Crystalline Glaze

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


Info I've been asked to keep in confidence.


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Current  15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Electric Reduction Symposium

Molybdenum Crystalline Glaze

Crystalline Glaze Info
Friends' Work


3-19-14 3-23-14  
We spent 2 days fishing on Lake Okeechobee. I got this piece home from the workshop in great shape.  

3-15-14    The Bill Powell Art & Design Workshop was at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center in Dunedin Florida on 3/15/14 - 3/16/14.

Topics included: Wheel throwing, preparing catch trays, glazing, grinding finished pots, crystal firings, glaze formulas, applying and firing gold luster, handles and finials, working with glass, glass molds and release agents, completing glass pieces and casting.



3-8-14    Electroplating copper onto a pattern drawn on the background of a tile that had fewer crystals than I wanted.

An interesting iridescence appeared where none was before. After cleanup After removal from the plating solution. ...... into the soup.
Ready to go ..... Cathode wire in contact with graphite lines. Colloidal graphite drawn in interconnected lines after drying. I strapped on the anode so it would sit above the tile.


Bill Campbell has been making some great new pieces in his gas kiln. This snow angel was looking out for someone.


Priscilla Palumbo wrote "Thought I'd share a photo of my 2014 donation to the NBMAA". Evan came to visit. Jim Fox, John Tilton and Feri Halmos were right. It is a paint and was easily dissolved by lacquer thinner. Phil gave his first presentation at MIM 2014 in Long Beach, CA.


This week Avi wrote: "My Pot ........ Don't want to be rude but that is MY pot not Kris's.  Been on my postcard/flyer for years.  I still have the sister pot and you have one of the great grandchildren" and supplied a nice photo of his postcard.


2-15-14  2-17-14  2-18-14
I wonder what color combinations people will think works best with copper.
 I need to find an artist to collaborate with. One who can draw things, using the graphite dispersion, that I can electroplate.

JB wrote "I came across the attached vase by KF....  you did a lot of work, studying halos, for which I am very grateful!!! or me... this is the nicest halo combination I have ever seen...narrow dark rings, broad light rings...which Fibonacci-sequence may this be????

This is the first year I've seen poopsicles form. We will need to make some roof repairs this summer.


2-13-14  2-14-14 
I got an e-mail "out of the blue" from Evan Cornish-Keefe - a fellow Alfred University graduate. Ok, so what if he graduated last year and I did it over 1/3 a century ago? It's nice to hear from people.
Ramsey loves a good rubbin'. We had to cancel the barbeque!


2-11-14  2-12-14   
These gizmos de-water ceramic fiber slurries.
The old one on the left operates on compressed air, is "batch" and is on its way OTD.
The new one on the right operates with a vacuum pump, is "continuous" and does the job in <1/2 the time.
Kat wrote:
Crack in my mug :( 
My favorite wizard of clay mug cracked yesterday! Bummer, huh?



It's tough to spot Russell White's work without the sand, seaweed and surf in the background. In Bill Boyd's e-mail he wrote: ".wondering how things were with you too?  Either you’ve had a wakeup call and are now slowing down the raging horses driving your curiosity or you’re on to something else?
Feri suggested I try graphite to make the tile conductive. We sell a colloidal graphite suspension mold release which painted on easily. It seemed to conduct well on a smear.... .... and grew in from around the edges. William Melstrom wrote "Reduced silver has many different looks. However, now that I know that it was $20 and Chinese, I agree, it is not silver. It is mysterious".
Phil Morgan replied: " I have had glazes do this way back in my early years. If I remember it happened by a long climb to cone 10, 12 plus hours then holding to hot allowing the glass to flow from the crystals and crystals growing to fast.  This happened to me in my early years and I did not like the feel or appearance not sure but I may have kelp one in my collection.
Ha also sent these photos of a recent wood firing.


2-8-14  2-9-14 
Ian Childers replied: "Here's a pic of a newer pot, nothing too special just a little rutile and copper, but I'm really happy with the crystals and the cool secondaries that are growing. Jim Fox replied: "I remember when i was a kid here was a paint you put on the back of aquariums that crystallized much like zinc as it dried always wondered what that was. a search revealed it was removed from the market now its back "
Avril Farley replied: "As to the glaze, the nearest thing I have seen is an experiment I did with a lowish alkaline frit on paper clay.  This produces a dense crystal pattern similar to your example.

2-7-14     I wrote to a bunch of my friends: "Have you ever seen anything like this glaze before? I wonder how it is made. Patti bought this piece from Home Goods. It is slip cast and ~10” diameter x 10 “ tall. It has the color of cast aluminum with slight iridescence. It has 3 glazes on it – a black liner, a non-crystallized aluminum colored one on the bottom and the one on the outside.


2-3-14     Avi wrote: "Kiln opening of the SarahLyn Pots*....... Success!!!  *There is a little of SarahLyn in the glaze .....1% ash by dry weight in the glaze. There was no change in color.



1-28-14  2-2-14 
We bought a house next to our factory recently. I has been without a viable roof for ~10 years. Cole is posing on the first floor. You can only imagine how bad the top 2 floors look. Ramsey loves the snow. Thanks to Bill Campbell I've been messing with electroplating.  I can’t say I’ve accomplished much with it yet, other than to see that leached crystalline glaze with a metallic appearance is not electrically conductive.


1-17-14  1-24-14  1-26-14 
A frosty morning. The salt reminded me of a matte crystalline glaze. Fish sticks! Ramsey loves water but I think can't figure out what Patti is up to.

1-9-14     We recently completed a job making molds and then two "larger sized" Bubble Alumina cylinders. Nine lap jointed segments comprise each cylinder. I had my fingers crossed that they'd handle the 6 hours at 1300 C (2372F) without distorting.



    These pots keep talking to me. I think I'll get back to them and all the other things I have to fire real soon.  
Evil Knevil on snow. I finally finished the built in SS sink and backsplash. The whole cabinet / work bench / sink thing only took ~ 5 years on and off. This was one of those "Hey, what about finishing me?" projects that has been tugging at me for some time.


Back to Crystalline Glaze Information Page

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..