Phil Hamling

376 County Route 1

Warwick, NY, USA 10990

e-mail: (change the -at- to @)

Zinc Silicate Crystalline Glaze Pottery

A chronicle of my recent progress and a way for me to keep it straight in my head!

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos

Electric Reduction Symposium

Friends' Work
Info I've been asked to keep in confidence.

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Crystalline Glaze Info

December 15, 2010       Bill Campbell has more web pages than Carter has little pills. Here's one for his Porcelain Cremation Urns

This piece healed up real nice in the re-fire. There is no  sign of the crack, either inside or out.

Catch trays for Glenn's little girls. It's funny but they look like voluptuous women pots to me.

Two recent pieces by Paul Brown.

December 12, 2010      


Another bullet in the foot. Cracked it while stripping copper using the torch - wipe method. I need to remember to take these thin ones off the catcher first. Added .1g/ more glaze, re-fire and keep my fingers crossed it will heal.

  The greens were slow today.     

December 10, 2010       My brother David called this first one "Northern Lights".

Hot off the UPS truck from Glenn and Keith at the Pottery Boys

Juliette sent these pictures as examples of pieces, including the one on the left with ridges on the lid, which would hold glaze better.

Pottery Rescue - One of Andy's pieces whose bottom blew out in the bisque, trimmed and ready for a new base.

December 9, 2010      

December 6, 2010      


December 5, 2010      

December 4, 2010       Andy Boswell dropped off some fantastic pieces for me to glaze. I got right to lapping the pieces and catchers and wet sanding believing if I jumped on them I could have something to give Andy at his opening at the Bostree Gallery next weekend and get them out of the shop before work from Glenn arrives. I did have a slight unforeseen incident which took some time as I pulled the bullet out of my foot. After wet sanding the largest one I realized its catcher fell into the bottom of the sink helping me chip the heck out of the foot. Fortunately  there was enough meat for a trimming repair and wet bisque shaves real easy.

I cleaned and organized the studio today. It's amazing how much stuff it's (I've) accumulated in just under 4 years. The low, late afternoon sun really lit up a few pieces.


 December 3, 2010  Work from Bill Schran. " pots with combination of engobes and crystalline glazes where I am pulling color form the engobes with no, or very little colorant in the glaze. Been using holding temperatures at upper ranges, well upper ranges for my ^6 firings, to get the more angular, rather than round crystals." 

November 30, 2010  I re-fired this re-fired piece after adding 5:1:1 (cu, co, mn) to it. The dragonflies turned into bigger bugs and there's a lot more lighter colored background this time. The crystal craze is a little crazy.


New beauties from Glenn Woods.

November 26, 2010  It's hard to believe these are all re-fires. Each has seen a slightly different chain of events (glaze, fire, strike, torch, etc,) but all contain the same F413 base glaze. I'm really looking forward to adding reduction to the mix, but like a lot of these and know there is no going back. In the words of a famous crystalline potter from Montana "....the best way to screw up a piece is to reduce it". I'll have to add to the stockpile a little more first.


This reminds me of dragonflies

Got Milk???

I wish I'd have stopped at this point. 


I loaded the gloss white liner on the shoulder and covered it with crystalline glaze. It seems to have flowed down under the crystalline glaze making white streaks with "whachamacallits" where it broke through.


November 25, 2010    Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2010   

November 22, 2010   

November 22, 2010   


A couple of ^6 pieces by Mo Anderson


November 21, 2010   


This is the last egg The Wizard laid here about a year ago.


Gordon and Olivia stopped by today. He is a mad scientist of sorts, always pushing the envelope. They brought some real cool high manganese pieces and seem to have fair success using fine SiC powder in the glaze.

November 16, 2010    People have made beautiful crystalline glazed ceramics all over the world. Here's a sample from 4 continents.

Iwata Yasuhiro
Tajimi, Japan
W.Sarter Créations céramiques
Chauvigny, France
Beth Coe Maeda
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Juliette Scheffers
Harvey, NB, Canada


November 9, 2010     These pieces are also 140mm dia. x 190mm tall

November 8, 2010     The piece on the right is 230mm dia. x 480mm tall (~9" dia. X 19" tall). 

Andy and Ray always said "If you can't make something nice, make something big. And if you can't make something big, make something blue."

It looks as if a wisp of reduction turned pieces of some "crystal leaves" to penny copper.

I finally got a decent photo of Marilyn. It only took 29 years!!!!  

November 7, 2010    


November 2, 2010     Election Day      This piece is 140mm dia. x 190mm tall.

October 31, 2010  


October 27, 2010   (Forum Post 10-28-10)

      Ray Villafane's signature Halloween pumpkins

October 25, 2010     Tonight's firing has several re-fires plus freshly glazed pieces. Most have the F413 base with 3% red copper oxide, 1% cobalt carbonate and 1% manganese dioxide on them or some variation of that combination. One set has 1/2% green nickel oxide added. Another is a series ranging from 0% to 2% Zircopax. Who knows what they will do!

Plexiglas covers on the tops of these large Chinese crystalline glazed pieces will allow them to spend the winter outside without filling up with water and freezing

Ginny Conrow said to pre-heat re-fires at ~250F before spraying glaze so it will dry on the piece. I was able to add ~ 1/4 gram of glaze / sq. in. with one coat.

These pieces have F413 base with a range of copper content with a high of 6% red copper oxide down to 1%.

October 17, 2010


October 15, 2010 





October 14, 2010      

October 11, 2010 



My brother is at a Powdered Metal trade show in Italy and wrote "When is it tough to put a round peg in a square hole? When it is my ass and the toilet is at the hotel Londra."

October 10, 2010  What's in a number?

On 10-8-10 my odometer registered 77777 miles.

On 10-10-10 my webpage registered 80000 hits.

10-9-10   Jamie Kozlowski - The Wizard of Clay had a gallery opening and demo at Bill Campbell's - Campbell Pottery today. I really enjoy both of their company. Here's a bunch of photos and closeups.

October 6, 2010  

Ian......"its a crappy pic, but here are three of the newer pots, iron purple, iron red, and SUPER COPPER!"

The New World of Crystalline Glazes: Developing Beautiful Crystals in Reduction

by Diane Creber Read Comments (5)

.....but this one is watercolor with crystalline glaze Sun Chao    

10-3-10   10-5-10 I finally loaded another firing  
10-3-10   Glazing a bunch of pieces

It was a perfect day on the lawn. Between 3 of us we spent ~30 man hours cutting, pruning and tweaking.

10-1-10      Yoshiko is a doll for sending a copy of Dr. Arnie's letter to the Editor of Ceramics Monthly.


New work from Ian Childers....."working with some higher saturations of metals ......... to see how far i can push it". One piece is a high iron refire, with a touch of Manganese. Another ..."just a plain high iron".


 The final piece cleaned up and in early morning light.  One of The Wizard's plates.  I snatched this one up before Avi could get it.
Avi plywood surfing?????  He does have kind of a nautical look to him.  Jill and me!!!!!  Jamie, me and Avi, striking a pose.
Our local ice rink was closed.  Ribs and broccoli ala Kozlowski  Jamie and Jill  They got a badass weed harvester on Honeoye Lake 

9-11-10     Avi came today. The plan is to work in the studio tomorrow glazing and firing some pots Then head up to The Wizard's on Monday for a night's stay. 

Spreading surfactant  Before reduction After reduction for ~40 minutes After re-oxidation for ~ 5 hours. 

He had to wait for me to finish some work on the greens before we could play in pottery land.  We aerated the greens today, which involves punching small (1/2" dia.) holes in the turf to allow air and water to get through the thatch layer better. I figured at ~50 holes per square foot we put literally 1/2 million holes in 1/4 acre of greens turf today. 

We did get to reduce, then re-oxidize one piece.  The temperature was dropped to 785C (~1450F) for both cycles and the reduction level set to ~780mV for 1/2 the reduction cycle.

Gordon and Olivia Czop stopped by too. Olivia was full of questions. Gordon showed some very nice oxidation fired self reduced copper red pots as well as some manganese colored crystalline glazed pieces.

A little nickel with 6% titania from Glenn and Wilson.

Oxidation fired self reduced copper reds using FFF silicon carbide.

Gordon also had some pretty interesting pieces with high manganese content.

Glenn Woods told me that rule breaker Wilson Paige was interested in how far you can go with nickel in a titania containing glaze before it goes all barffy. I think he said this one has cobalt, copper, titania and a touch of nickel and the light green ring was at around 1850F????. Hopefully there is more to follow and Glenn will correct my facts.

9-8-10     I reached out to Terry Fallon, Ginny Conrow, Kris Friedrich and John Tilton to see if I could get some feedback (or input) on the Fallonator operation plus minor bubbling and glaze craze rounding (alligator skinning?) which is going on in the F413 with 1% Cobalt carbonate, 3% red copper oxide and 1% manganese dioxide. I was post fire reducing and re-oxidizing at 1500F. It spent ~40 minutes in reduction and about 10X as long in a re-oxidation firing.

The Fallonator has been reducing heavily (gas always on) at the same setting oxygen sensor setting as before (~850 mV) with a new sensor. It never really got above ~810mV but dumped a whole bottle of propane. What I got from Terry was essentially "what's in a number" and decided to try it again but probably back off on the setting to one where it would open and close the high pressure solenoid.

A few of Ginny's recent favorites. I have to say they are spectacular. Kris wrote "....too much copper in reduction." 

Ginny told me that I should probably back off on the temperature and wrote: "Hi Phil...I went to your page and all I can say is WOW!!  Some of your glazes are absolutely stunning!!" and " Tell me again the issues you are trying to correct.  I am very amazed at some of the colors you are getting...great work!" and "PS...have a few recent favorites on the laptop screen so am sending them on...Ginny"

Kris told me (and I am paraphrasing) the culprit is that the copper is too high. He said something like I guarantee if you go to less than 2% the problem will go away. It's not so much the reduction level or temperature as it is the copper content.

He also told me how much he liked these glazes. I think the words "Rock Star Glazes" came out. I have to agree and have been tickled pink lately.

What I got from John was that nice copper reds contain ~1/2% copper and are lightly reduced - confirming what Kris said.

9-7-10     It's amazing how the Wizard's tall vase has changed appearance through each step of the way and looks different in different lighting.

Using the camera's flash

Under photography lights Another interesting FrontPage "photo reverse".
A serious case of iridescence when viewed under directional track lighting.
A very metallic sheen after re-oxidation.


This was at ~80C on the way down after the reduction firing. I sent it back up for re-oxidation with the peep plugs out.

We spent a nice afternoon along the east shore of the Hudson in Newburg, NY.



It's been tough to decide which look I like better. I never thought crystalline glaze work could be so stressful.

Various pieces in the Fallonator ready for a post fire reduction cycle.

The first coat of polyurethane on these spalted curly maple panels really made them light up.

Another Look

The panels came from the 50+ or so board feet of rough sawn boards I lucked into about 2 years ago and will get built into the doors of the "workbench" down at the barn. It's amazing how a few worm holes and a little fungal action over time can totally change the appearance of maple - a typically uniform light colored wood.

I finally squeaked in another firing.

There've been some nice results from Phil Morgan's clay.

From Ivor Lewis*. "....saturated Iron Glaze ... blue inclusions..."

* Ivor wrote: "I have a saturated Iron Glaze which throws these rich blue inclusions underneath a clear glaze when cooling is delayed. I believe them to be Hematite." "The base glaze contains Soda Felspar and Petalite to control Crazing and from memory 10% Red Iron Oxide and 5% Yellow Ochre. I often wonder what would have happened if I had maintained it at high temperature for a while. Could be a minor research project."

This is probably Kat's last season cheering. There is quite the difference between now and her first season

Good morning sunshine!

These boys will have major  trouble this fall if they don't develop a little more fear of humans.

Nice rack for a young buck!


The September 2010 issue of Ceramics Monthly Magazine contains the article The New World of Crystalline Glazes by Diane Creber. She does such great work. There was mention of the  Electric Reduction Symposium at "The Hamling Studio" and there's a photo of a copper containing piece I high fire reduced in the Fallonator (even though the caption discusses charcoal / oil post fire reduction). It's just a shame Terry wasn't mentioned especially when you consider he's the genius who came up with the computer controlled reduction package in the Fallonator and Avi's unit. But anyway, it's a great article.

8-17-10   I got 2 mentions in 

These mugs and pot have exactly the same glaze (F413 base with copper and cobalt colorants), identical glaze loading (.5 g dry weight basis / sq. in. - biased towards the top), the same firing (they sat right next to each other in the Fallonator) and everything else the same (right down to the kitchen sink) except for the clay body.
The mugs are made of porcelain Phil Morgan sent. The pot is of porcelain sent by Jeff Poulter. This is a dramatic illustration of how a clay body has an amazing effect on crystals.



The driveway got a new coat of blacktop.

Avi's diamond laps are great for sharpening transformation toughened zirconia knives too!

Here's the second family of robins hatched from this nest this season.

8-1-10    I was visited by John Hirx, Head Objects Conservator, LA County Museum of Art. John, an old "Alfred Boy" (and student of the late Susan Peterson) seems to have done well for himself. He and I carried on like a bunch of school girls, chatted for the better part of 2 hours, and barely scratched the surface.

8-1-10     7-28-10
The Fallonator got repositioned outside, with a brand new lid seal, ready to roll. What's wrong with this picture? (Bella!?) The barn got a fresh coat of paint from the Martha Stewart collection.


7-27-10   Friend's Work........Salman Ikram sent a photo of a gorgeous piece. See his work at

Salman Ikram Water Curtain Spray Booth Keeps on Tickin' Susan Peterson

After seeing the water curtain spray booths of Bill Campbell and Paul Lorber, plus photos of the ones by Tom Turner and Avi Harriman I figured "What the hey, huh!?" I always planned to outfit the "booth" Ginny did her spray demo in at the Electric Reduction Symposium with water guts. Phil has been a tremendous help this summer with the fabrication (and the trials and tribulations of doing something tweeky for the old man) and put a great system together. Follow this link to a page for more about the finished(?) Spray Booth


I guess I keep torturing this poor pot hoping to learn something.

Hopefully these glaze catchers machined from scrap insulation will work well after a surface coating.

Alumina Hydrate makes a nice slurry @ 1:1 with water and casts quickly on this 90% porous material.

Zircopax casts much slower and mud cracks to death on drying. It's probably of no value as an impenetrable layer.

More and more people have been asking to take photos on the yard. This weekend's happy couple had a great day, never mind that it was 98 in the shade.

7-14-10 7-24-10    
  Summer time stripes The Happy Couple

7-14-10   I refired and held in oxidation for 4 hours. The pieces came out about as I expected although I'd prefer the deep red to be a little less deep. I do like the red speckled background though. Decisions.....decisions!!!!!! Do I re-oxidize more? Do I scrub them down with a little abrasive cleaner and elbow grease? Do I just plain leave well enough alone and move on?

7-11-10 7-17-10
Sunset Thunderheads The fishing was good up the Thousand Islands. Kat had a few thoughts about the whole fillet thing.

7-8-10    The latest collaborative effort - a new set of shelves (oak and cherry with walnut & mahogany inlays) was just installed at the bottom of the staircase. I moved all (well most of) the "non - PDH" pieces that were up in the studio to them and am rearranging things to make way for the next wave of work.

 A selection of new work by Steve Boehme. He wrote "The under-glaze painting was protected from the glaze by the slab built frame.  I carved a small channel around the frames so the glaze could flow around the images." The middle one - Green Fish - is my favorite. Kat, always "The Poser", started to work in the office this summer. She is hot stuff with just about everything she touches.


6-29-10   I refired and held in oxidation for 4 hours. The pieces came out about as I expected although I'd prefer the deep red to be a little less deep. I do like the red speckled background though. Decisions.....decisions!!!!!! Do I re-oxidize more? Do I scrub them down with a little abrasive cleaner and elbow grease? Do I just plain leave well enough alone and move on?

6-28-10   The reduction firing went as planned but I came home to an "E3" due to a power interruption. The load only saw ~ 5 minutes in oxidation at peak temperature.

After reduction firing.

Oxidizing with the plugs out.

Firing Curve After 5 minutes of oxidation at 810°C.

6-27-10   I fired another group of pieces trying to attain the same level of reduction in a single firing and a less dramatic re-oxidation to try and retain more red. The previous firing saw about 8 1/2 hours of re-oxidation over the course of the 4 firings.

6-23-10    This piece is glazed with a 413 base with 1/2% cobalt carbonate and 2% copper carbonate. After the initial ^11 oxidation crystalline firing it has seen 3 reduction cycles and 4 oxidation cycles to 1500F with various hold times.

  Reduction Firing Schedule Oxidation Firing Schedule  

Ceramic Arts Daily Cone 6 Crystalline Glazes: The Secrets to Developing Crystals at Mid Range by William Schran


"Tilton/Schaaf Blue Crystal Container at John's studio.....A test tile horse.  John the facilitator, the mentor." 6-21-10
This looks like the scarab pot, but look again.....Jerry Davis and his wife Jenny did the carving.... Patti got me some new shades. Gordon (Czop) says " is this morning's catch by (Olivia) the Queen of Shad."

US Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team


Kat won the "Excellence in Ceramics 2" award at the Warwick High School this year. Besides bestowing Rock Star status on her it put a little ching in her pocket.



    6-7-10 6-10-10





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Recently I had the good fortune of importing many very interesting crystalline glazed pieces from Beijing, China.

The source of all my good fortune---my day (and night, 24 - 7) job. ZIRCAR Ceramics, Inc.
One of my other passions - landscaping, gardening, greens keeping, etc..