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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Clay Times Article: “Crystalline Glaze Workshops 2005-2006″