Ash Glazes

Front Cover
University of Pennsylvania Press, Feb 12, 2003 - Art - 176 pages

Ash glaze, as the name suggests, is a glaze derived from ashes. The earliest such glazes can be traced back to the Shang period in China (c. 1500 B.C.), and it is thought they were produced accidentally, the result of white-hot wood ash being carried through the kiln with the draft of the fire and settling onto the pots, where the searing white heat melted it to a glass. Three thousand years later, wood ash remains an important and immensely popular feature of pottery glaze making.

For the modern potter, the satisfaction of working with ash glazes comes from following an ancient tradition as well as from using materials that occur naturally. The results of different wood ashes often vary dramatically, making it possible to achieve a wide range of unique finishes. Even wood from the same species of tree garnered just miles apart can produce subtly different results.

In this second edition of Ash Glazes, Phil Rogers covers the history of ash glazes and proceeds to discuss the practicalities of collecting and testing wood ashes and transforming them into glazes. In the final portion of the book, he looks at the work of some leading international potters whose work is typified by the array of finishes that they achieve through their use of wood ash glazes. Images of their work offer an impressive display of the colors and techniques possible through this glazing technique.

Ash Glazes has been designed as an introduction and practical handbook to the subject. It will provide inspiration for working potters and delight for all those interested in contemporary ceramics.


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Ash glazes

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

About 3500 years ago, the Chinese accidentally discovered that wood ash produced surprisingly varied and pleasing ceramic glazes. Even wood from the same species of tree harvested just miles apart can ... Read full review

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User Review  - susan139 - LibraryThing

Excellent book on Ash glazes and fantastic photos of potters work using ash glazes. Read full review


A brief history of wood ash glazes
The growing plant
What is wood ash?
Collecting and preparing wood ash
What are glazes and how do they work?
Making glazes
Ashlike glazes without ash
Potters profiles
Jim Malone
Eric James Mellon
Jim Robison
John Thies
Tom Turner
Phil Rogers
Other potters who use ash glazes
Ash glaze recipes

Katherine PleydellBouverie
Terry BellHughes
Mike Dodd
Lis Ehrenreich
John Jelfs
Dick Lehman
Ash analyses

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Page 6 - A NUMBER of people without whose help this book would not have been possible.
Page 8 - We must not allow ourselves to complain of the lack of variety or quality of materials. . . the manner of making natural glazes is generally done by combining a powdered stone that fuses in the kiln with clay and ash in varying proportions. By varying the proportions of all three materials you will get a large variety of glazes. Then vary the materials, a different stone, a different clay and a different ash. There is no end to the glazes you can create when you come to know the nature of the materials...
Page 8 - In addition to a clay body, if you have volcanic or feldspathic stone or a type of China clay and ash for glaze, you can make pottery. We must not allow ourselves to complain of the lack of variety or quality of materials.

About the author (2003)

Phil Rogers is a well-known British potter, a fellow of the Craft Potters Association, and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. He is a frequent contributor to various ceramics and craft magazines, and the author of Throwing Pots and Salt Glazes, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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