Thursday, December 1, 2011


Start as usual with the helper cat, Who never gives up in his efforts to assist.  Curiosity does not have any bad affect on this guy.....just makes him more curious.

Aloysius, the helper cat

Even good helper cats get tired

It's difficult to see from the top shelf that the reindeer and birds are all stilted.  I use wire stilts with sharp points that break off easily.  They leave small points that are ground down with a touch of a diamond tip Dremel.  I couldn't fit the reindeer in the rest of the kiln so I tucked it in on top.  If this were anything but a prototype I would have fired it upright, but then I would have had enough of the same animals to load at least half a shelf.

Fired kiln, top shelf

Majolica glazes are stable which is a good thing because it's possible to do intricate designs and know they wont't move.  It's also possible to take glaze down to a sixteenth of an inch above the base of the pot.  The difficult thing is that the firing does nothing to enhance a glaze.


Reindeer on stilts

I shot the reindeer on his side to give an idea of how I stilt.  Use enough for odd pieces and use the correct size for the piece.

Because I bisque and fire at ^04 and because the glaze is so stable I do refire if there are minor flaws in the pot.  I just brush glaze on the spots I want to work on.  There is no problem with the glaze adhering because it's all at ^04.

 I did have some luck with reglazing ^6 when I was still teaching.  I thickened the glaze by letting it settle and drawing off some of the water.  I also would heat the the oven, under  a high intensity bulb or even a paint stripper.  I always fired on a piece of scrap kiln shelf or a fired slab made from the same body as the pot.  Firing at anything above majolica temperatures was always a crap shoot.

 Sometimes the magic works; sometimes it doesn't.


  1. I really like that raindeer. I guess even deer like being a bit on the tall side.

  2. Oh thanks for posting about the stilts, I have never used them but have wanted to try them out with a few different pieces I have made, one of these days, the colors are so rich.

  3. Good lord your work is beautiful. To tell you the truth, there is not a very long list of internets people I would like to meet, but I should would like to meet you and see your work, fantastic! Love the cat too, my Spike's cousin :)

  4. Hi Patti...thanks...height can be found anywhere!

    Hi Linda.....Don't let anyone talk you into clay star stilts....give it a try.

    Hi Gary...(blush)...I am flattered....I am discovering a whole new community out in the virtual world.

  5. LOVE the animals! You've got a smart thumb on heirloom ceramics.
    PS... no worries, still here, wink wink!

  6. Hey smartcat! still following and those pot are beauties!!
    Changing from mad potter to dumb dog :)

  7. Hi Ghost...Thanks!

    Hi Sandy......Glad you're still here. I've stopped worrying about what actually shows! Is there a particularly dumb dog in your life?


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