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  • Writer's pictureKarl Greene


So I have been trying, operative word trying, to make a range of ware for a customer for a while that needs to come out a certain colour and finish, on the unglazed clay. Well as much as I try I just cannot consistently get desired colour and finish. Today marks about 2 months of work, time wise, finishing and eventually trying to sand off the pots to get the desired finish. None of it worked. They still came out the wrong colour. It is partly because of something called efflorescence. Where soluble salts come to the surface of the clay and after being touched or even not touched they cause a colour change on the bare clay. Not good if you need a bare clays surface as the finish. I have tried loads of things to try and counter this but added together with the fact my gas kiln is on its last legs, I am effectively flogging a dead horse. This has been proven this week with only 7 out of more than 55 pieces being anywhere near acceptable (some of them got rejected!) That's around 10%. To say this is frustrating is not even close. Unsustainable, certainly. But I don't want to be beaten by it. There are so many factors that need to change in order to make this achievable but none of these are able to happen anytime soon. I'm losing money hand over fist as I only get paid for things that make it. I struggle on. For now.

Pictures are top image of some of the brown failures. Gallery pics of things after they have been fired. The white marks (efflorescence)before sanding and pics of things still showing evidence of it after try to remedy with an electric firing to 1000celcius.

If anyone has any suggestions of things that could be done I'm all ears. Otherwise I need to find someone or somewhere that offers a bespoke service for making stoneware to their own design. Again all ears if anyone has any suggestions! Karlx

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