univeristy).

But since we fired to cone 6 at 3:oo it must have melted more and become a bead glaze. (high surface tendsion of mangnesium oxide.)

Beads cone 6

75 Nepheline Syenite

25 Magansium Carbonate

5 Ball Clay

Here is a

Lichen Glaze (crustier at cone 6 +)

30 F-4 Feldspar
19 Kaolin
31 Magnesium Carbonate
8 Talc
6 Frit P-25

We applied it at a Sp. Gr of 123 but that was a bit thick with two coats.

John Britt

Copper Red and Copper Yellow cone 6

So in the tile on the bottom, we added the colorants that would make a copper red in a high alkaline / low alumina base in reduction, but in this case we fired it in oxidation and got a copper yellow!

V.C. Matte cone 6
40.0 Nepheline Syenite
8.0 Whiting
14.0 Silica
10.0 Kaolin
10.0 Gerstley Borate
8.0 Lithium Carbonate
10% Titanium Dioxide
Add: 0.5 % copper carbonate and 1.5 tin oxide

The tile on the top uses the same colorants (0.5 % copper carbonate and 1.5 tin oxide) but they are added to Selsor Base cone 6 and fired in reduction:

Selsor Base cone 6
56.0 Nepheline Syenite
10.0 Whiting
20.1 Silica
12.5 Gerstley Borate

Add: 0.5 % copper carbonate and 1.5 tin oxide

To give a copper red.

John Britt
Here is a

Val Cushing Matt cone 6

What I have them do, is to run the same color blend over a series of bases and so we can see what effect the flux oxides have on coloring oxides, or vice a versa.

So in this one we ran:

V.C. Matte cone 6

40.0 Nepheline Syenite
8.0 Whiting
14.0 Silica
10.0 Kaolin
10.0 Gerstley Borate
8.0 Lithium Carbonate

10% Titanium Dioxide

I usually have them leave out the opacifiers (titanium in this case) but this time we decided to leave it in. So the tile above is this glaze with 2% yellow iron oxide on a white stone ware in a reduction cone 6 cycle.

John Britt


As far as what we learned in the class...other than testing is that chrome will produce a variety of colors in varous bases.

Here are three colors, all are with 0.5% chrome.

So the first is a magnesium oxide dominated base, the second is a sodium dominated base, and the third is a ...I think it is a boron, lithium and 10% titanium so it is hard to say.

But either way a dramatic color variation.

More later....

John Britt

Everyone's Working

Looks like everyone is working while I'm out biking the parkway.

But I did learn something......There is a light at the end of the tunnel,

John Britt

CB 's wood kiln

Eric stoking . I put the first piece of wood in at 6:45  . Lots of people helped with the firing and had work in the kiln . Check my blog for  photos of  the door opened ..

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kiln loaded

The soda kiln is loaded and on pre-heat and I'm going to bed and hopefully will stay up long enough to finish watching this basketball game!

More pictures of the middle and back stack on my blog:

Till later,

Buying a Wheel

I am investing in a wheel an I am looking for a show of hands. Thomas/Skutt Legend w/ssx drive, 2 year warranty or a Brent C w/ssx drive and 10 year warranty? Which is the better wheel?

Nelle Fastman Pingree

Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Class on Cone 6 Reduction

We just finished our cone 6 reduction class with these 5 crazy potters and our mascot, Boo boo!

Had a fantastic time and made hundreds of tests as you see in the fore ground.

Don't think it could have gone better.

We did a cone 6 soda/oxidation, 2 cone 6 reduction firings and a cone 6 electric oxidation firing with the same groups of tiles. That way we got to see the same colorants in various bases dominated by Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, etc.

Got some great recipes too!

John Britt

Don't do this! What a mess!

This is what happens when you over water studio plants and have a 50 lb bag of soda ash sitting nearby. Actually, I made it look worse by taking a hammer and chisel to it to get enough material to dry out in the bisque kiln for Sunday's soda firing.

Till later,

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Wood Firing

Our wood firing at Will's turned out great and just in the nick of time! I finished up the 20 flower vases below that I needed for this event. Whew!

last firing

Wood kiln going .Last firing and then down. Another kiln will go in its place . This one built in 86 .Warming up with gas,a reasonable thing to do .

Monday, May 25, 2009

Digital Photo Class

Filled the Digital Photgraphy Class on July 18 so we will open another section July 19 and I will send out an announcement later.
Should be a really informative and fun class,
John Britt

Cone 6 soda tomorrow

We are doing some cone 6 soda firing tomorrow in our Glaze Workshop. We will let you know the results on Wednesday night, depending on how tired I am,

John Britt

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cone 6 Reduction Glaze Workshop

We start the cone 6 reduction class tomorrow! Should be a lot of fun. We have 5 and maybe 6 participants so we should get a bunch of good tests out. Hope to do a cone 6 soda firing too!

Selsor Copper Red Cone 6 reduction
56.25 Nepheline Syenite
12.50 Gerstley Borate
10.41 Whiting
20.83 Silica

1.5 Tin Oxide
0.8 Copper Carbonate

John Britt

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Asheville Art Museum

Look up the site tradition/innovation .org ... American Masterpieces of Southern Craft &Traditional Art .A curated show presented by the Southern Arts Federation . It is traveling to 9 southeastern states and will be in Asheville into Aug .  Well worth seeing .  

Tiles in a Box

Also been creating order out of chaos,

John Britt

Trimming Plates


Here is what I have been doing...trimming plates. Lots of little thingy's like this,
John Britt

Friday, May 22, 2009

Parkway Stuff

Here is a sample of the stuff on the Parkway this time of year!

Metchosin Glaze Workshop

Forgot to mention that we have a couple of spots open in the Metchosin Workshop in July.

Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts
July 6 – 10, 2009
Understanding Glazes, Materials and Firing
In this one week workshop, participants will learn about ceramic materials, formulating
glazes and firing practices. We will fire low, medium and high fire test tiles.

Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts
650 Pearson College Drive
Victoria, BC V9C 4H7
Toll Free in Canada 1-800-667-3122

Making Dinnerware

I have been making dinnerware, pretending I am an actual potter. Man is this hard!

John Britt

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glazing away

As mentioned in the previous post, Show and Tell, I thought I'd show what's happening near Bad Creek this week. Lots of pots, bisque kiln loads and glazing, glazing, glazing! Will and I are loading up his wood kiln on Saturday and firing on Sunday in case anyone wants to come check it out!

Show & Tell: Sink or Swim

I thought it might be fun to do a little show and tell segment here on our blog.

This week i've been working on vessels sinks for the DIY Network's Blog Cabin that's being constructed here in Madison County. It's not log, nor is it of cabin proportions by any means. It's more like a big house. They've asked a few local yocals to furnish some handmade details. This is my first attempt at making a sink. It's about 8.5" tall and 17" wide. Sinks need to be a lot bigger than I initially anticipated.
I've also been making porcelain drawer pulls.
It's been a welcomed change of pace to work on these pieces. I'm looking forward to expanding my home accent repertoire into lamps and maybe even commodes ;)
What chy'all been working on? Anyone else want to show and tell?

Glaze Workshops


I thought I would try to post some workshops I have coming up. Some are a week and others a weekend so don't have to take vacation time to attend.

These are great opportunities to learn about glazes/materials and firing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Reading books and searching the internet is one way to learn about glazes but actually being there and having someone explain in plain English while you are glazing and firing is how you really learn. Take about 10 years off the learning curve and come to a workshop.

Hope to see you there.

Mud Fire Glaze Workshop
June 12 – 14, 2009
Understanding Glazes, Materials and Firing
In this three-day discussion workshop, participants will learn
about ceramic materials, formulating glazes, and firing practices.
Participants will also bring cone 6 bisque to glaze and fire in our reduction kiln. June 12-13-14, 2009. $295. Class size 20.
Mud Fire Studio
175 Laredo DriveDecatur, GA 30030
phone: 404-377-8033

Master Class: Glazes
June 19 - 22, 2009
Improve your understanding of glazes and firing.
We will discuss glazes types from my book; “The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes”. Includes an Oil Spot firing. If you want to bring and fire your pots contact Maine College of Art for more information:
$240.00 (plus $25.00 glaze and firing fee)
Cheslye VentimigliaMaine College of Art522 Congress StreetPortland, ME 04101TEL: 207-699-5060 email:

Sugar Maples Workshop
August 13 - 18, 2009
Thrown Altered and Assembled – with Salt Firing

This 6 – day workshop will focus on techniques of throwing, altering and then assembling objects to salt fire. We will focus on teapot and ewer forms but will also work on simpler forms like cups and bowls. We will spend a lot of time talking about glazes and firing.

Sugar Maples Center for the Arts
34 Big Hollow RoadMaplecrest, NY 12454518- 263-2073

Other glaze classes that may be in your area are listed on the website:


John Britt

Oldest Kiln in Korea (part 2)

Here is a closer shot of the kiln. It is a little worse for wear and tear. I really am not sure that they use it very much.
Here is a photo inside. Looks like they load the fire box with wood as it cools (all that soot).

Here is a photo of the chimney or should we say exit flue. No chimney. The rise of the kiln acts as a chimney.

John Britt

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oldest Kiln in Korea

One day we took a trip to the oldest kiln in Korea. It is said to be over 150 years old.
The pit in the front is to mix clay.

John Britt

Friday, May 15, 2009

Korean Kiln

Here is a photo of the kiln I was talking about at the Clay Club. That front black spot is where they put in the wood and then don't close it off, so during the firing flames are coming out. It also shows the more roman type arches vs. our catenary type.

Here are a couple more of another kiln bring fired:

I will get some more later.

John Britt

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Foggy Feeling

This is what my brain feels like after all that international travel. So sorry my talk at the Clay Club last night was a bit slow.

We did have fun and I am thankful to Lynda and Elizabeth for their hosting skills.

And thanks to Emily (our illustrous president) and Cynthia (you know who) for their talk on NCECA and the Smithonian Show. As well as Lynda who told us about the new gallery in Spruce Pine.

But the best news of all is that John Ferlazzo, former permanent host of the Clay Club, has agreed to have a CLAY CLUB BLOWOUT next time! It will be June 10th at 5:00 p.m. to ..???

John will have a fabulous bluegrass band, fishing, and tons of fun to pass out. Maybe a fishing contest? And who knows what else he will dream up. I always say that just having the clay club members is party enough, but this will make it even better.

Kids on leashes welcome!
So keep on potting and see you next month,

Teabowl Invitational

As they say in the old country song, "When the phone didn't ring...I knew it was you."
That is what my teabowl said to the other teabowls in the Invitational.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teabowl Exhibition Rock Hill, SC. The show includes some Clay Clubbers and western NC potters.

Gallery Up’s Teabowl Invitational exhibition is on view through June 19, 2009 with the opening reception next week on May 21, 2009 from 6 pm to 9 pm. The show provides a look at modern interpretations of the historically significant teabowl.
With origins in Japan, China and Korea, one aspect of a traditional tea ceremony recognizes that every human encounter is a unique occasion which can never occur again exactly thus the experience of sharing tea must be savored. The teabowl is a major component of this traditional ceremony and has a found renewed significance among clay artists in the West.
Catch a sneak peek of the show. Participating artists include:
Jim Connell Rock Hill, SC
Shane Mickey Bakersville, NC
Justin Teilhet Yellow Springs, OH
Emily Reason Asheville, NC
Landry Deese Sheridan, OR
Stacy Jo Scott Eugene, OR
Virginia Scotchie Columbia, SC
Akira Satake Swannanoa, NC
Christa Assad Berkley, CA
Ani Kasten Takoma Park, MD

Basic Reed Handle Making Workshop

Basic Reed Handle Making Workshop at John Britt's Pottery Studio. The workshop is Saturday: August 1, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Linda McFarling and John Britt will conduct a one day, hands on class on how to make simple reed handles for your teapots, baskets and other fired ceramic objects. $75.00 (includes reed and a delicious lunch). Space is limited to 8 people.

For more information on the class and information on registering call 828-467-5020 or email

This is one of the best deals around! Don't miss out. $75.00!!! Plus lunch and reed. Sign up now before we go out of business!