The First Pots: Chawan and Guinomi

Here are some of the first pots to get cleaned up after the firing last week. I’ll post more over the next few days as I get things cleaned up.

Overall the firing went well, much better than the first two certainly. I’m finally starting to get a grip on how the kiln climbs, and learning not to worry about it too much. We fired both chambers this time and it took roughly 30 hours. Cone 10 flat in front, cone 9 touching in the rear, and cone 13 almost touching in the second chamber. The second chamber is a pleasure to fire, very relaxing after stoking the front. I think I can still get more aggressive with the front, taking the temp up even more, probably somewhere around cone 12 would be good for the rice straw ash glazes.

The intention was to drop cone 6 in the rear and call it quits, but it ended up getting hotter than expected, and the ware in front ended up a little too shiny. However, the middle and rear of the setting came out just about perfectly. Temp from top to bottom was quite even. We stopped stoking the second chamber when cone 11 dropped and clammed everything up after letting some of the excess heat out. Still, when I peeked in the next morning, that second chamber was still glowing, and cone 13 was mostly down. Guess that 1250kg of insulating castable does its job well.

Most of the failures this time around were caused by bad glazing, not the firing. Rice straw ash glazes were universally too thick, and an ash glaze I whipped up hoping to be a nice runny green ended up being a crusty reddish brown. Oops.

8 thoughts on “The First Pots: Chawan and Guinomi”

    1. Thanks Dave, me too. The slow cooling really promotes more crystal formation. I’m really happy I added the extra insulation to the kiln.

  1. These works are phenomenal! I am particularly impressed with the depth of layers in the ash effects on the glazes. They are hypnotic landscapes. I can not imagine how awesome they would be in person!

  2. Hi Mike, wanted to “Like” the post but no button?? Anyways very nice glazes… a successful firing for sure. Hard to decide, but I think my fav is CG_cha0003_6

    1. Thank you Dawn, still working on that Like button. Tried it once or twice but still having problems getting it to work…

  3. wow. These pieces are really phenomenal. Both Lee and I were gushing over these works…wonderful proportion and what feet! I love the crisp-cut clay flavour reveal…Thanks for sharing these! (also, I am wondering if you might not mind if I publish one or two of your photographs above on my blog? (

    1. Hello Yolande and Lee,
      Thank you so much for the praise, I’m blushing over here. I am really glad you like them and enjoyed looking at them. No problem with using some of the images on your blog, but I’d appreciate it if you leave a little notation somewhere about where they came from.
      Thanks again for visiting,
      Mike Martino

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