Pottery, Nuka Glaze

This is a wood ash glaze that has been used historically by Japanese and Korean potters.  These artists traditionally used rice hull ashes and fired peices to temperatures upwards of 2500 degrees F. I have spent years adapting my Nuka glaze recipe to melt at a lower firing temperature, and to utilize local wood ashes.  My goal is to achieve a fluid, rustic surface while maintaining whiteness. The glaze is very reactive to different pottery process. It varies in color from tan with brown speckles, to creamy white. The surface also varies from high gloss to soft, semi-matte.

I use 2 main colorants on my Nuka glazeware: iron and cobalt. The iron creates rust colors and yellows, and cobalt produces blues. I mix each colorant with water, then brush them on top of the glazed pottery.  During the firing, these colorants drip down the pot and create fluidity and movement.

 

6 comments

  1. I’ve been working on ceramics for about 4 years now in North Dakota, and I haven’t found a glaze that I like using. I tried this Nuka glaze and I really liked the way it ran on some on my pots, but most of the time it ran too much. I used it on a satin white glaze. I was wondering what kind of glaze you used it on or what you would suggest using it on?

    1. Hello Adrianna,

      Color depends a lot on your firing process. I’ve recently been firing in a natural gas kiln to cone 10 in reduction. Soon I will switch to cone 6 electric, and I’ll have to reformulate my glaze recipe. I’ve done over 200 line blend tests to develop my Nuka recipe. It uses wood ashes, and these materials have a lot of variability but that’s why I like using them. I learned the vast majority of my glaze recipes and techniques from a book by John Britt: “The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes: Glazing & Firing at Cone 10.” Here are a few more of my blog posts that you might find helpful.

      https://www.cherricopottery.com/2012/12/12/glazing-ceramics-with-wood-ashes-my-version-of-the-japanese-nuka-glaze/

      https://www.cherricopottery.com/2012/11/25/gas-firing-stoneware-pottery-at-cone-10-natural-variations-in-the-copper-red-glaze/

      Thanks!

      Joel

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