Functional Porcelain / Atmospheric Effects for Electric Firing - Alison Palmer Studio, Kent, CT


In the first 2 days of this workshop, Steven Hill will throw and alter pots and work with slip, all the while communicating his enthusiasm for functional porcelain, spraying glazes and single firing. Steven considers form the most important single aspect of his pottery, paying particular attention to rims, feet, lids, spouts, and handles. Discussions will cover philosophy, design, technique, and his 40 years of making a living in clay.

“I have been inspired by the variation that occurs naturally across the surface of salt, soda and wood fired pots. In my own pottery, I have been creating atmospheric surface qualities through careful blending and layering of sprayed glazes for over 40 years!”


Until December of 2008 Steven fired exclusively gas reduction, but he has discovered that his cascading rivulets of ash-like glazes and mysterious microcrystalline mat surfaces work just as effectively in oxidation as they do in reduction! Even the rich brown and orange colors that he always attributed to reduction firing are possible in oxidation. These days Steven fires exclusively ^6-8 electric oxidation.

Sunday will end with Steven raw glazing pots he made the first day.

During days 3 and 4 of this workshop the class will throw and alter pots based on Stevens forms and work with decorative slip. Steven will lead the class with demonstrations of pitchers, cups, bowls and other forms. The focus will be on spouts, handles, form, surface, and the relationship between these elements.

Although Steven fires in an electric kiln these days, he works with techniques that get the best out of wood and soda firings. His work has many edges, both on the form and his use of slip that will be natural gathering points for ash and soda.