Kicking everyday dishes up a notch

Yesterday I completed my first set of crystalline dishes (service for four).  I am really excited with how they turned out and learned, of course, some ways to make them better for the next set.

 

Copper Crystalline

 

I mixed up a new batch of copper crystalline as well as a satin white non-crystalline glaze.  I was stunned when I opened the kiln and saw the crystals that formed on the plates.  Some of the crystals span two inches in diameter!  I wish I could say that I controlled the actual growth of the crystals, but I can’t.  I mix the glaze and program the kiln to allow for crystal growth, but what actually goes on in the kiln never ceases to amaze me!

 

Dinner and Lunch Plates

 

Crystalline glazes are known for being “running” glazes.  This meaning, the glaze literally runs off the pot:  it is a flowing/moving glaze.  The challenge that this presents, is in the finishing stages of the pottery.  Each piece has to sit on some sort of pedestal that matches the diameter of the foot of the pot.  This allows the glaze to run off the pot without coating the foot in glaze.  The tricky part is after the firing is complete, those pedestals need to come off.  They get cut off or chiseled off the foot of the pot and, unfortunately, can take small chips or chunks out of the foot of the pot.  If the pot didn’t break (which is sometimes a 50/50 chance), then each piece is ground smooth on the diamond grinder.  In the past I have always made my pedestal rings from clay and then fired them to match the pot.  This time around I tried a new method using porous kiln bricks coated in kiln wash.

 

Kiln Brick Pedestals

 

The kiln bricks are the same density and softness as pumice stone.  In the pictures here you can see that the glaze does run off the pot and needs to be cut off.  I sawed off the kiln brick first and then used a chisel and mallet  to remove as much of the pedestal as I could before taking it to the diamond grinder.  Some of the ceramic foot did come off the pot with the kiln brick as well, which is frustrating, but that is part of the process.  Each time I do it, it gets smoother and more refined.  I am working on perfecting this method so I can get to the point where I am able to produce a perfect piece, top to bottom.

 

Removing the Pedestals

Chiseling off the remaining brick before using the grinding wheel

The pots look pretty jagged at this point.  The next step is grinding down the rest of the kiln brick on the diamond grinder.  The feet of the pot do not look as finished as the rest of the dish, but that is the part that sits on the table.  I keep the feet as smooth as possible so they don’t scratch a table surface and the grinder keeps them level as well.

 

Grinding down the pedestals and finishing the pots

 

Last night was the Seacoast Young Life fundraiser banquet.  This dish set was donated for the silent auction.  It was a blast to be a part of this event as a business and help raise financial support.  There were somewhere between 30 to 40 different items in the silent auction and my pottery ended up in the top four highest bids!  I was shocked!  It was so exciting to hear that and be apart of the Young Life banquet in that way.  I hope the winners truly enjoy their dishware.

Completed Dishware - Service for Four

The plates were definitely my favorite pieces!  I love how the crystals came out!

 

Each of the dinner plates

 

 

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  • Andrew

    These pieces are beautiful! I’m so proud, Arryn. 😀ReplyCancel

  • Andrew

    These pieces are beautiful! I’m so proud, Arryn. 😀ReplyCancel

  • that is one of the coolest dish sets I’ve ever seen! I especially love those huge crystals!ReplyCancel

  • that is one of the coolest dish sets I’ve ever seen! I especially love those huge crystals!ReplyCancel

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM! So excited you were in the top 4!! Way to go!ReplyCancel

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM! So excited you were in the top 4!! Way to go!ReplyCancel

  • Sydney

    Gorgeous work, Arryn!ReplyCancel

  • Sydney

    Gorgeous work, Arryn!ReplyCancel

  • Irene

    WOW, these are beautiful!!ReplyCancel

  • Irene

    WOW, these are beautiful!!ReplyCancel

  • Arryn, these are more than gorgeous. They remind me of the rich colors of the caribbean waters seen from an areal view. I think I’m going to have to get one of these dish sets. You know that’s my favorite color. Congratulations on your success at the Young Life banquet. I’m so proud of you! XO ~ MomReplyCancel

  • Arryn, these are more than gorgeous. They remind me of the rich colors of the caribbean waters seen from an areal view. I think I’m going to have to get one of these dish sets. You know that’s my favorite color. Congratulations on your success at the Young Life banquet. I’m so proud of you! XO ~ MomReplyCancel

  • April Foster

    Absolutely beautiful! The plates are my favorites also. They look like lilly pads.ReplyCancel

  • April Foster

    Absolutely beautiful! The plates are my favorites also. They look like lilly pads.ReplyCancel

  • these are unbelievably beautiful…those were lucky auction winners!! do you have to do anything special to ensure they are food safe?ReplyCancel

    • ONe of the biggest issues with ceramics being food safe was that the glazes contained lead. These don’t. As long as they are washed well after use they are good to go! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • these are unbelievably beautiful…those were lucky auction winners!! do you have to do anything special to ensure they are food safe?ReplyCancel

    • ONe of the biggest issues with ceramics being food safe was that the glazes contained lead. These don’t. As long as they are washed well after use they are good to go! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • KP

    These look amazing Arryn… Master Potter!!!!
    Love you and miss you.ReplyCancel

  • KP

    These look amazing Arryn… Master Potter!!!!
    Love you and miss you.ReplyCancel

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