A newly fired little espresso cup. For a long time now we’re lost our original yellow slip recipe, some of you might recall days when soda pots that looked similar to this were posted more frequently. We long used up the bucket of glaze that worked, mixed long before I started as an apprentice to Lisa Hammond at Maze Hill Pottery. We’ve tried dozens of recipes since, littering the small studio with old buckets of tried and tested glazes. We had been using titanium dioxide primarily, but switched it out for a dark rutile, from a recipe found in an old notebook—this is it fired.
It’s like nothing else we’ve tested. There are almost two layers of surface, beneath, is the old yellow we used to get, albeit slightly more pale, and above, are crystals, that fade in across the piece. Where the soda hits, it begins to run with black and blue markings, and where the vapourised soda touches less a matte, crystalline surface forms. They might be a byproduct of the slow cooling, but the pot would have cooled very evenly, so you’d think the crystals would appear evenly over the whole piece instead of how they have.
Although it isn’t what we’re after exactly, it’s a good alternative until a better version is found. A recipe that yields colour more vivid without the crystalline flecks would be ideal—the search continues.
Alongside these very few espresso cups glazed like this, there are a handful of mugs too, currently cooling in the kiln we fired last night to be opened on Monday. If they’re any good we’ll bring a few with us to Ceramic Art London, which starts on the 31st of March, ending on the 2nd of April.