In addition to my other pursuits, I am an active amateur potter/ceramic artist. I studied pottery and ceramic art under Bob Fritz when I was in high school, and at one time I was prepared to enter into an apprenticeship with him to pursue a career as a professional potter/ceramic artist. As it turned out, my career went in another direction. However, I have my own ceramic art studio, including an Amaco Excel EX-365 electric kiln and a Brent CXC potter’s wheel, and I continue to produce pottery and experiment with glazes of my own design whenever I find the time (at a frequency which I am sorry to say is sometimes measured in periods of years rather than months). I typically work with local (Wisconsin) Paoli Stone high-fire clay (cone 5-6), and I like to create my own glazes, principally from volcanic ash (following the example of my teacher and art mentor Bob Fritz).

Here is a teapot I “threw”, made of Paoli stoneware (fired to cone 5) with a glaze consisting of 66% volcanic ash and 33% Boron Frit 3134, with a handful of Paoli stoneware slip added so the glaze would stick to the clay body:


Here is a bowl I threw, made of Paoli stoneware (fired to cone 5) with a glaze consisting of only 66% volcanic ash and 33% Boron Frit 3134 (with no slip added) — very cool effect, don’t you think?


Here is something obtained by reduction firing (it was fired at Mr. Fritz’s former studio):


Here is something else I fired at Mr. Fritz’s former studio (sorry about the poor lighting):


Unlike reduction firing, oxidation firing tends to produce bright colors (and it seems to especially favor the color purple, particularly when your glazes contain volcanic ash):


You can get other colors with oxidation firing too, though, like the following nice bright green and white: