Peter Ilsley Crystalline Glaze Workshop - Hosted by Kris Friedrich.

admin | Events, Glaze Research | Saturday, May 13th, 2006

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In May of 2006, Peter Ilsley, author of “Macro-Crystalline Glazes” led an extensively hands-on workshop at Friedrich Pottery in Palm Springs, California. I was happy to assist Mr. Ilsley and the event host, Kris Friedrich, along with John Tilton, Tom Wallick, and Glenn Doyle.

krispeter.jpg Jesse Hull John Tilton Glen Doyle
Twenty-five crystalline artists were able to glaze their own bisqued work, and have the pieces fired in their choice of 6 kilns (4 computer electrics, one post-fire reduction, and one computerized auto-damper gas kiln). These kilns were often fired simultaneously, resulting in at least 2 kiln openings a day for 5 days straight. As a result, the group was able to compare oxidation to reduction on several gloss crystalline glazes as well as some matte crystalline recipes made from special frits that were ordered in for the event.

Diane Creber kentbill.jpg marshasilverman.jpg johnscott.jpg jananthony.jpg

For the glossy crystallines, frits GF-106 and Ferro3110 were used to make up various bases. As GF-106 recently became unavailable, Laguna Clay Company’s Clay Manager, Jon Pacini brought a sample of a substitute for Gloster’s GF-106 frit called F413. John Tilton and Marsha Silverman focused on the German frit (Mondre & Manz 4067) that Kris had shipped in, hoping to expand on the efforts of European crystalline artist Peter Frohlich.

Joe Symons annemelvin.jpg larryanderson.jpg donholloway.jpg hollymarilee.jpg

Aside from lecturing, Peter Ilsley took charge of the on-site “top-hat” raku kiln, and performed post-fire reduction on any oxidation fired pieces we felt would benefit. I was able to put in several tests with silver nitrate. What resulted from the silver tests were pots that look like they were formed out of sterling silver or gold.

jessejon.jpg aviharriman.jpg Bill Campbell, Tom Wallick, Peter Ilsley, Mark Winner garymonji.jpg roddenise.jpg
While preparing for this event, Peter told me that he had been wanting to have a favorite frit made, Degussa’s 90208M, since it had been out of production for many years. This yielded a wonderful outcome… further details here.

Paul Geil paid a visit during the final days of the workshop to unveil the new Geil JH10 prototype.

jessejohnginny.jpg peterilsley.jpg paulgeil.jpg

A very special thank you to Kris (and Marilee) Friedrich for having us in their home and hosting an incredible event, and of course to Peter Ilsley for offering his years of experience!

Related Links:
Clay Times Article: “Crystalline Glaze Workshops 2005-2006″

Ceramics Monthly “Kris Friedrich Crystalline Glaze Workshop”

The Story of Five Popular Crystalline Glaze Frits

Matte Crystalline Glaze - Focus: Mondre & Manz 4067 Frit

Peter Ilsley Workshop Announcement (Graphics done by Leah Shea)


  1. Jesse
    I was wondering if anyone has the chemical breakdown
    of the Mondre & Manz 4067 Frit. I would like to try and match it.
    I will soon be testing Matte crystals…

    I am using Ferro’s 435 to lower the Al203 when using GF106 and Fusion’s 644 which are a little high in Al203
    for some of my tests.

    Thanks Chris :

    Comment by Chris Cantello — December 27, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  2. Hey Chris,
    I had trouble locating it, but Diane Creber was nice enough to send me the formula for the M&M 4067. It is as follows:

    Potassium oxide 4.60
    Zinc oxide 12.00
    Barium oxide 37.80
    Lead oxide 11.00
    Aluminum oxide 5.00
    Silica 29.60


    Let me know how things go…

    Comment by Jesse Hull — January 2, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  3. Thank you Jesse for the info.

    This formula should be simple to match. With the exception of the lead oxide, I would test Mgo. at 6% Na20 at 5% or bump the K20 to 9.5 leaving the soda
    out that could work nice.


    Comment by Chris Cantello — January 2, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

  4. Interesting Chris,
    I typically hold to the benefits of more than one flux, especially if you have non-soluble forms (e.g., frits).

    John Tilton was working with Nath Viswanath at Fusion Ceramics, in exploring an alternative to the M&M 4067. I don’t believe anything much came of it.
    It will be interesting to see what stems from your trials.


    Comment by Jesse Hull — January 5, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  5. Dear Jesse
    After attempting to contact Peter Ilsley at his pottery, without an answer, I am hoping you will be able to tell me where I can buy Degussa frit 90208m in England. I [with students] am doing some experimental work with crystal glazing, mainly with Ferro frit 3110 and would like a comparative frit.
    Please advise as I am running out of ideas as to where I can obtain the Degussa frit.
    Many thanks in anticipation.
    Maurice Young

    You’ll need to get your hands on Fusion Frit F644, here in the U.S.


    Comment by maurice young — August 2, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

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