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!

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 Info I've been asked to keep in confidence.

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Crystalline Glaze Info

Electric Reduction Symposium

Friends' Work

   I think I will have to start a new page for 2012. Maybe like this.


Two of Gordon's pieces turned out OK. Do you think they will see Phil on his bike in that coat? Dr. Arnie glazed this one. Dear Mr. Wizard, Here's hoping 2012 brings you and everyone else cool stuff.
Glaze consisting of F413 base with 1/2% copper carbonate, 1/2% tin oxide, 1/4% manganese dioxide and .01% cobalt carbonate on a 10% yellow uranium oxide engobe made a look maybe the Army would like.    
A trial of alumina hydrate lined ceramic fiber glaze catchers.     Too petite a catcher can make for a mess.
I guess this program got tired after a while. In a ^11 oxidation firing yellow uranium oxide went to black, orange to burnt orange and black stayed black. After putting on a copper foil liner I'll use this 1/8" thick lead lined ammo can to store uranium oxide powders. Bailey Pottery has a new SS barreled extruder available. Marek made a quick disconnect SS plate mount so I can take it off the wall when not in use.


Koz wrote to Holly...."So do you know how to tell if someone has an I- Phone?". I think they look like this.


12-28-11    I was able to get all 3 kilns up in the studio firing at the same time. There is no photo of the re-fire of the piece from 12-26-12 but I added another coat of glaze with less zinc oxide and am firing it in the "Doll 2". I plan to glaze a last few pieces tomorrow morning, load them in the Fallonator and have all 4 kilns screaming.

This series totally over nucleated the first time through. I'm hoping an overcoat of glaze with less zinc oxide will yield some background this time. Hopefully there will be answers to the questions "What about this?" and "What about that?" from this batch of test soldiers. The e23s is loaded with pieces the guys glazed yesterday and some others I did today. Bottom Shelf - e23s.
A test to find out what happens to urania of various oxidation states when high fired in air.
I'll follow with the same setup in a reduction firing.
  Some of the pieces glazed by Andy, Arnie and Gordon. Some more of them, mostly thrown by Gordon.

12-27-11   I have been planning to spend a bunch of time in the studio during this year's winter shutdown at work and thought it would be nice to invite a few of my friends to join in the fun. Arnie Benton, Gordon Czop and Andy & Ray Boswell came by. I've spent time with Andy & Ray making stuff before, but not with Arnie or Gordon. It was amazing how much ground we covered in a day.

Arnie, Andy and Gordon Andy has seen how I estimate surface area. measure glaze weight pickup and control glaze loading before. He was able to dive right in and helped me show the others a ton. Arnie seemed to enjoy himself. Gordon was in deep most of the time.
    It would have been a much more stressful day with Andy and Ray's help. Patti popped in once during the day to see what all the hubbub was about.


12-26-11   12-25-11  
1/2% copper carbonate, 1/2% tin oxide & .05% cobalt carbonate on uranium oxide slip (left) and zircon slip (right) Better. Maybe the third time will be a charm. Slap some more on. Grrrr! Probably not enough glaze.

12-23-11  Last night I was able to get down to the studio at ~9pm. It was kind of tough after a full day of work including the Company's annual Christmas "lunch". We are now up to 37 people and growing. We are running at ~133% the output of last year. Trying to run the business of manufacturing technical ceramics with people who have limited ceramics background is a challenge to say the least. I lasted about 1 1/2 hours, before turning into a pumpkin and was able to mix a series of test glazes.This group is a line blend of .1% copper carbonate, .1% tin oxide and .05% cobalt carbonate on one end and 1% copper carbonate, 1% tin oxide and .05% cobalt carbonate on the other. I'm trying to get a better handle on the whole reduction red thingy.

Re-fires suck, but more often than not it's all  I really have time for. This re-fire attempt has an overcoat of F413 base with .55% copper carbonate, .55% tin oxide and a "speck" (.05%) of cobalt carbonate. Line blend test soldiers with copper, tin and cobalt Jose Mariscal sent a very nice e-mail Christmas card. I am lucky to be on his list.
Phil seems to be kicking in at work. It's good to see. Who knows what these assemblies will be used for. Some white hot, nasty atmosphered application no doubt. It was nice to get this job "in the can". Kat really has tight knit group of buds who can't wait to get together during breaks.


I think these are among William's finest pieces.


    The stuff you can find web surfing is amazing, like........ Characterization of zirconia–thoria–urania ceramics by X-ray and ...
Patti and I went to see Kat cheer at the UVM - Iona game and got to sit in the best seats in the house. ".....better yellows with iron."

Stuart Gray wrote: "I noticed that you or someone else is screwing around with depleted ur*nium. Not a good idea. I realize that it is minimal and weak radiation but when it's in someone's home, it is over and over again, 24/7, 365 days a year. Do you really believe those "*******" that it's harmless? ............ For what it's worth. Besides you can get equivalent or better yellows with iron." Thanks to his comment I have ordered some lead sheeting for storage purposes.


Terry is doing better after having neck surgery and sounded like he's on the road to recovery.   Fifth firing attempt after adding a layer of clear base glaze. There is nothing like VeeGum Cer for making a thick pasty glaze. An intricate little cast heater job


A message from Terry Glenn's second Fallonator reduction firing    
Stuart Gray Art Studio, Ltd   What do the rods do?  

Priscilla Palumbo wrote: "Annual Sale ........ going really well ........ I was #1 in sales..." " ....three of us we're tweaking your "Phil's Green". This is as close as we got." I could watch this video a million times. Frankie's Big Buck It looks like almost a 10 pointer







F413 base + various amounts of RCuOx, MnO2, CoCO3 and Fe2O3 after 1 1/2 creamy coats (~.5g / sq. in. loading). A whole mixed bag of stuff Seeded and ready to go.  
All the crusty left overs, scraped out of the containers and mixed with water didn't play nice or spread very well. It had ~ the same 1 1/2 coats but the loading ended up at 4X the others. Some layers are over and some are under. Phil's girlfriend "Crystal" is as nice as she is beautiful. (And that really is her name.) The happy couple.

12-3-11   Gordon and Olivia Czop stopped by to compare notes.  I invited him to come for a day of glazing on 12-27-11 and post fire reducing on 12-30. It should be a great time. Gordon has an amazing breadth of materials processing knowledge. My money says he's an engineer too.

He brought a piece which I think he said used the F413 frit (or base glaze?) I gave him, plus 8% RCuOx, 6% EPK and 6% titania. The first 2 times fired it came out over nucleated. During the third firing he cut back the only hold  to 45 minutes. Holy mackerel! One hold? 45 minutes? 1080C? All those rings? (There must be some other magic powder in there.)

Gordon later wrote : "Your notes on the glaze are accurate. Its the 413 base (68.5/24/7). My conjecture is the effects of the previous two firings somehow retained some distribution of components (which affected the result)".

A few pieces with under glaze necklaces waiting for the final coats. This piece has some amazing rings. It's hard to believe that they all formed in the same 45 minute long 1080C soak.  Gordon Gave me some tungsten trioxide and molybdenum trioxide which he roasted himself. 
We started selling Christmas trees today.  I guess deer don't suffer from "red eye" like people do.  Nicole Teplitz and her first piece. I am sure she's been bit bad by the crystal bug.

I was contacted by Nicole Teplitz the other day. She's a ceramic student at Jacksonville University looking for some help. We had a nice dialogue about crystalline glazes. I couldn't begin to guess how she found me, but It's nice to see I can help people.

11-30-11     I believe Jose Mariscal wrote "These pieces are the works of a good friend Joerg Baumoeller. We will be in my casa from the 12 to the 16 of January to experiment together. Also we waited for to adi a friend of Israel. We will hang all the results. This pieces are with pigments the results are fantastic congratulations Joerg. The paguina of joerg is

Recent Firing Schedule

I continue to be amazed by the number of hits this page gets recently. ~100 per day. 11 days ago it read 110011.

11-26-11 The zirconium silicate engobe stayed white kind of as expected. The molybdenum disulfide unexpectedly turned white with no sign of nasties plating on the Doll's lining. The weirdest thing is that the yellow uranium oxide engobe turned green. I never heard of green uranium oxide before but it seems to make sense if you read about uranium's oxides on . Is it possible the yellow turned from oxidation state VI to IV? It's chemistry seems pretty complex.

      Louise Reding - San Diego Potters Guild
Justin Reese and dad David stopped by today. I like his work a bunch. Too bad I took some crappy photos. I need to remember to set, exhale and hold before squeezing the button. We had a large maple taken down in front of the office today. High Point Tree Service's 65 hp stump grinder is an animal.


11-25-11 Heavy Metal Bisque! I mixed up 3 engobes and applied them to test soldiers, ornaments and pots. Each had a 10% colorant addition. They include yellow uranium oxide, zirconium silicate and molybdenum disulfide.

Uranium oxide and zirconium silicate engobes. Test pieces with a molybdenum disulfide engobe. Even after running the blender at full tilt, to the point of getting the slip hot, the yellow uranium oxide one still had chunks. I passed it through an 80 mesh sieve then put it back in the blender to add Veegum Cer.
I found that if the engobe was too thick it made pinholes. The fix was to thin it down to ~1:1 solids to water. It took more coats but they went on smooth with no holes. Some pretty cool fungi started growing out of a piece of firewood. We got 12" of real wet sticky snow the day before Halloween.


11-24-11 Happy Thanksgiving

11-20-11 I've got the blues again.

Andy dropped off these 4 pieces last week for a "Let's make a deal" deal. I was surprised to see him and after he left was afraid I'd really screw them up. What if they over nucleated? Or slumped? Well....I kind of like how they came out and would love to see his face when he sees these photos. I hope I get the chance to do this again. Copper lays down multiple rings when applied thin and held at a series of lower temperatures.
Patti took these photos. I never thought she had it in her. Nice job I must say. From before my last trip to the Wizard's. A stack of castertip assemblies ready to make aluminum sheet for siding, beer & soda cans and foil.

11-20-11 "Leadfest 2011"     My brother David invited a bunch of us over to his place for an afternoon of target shooting. There were ~30 rednecks shooting targets and clay pigeons with handguns, shotguns and rifles. The weather was unbelievably warm - in the 70's!

11-18-11 After Kat Morrell reminded me of some input from Andreas I replied "Kat, Nice pieces and nice detective work. Thanks for bringing this dialogue back for me. I'd forgotten some of it....but not all of it. Andreas has helped me a bunch, as have Ginny Conrow, John Tilton, The Gangsta and The Wizard. There is a little inspiration from all of them in these pieces (plus a background glaze with ~ 9% zircon in it plus a heck of a lot of thickness control.) Phil
PS When I sent her this photo my Kat wrote "Those look large and in charge."

Steve Boehme made me some pretty cool mugs. 11-15-11     Piece #1111 (and friends) in the Fallonator

11-11-11     Dr. Arnie's thoughts on high temperature reduction needle-like crystals.


11-4-11 through 11-11-11      Photos from my recent trip to the Wiz



Death Row in The Wizard's backyard.

Priscilla Palumbo wrote: "Hey Phil, Despite the snow storm... the show must go on. I was so impressed with the quality of the show. I felt as though I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right juror. 1st.prize was really a nice chunk of change & the piece sold within the first week. Keep in touch! Priscilla.

11-1-11     On the Crystalline Glaze Forum, Bill Schran wrote "....see if you'd like to share any favorite colorant combinations. I've been playing with a number of combinations, certainly haven't exhausted the possibilities, but sometimes a suggestion often starts me thinking of other possibilities."

I found these pieces by Jon Price listed on He seems to have color combinations I've not seen in other places.


Dr. Arnie's Fallonator poop chute bit it. I'm glad I was able to help him out and hopefully breath a little life back into things. With a new alumina tube and oxygen sensor he should be good to go. A friend from the Pacific Northwest just sent me a new piece. The one in front on the right that is.
It's kind of a bland fall but I still love the view.
I picked this one out with Terry Fallon in mind. He hasn't been doing too well lately and I figured maybe he'd enjoy having a new piece to play with. I have spent a lot of time with him over the last couple years. The recent silence is a real bummer. Summer camp at the Wizard of Clay made me really want to throw some stuff....bad!!!! He makes it look so easy. Finally threw some glaze catchers.
Some custom foam mold inserts for casting dense refractory supported heaters. All the other plants are done for the season but this vine keeps going. I wish I knew what variety it is. This project is in its 4th year. I smell the end. All it needs now is that custom SS sink.


Rod and Denyse Simair sent some photos of a couple "test" pieces. It's always so nice to talk with them.


What the.....? I'm going to keep trying until I get to the point where I feel at least a little competency on the wheel. I think the most frustrating parts are using porcelain and being exposed to potters who seem to be able to make it move effortlessly. Phil knocked this piece made using clay from Phil Morgan off the window sill when he was moving out of the barn.
A clearing in the fog on the way to work the other morning. What kind of bug is this that came to visit? Its about 2 in. long. I've never seen this kind before. Too many toys? Who said flowers are stupid?


    Avi's laps are good for sharpening zirconia knives.  


  Black Knight by Russell White Adam MacMillan, Surfside Ceramics
This was the first bisque load where I cleaned up all the pieces and fit all the catchers green. Previously I've done it after bisqe. This summer squash just won't give it up



 Thanks to an old fishin' buddy of mine I now have a pretty cool piece by Gary Spinosa.

R. T. Vanderbilt Company

Stabilizing Concentrated Suspensions with VAN GEL and VEEGUM Magnesium Aluminum Silicate Clays

Hogging the Board

Rod & Denyse wrote "The weather has been just beautiful here – we just had our first hard frost, which is about a month later than usual." 

Adjusting Glazes for Application By Pete Pinnell
"Thickeners are soluble materials, usually organic, that make the water (our vehicle) thicker and slicker. Most of them also have a slight tendency to deflocculate. These include gums like CMC (sodium carboxymythelcellulose), gum arabic, and gum tragacanth."
Look at who is being featured at Clayfest 2011 in Eugene, OR.


9-3-11     9-6-11

Glenn Woods wrote " showing .... how I keep track of what glazes I use on which pieces. I sketch out each piece, indicate where the glaze is going, how thick, and what glaze is over our under, etc. After they are fired, I photograph the piece with the sheet for future reference.

Jose Throwing

YouTube video from the Crystalline Glaze Forum
and from Jose's blog
Bill Campbell sent me a real cool link to the video
Jetman Flight at Grand Canyon West


8-14-11   8-28-11  
Men with Pink
Jose Maria Mariscal  & Matt Horne
Kat Morrell's piece had a nice look to it.    I wrote on the Forum..."Paul,
Green nickel and manganese dioxide? Over stain?
He replied..."
Yep, Green nickel and manganese dioxide. No stain

Jose wrote "Hi everybody !!!!! I present you my last firing, 6% TiO2, 4% Rutile, 3% copper carbonate, 1% Bentonite. I like this type of crystals!!!! Very big crystals!!!! Pink background is ideal to do a present for the Mummy's Day!!!!"
Matt replied "Very nice piece, I have something very similar. 10%Ti, 1%Bentonite, 2%Cu."

Gordon and Olivia stopped by with their UV light and a bunch of pieces that fluoresced(?) (glowed?) pretty cool. I have to get the specs of the light and what was in the glazes. Four uranium oxide colored vases flavored with some nickel & cobalt plus a manganese dioxide colored candle holder - before and after.

Gordon later wrote " is of course willemite with manganese. ....Yellow is molybdenum 6% Moly and 4% TiO2 (Herbert Sanders Glaze). The flourescence is likely powellite, a calcium molybdate. This glaze potentially grows star shaped crystals (but not for me). .. 4. Your uranium pieces possibly have a calcium uranate. Peterson Field Guide says Autunite (Hydrous Calcium Uranium Phosphate) is probably the most brilliantly fluorescent of all the minerals.

The UV light we used is short wave (wavelength 254 nm ? ) 60 watt. See

8-7-11 8-11-11    
Adjustable Soft Chuck This moth showed up in our shop the other day. Gordon wrote " it's a polyphemus moth." and "....white crust, with tungsten (maybe 2%) . The fluorescence is likely sheelite, a calcium tungstate."

8-1-11.......Back to Crystalline Glazes! 

Crystalline Glaze Summer Camp at The Wizard of Clay  
I've had the great luck of being able to spend time with Jamie at his home in Honeoye Lake and at The Wizard of Clay in Bloomfield - both in the gorgeous Finger Lakes Region of NYS. It's sort of a "Let me recharge the batteries" and "Let's see what we can do together" kind of trip. Navy Seals.....Can you imagine these bad boys wanting a piece of you? 
We ran into this real cool Regal Moth on a recent work trip. Google offers quite a bit of info. It's caterpillar is known as the "Hickory Horned Devil".   The base cabinet doors with raised panels are in position. 


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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..