Steven Hill has been a professional studio potter since 1974. Steven's work is exhibited and sold in nationally juried shows and is featured in many ceramics books. He has conducted over 200 workshops throughout the United States and Canada and has written numerous articles for Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, and Studio Potter, the most recent of which is, “An Approach to Single Firing – Further On”, in the January 2006 Ceramics Monthly.
I love the variation that occurs naturally across the surface of salt, soda and wood fired pots. My own pottery, however, has been reduction fired in gas kilns since the early 70’s. I have been creating atmospheric surface qualities through careful blending and layering of sprayed glazes for over 30 years, now!
In December 2008 I discovered that reduction plays a rather insignificant role in the finished look of my pottery. The 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 I have always attributed to reduction firing are possible in oxidation.
After experimenting with electric firing I question whether the results justify the limitations a gas kiln imposes. Zoning creates obstacles and even if the inspector is cooperative, a gas kiln needs to be located away from your primary residence. Building, plumbing and venting a gas kiln is difficult. Buying and installing a manufactured gas kiln can be very expensive.
This workshop is designed to help you get the most out of YOUR glazes, applied to YOUR pots and fired in YOUR electric kiln. I will demonstrate the basic techniques of spraying and also spend time with more advanced theories of layering and blending glazes. I will cover ^6 glazes and discuss lowering the maturation point of ^10 glazes to ^6. I will suggest ways to experiment with the layering process to create your own unique look.
On the first day I will throw, assemble, apply slip and discuss my philosophical approach towards making functional pottery. On the second day I will demonstrate my personal techniques of spraying and layering glazes and students will glaze their pottery. We will then load the kiln(s) and fire overnight to ^6. On the third day I will lead discussions on firing schedules and the equipment required to set up your own spraying studio. The workshop will end with unloading the kiln(s) and discussing the work.