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.

Hit Counter


Electric Reduction Symposium


Page: Current 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Crystalline Glaze Info

Friends' Work


September 9, 2009

September 10, 2009

The shelves David Turner is working on are really taking shape.

The Fallonator went through a re-oxidation firing. The plot has a bunch of noise I hadn't seen before. Maybe it relates to the receiver hanging on a phone jack or the computer sitting on a cast iron pot belly stove.

Just a little off the mark!

This is my friend Paul Tougas and "NO TERRY!", ZIRCAR Ceramics has nothing to do with it.

I've been having an interesting dialogue with Tom Turner who has been kind enough to send some more photos and comments.

"magnesium crystals in a teadust glaze."

"no big deal, just nice"

Copper Red Glazes by Tom Coleman

I wrote to Tom..... Tom, I have been thinking about trying to combine copper reds and crystalline glazes but realize I really don't know squat about the former. Can you direct me to any good resources to enable me to bone up on copper red basics? Check his reply at the bottom of this page. It lead me to the article by Tom Coleman which was published back when I was getting my BS at Alfred University.

September 7, 2009 I spoke with Carol Levine this weekend. She is coming to the symposium. It turns out she is retired and has been a obsessed with crystalline glaze for the last 10 years. I think she'll fit right in with the rest of the group.

Fallonator Firing #6

I forgot to set the Display Timeout to the max of 300 sec. and got some dropped signals making vertical lines in the graph. Gold Stuff continues to amaze with fascinating background action!

September 6, 2009

Today's Fallonator firing has some Gold Stuff, Fallon Gold and Brown Eyes on board.

Giddy youth football cheerleading coaches

Diane Luedemann at New Paltz

Diane wrote: "New Paltz Show.....We were the only booth with crystals! What's happening to the world??????"

Carol Levine contacted me about coming to the Electric Reduction Symposium. If I have the right Carol Levine......what an amazing person. I mean go get a degree in fine arts and one in medical illustration, work at it for a while and then get an M.D.?  She reminds me of my youngest sister, Dr. Amy. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, worked for a large furnace company for 10 years, then up and went to medical school for her M.D. 

September 5, 2009

September 6, 2009

This shelf project is really taking shape. David got the brackets attached to the cleats and ready to go up on the walls in the background.

Now he's cranking! You have to see this guy at work.

More deer food? I hope not.

September 4, 2009   I visited Dr. Arnie Benton yesterday and met Johna (Mrs. Benton), his daughter Allison & guard dog "Nick". They are the nicest people! And the pooch was a lot of fun too. (Bella went nuts smelling me when I got home.)

You have to see their spread. It is absolutely gorgeous, but way too big to get in one photo. You only see ~2/3 of it in these two shots. They have a studio to die for. Johna's gardens are unbelievable too.

The Fallonator 3 is a real lady, compared to mine. Nice sleek lines, no bands around the mid section and built like a Brick Outhouse! We loaded for a post fire reduction cycle. I'm looking forward to the results.

September 3, 2009

I have been trying to come up with a logo for the Electric Reduction Symposium. One which says "electric oxygen".

Here's one possibility.

I'm thinking about having it printed on the left breast or sleeve of tee shirts to hand out.

 Maybe I'll add the words ELECTRIC REDUCTION SYMPOSIUM in a ring around it.

August 30, 2009     Kat is taking her first pottery class in school this year. She wanted to "bone up" a little before the year begins. I think she may be catching the bug.

August 29, 2009

Dilemma Solved Gordon Czop Consistency Factors

Thanks to great input from people on the Forum I went ahead and finished off the bottom of this piece. I took away quite a bit of material which took "forever" using plunge depth of .010" per pass, down feed 4" per minute (ipm) and feed rate of 10 ipm.

Recent work with "Hydro-Carbon Reduction"

The Wizard (Jamie Kozlowski) says (and does) it like no one else!

 Gordon Czop wrote "Tried the Cu Mn and Co glaze you suggested with what I call Hydro-Carbon reduction. Still in Canada, hope to get back to attend your symposium."

August 27, 2009   I've got a lovely marble vase from Beijing which I think will make a great mold model for slip cast "test tiles". Using a CNC router with several different carbide bits I freshened up the middle bottom of another piece as a test. I also carved my insignia in it, which I intend to do on the bottom of the vase. The problem is, is it just plain old wrong to put your mark on work someone else started? I'm not sure how I or others feel about it.

New skill or just another moral dilemma?

New work by Braden Gabriel

Oxblood and zinc lithium crystal glazes with no slow cooling by Tom Turner who "will try to bring new ones to the "seminar" (party)."

  "Notice they didn't run much." Notice Tom's coming to the party!

August 26, 2009

August 25, 2009

I found this on the cover of a magazine in the office junk mail today. Single crystal zinc oxide? It must be tiny (100X magnification).

6% titanium glaze with a 4 hour soak @ 1975F, by Diane Luedemann, for flowers at her daughter's "White Themed" wedding.

Two new glazes by Terry Fallon fired in the Fallonator 3?

"Fallon Gold" on the left & "Brown Eyes" on the right. Terry wrote "When in reduction one crystal darken(ed), the same growth ring on the other lightened. "

August 23, 2009     I still don't know what it is but think it came out sweet and like it with a big fat candle glowing inside.

Planned Firing Schedule

Actual Firing

August 22, 2009     Fallonator Firing #5

Gold Stuff on the outside, uranium yellow on the inside.

Before and after striking a high copper piece for 1/2 hour at 815C

August 17, 2009     Various loads of bisque from David Turner


August 17, 2009

First coat of polyurethane on new shelf components.

August 16, 2009  

Arnie, I'll bet there were 500 kids here last night. I can't remember the last time I was up until 2:30 am (or slept until 10:00 am). The yard looks to be in amazing shape. I think a pack of them got up already this morning and cleaned the hundreds (if not thousands) of empty cups and cans strewn about. It looks like every square foot of lawn between the barn, house and Christmas tree field is trampled flat. It will stand back up in a few days. Phil

August 15, 2009  

 Kat turned 16 yesterday. After a trip to the DMV to get her permit we spent a bunch of time just driving around (learning). Tonight is her sweet 16 party. DJ....... Caterers.... Bonfire...... etc. We expect probably 300+ kids to descend on the place. It'll take days to clean up! Billy Idol - Sweet 16    Charlie Brooker on My Sweet 16 

 August 14, 2009     Way off topic but too cool to pass up. Final assembly photos of NASA's Ares 1-X Test rocket courtesy of Paul Tougas. This is "NASA's first flight test for the agency's next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system...."

Check out their official page.

This photo for scale.

JMH-7cf  Firing Info (No Load). Avi's comment (after reading about the "5555 rate")

August 11, 2009     JMH-7cf  Firing Info (No Load). Avi's comment (after reading about the "5555 rate") supplied with the photo on the right - "It's a runaway train!!!!! THROW THE SWITCH!!!!!"

  • Time to 1290C: 3 hrs 31 min.

  • Heating Rates:

    • 680C per hour from startup

    • 150C per hour for last 100C

  • Current: 20A, 18A & 18A

August 10, 2009

Tonight the Fallonator is heating to 1290C at a 5555 rate just to show what she's got. It hit 680C after 1 hour with current readings of 20, 18 & 18 and I hit a wall. I'll check it again in the am.

August 9, 2009     After a ^05 slow bisque the element supports lightened, but I think I need to go higher in temperature than ~1040C.

200C per hour with a 2 hour soak at 1200C seems to have gotten the supports back to their original color and hopefully the elements re-oxidized.

August 8, 2009    The Fallonator is doing a bisque (of David Turner originals) tonight with the top and bottom peeps out. It has seen about 3  hours of reduction so far and it's time to run it in air to re-oxidize the elements.

The element holders have take on a very dark color due to the reduction.

Gourd, pumpkin and pooch.

These shelf parts are ready for the first coat of polyurethane having been hand sanded with 220 mesh paper, washed, dried, re-sanded and wiped down.

 It was a beautiful day to be with these sunflowers. High 70's with low humidity!

August 6, 2009

Ginny (Conrow) says "........ my favorite tall form, was re-glazed and refired...hence the great falling crystals! See you soon!!

 Slightly Off Topic

View inside the main hall at Boldt Castle on Heart Island in The Thousand Islands.

Kat and Shannon tying the boat to the dock in the Thousand Islands.

I'm finishing the components of the brackets for a new shelf system David Turner is building for the workshop.

One way to precision machine a complex ceramic fiber shape is to put it inside a box and sand away everything outside the box.

July 30, 2009     Fallonator Firing Schedules

High Fire Reduction


Post Fire



Reduction Level     Oxygen Sensor (mV)

         Light                     800 to 830

         Medium                831 to 859

         Heavy                   860 to 890

July 28, 2009  Firing F-3 Results     Post Fire Reduction

These pieces all seem to have a metallic luster to them. They appear different in different light...incandescent......florescent.......I'm looking forward to seeing them in the daylight. I have no idea why the plate in the Qulin's mouth looks to have a green background in this photo. It appears to have a purple-red to blue luster to me.

Same piece...different light

Oil bomb reduction (left) and Fallonation (right).

There doesn't seem to be much difference in results between oil bomb reduction and Fallonation, except I slept through the latter.

July 27, 2009  Firing F-3 Setup. Post Fire Reduction     Firing Schedule

Firing F-2 Results

Turkey Feathers

These halos showed up on this new Advancer shelf after its first firing. I haven't seen it on any others.

The cone pack on the right was on the floor. I need to think of this kiln as being about 24" deep

This little guy showed up in the flower bed right outside my office door.

July 26, 2009 Firing F-2 Setup. It should go into reduction automatically in the middle of the night just as I'm in the deepest sleep. I'll get to see the graph showing the actual temperature and reduction level in the morning before I go to work thank to the wireless data logging system.

Firing Schedule

A couple of beauties by Dr. Arnie.

It just hit top end at ~10 pm and is cooling into the crystal growth zones.


July 25, 2009


It's tough to concentrate on crystalline glazed ceramics with Mother Nature calling!

July 24, 2009


July 23, 2009 Terry Fallon and Dr. Arnie Benton came for the maiden voyage of the Fallonator. It was like summer camp for big kids.

OK boys! What's the plan?

Maiden Voyage (at least here in the Empire State).....Firing F-1. A combo of first time and refires.

Terry outfitted the Fallonator with a wireless communication for the recording and display of time based temperature and reduction level in real time.

Before and After post fire reduction of a few Dr. Arnie pieces in the oil bomb jobber. Someone had a hard time hitting the target with the bomb and almost knocked over the house of cards.

After a whole lot of arm twisting we were able to convince the Grasshopper to help out by glazing a few pieces. I tell you.......all he wanted to do was play golf and talk about motocycles!

July 22, 2009

I got the Fallonator assembled and idling at 200F to dry for 4 hours tonight. Terry and Dr. Arnie are supposed to come at ~10am tomorrow for the maiden voyage.

The grasshopper showed up today on his way from Boston to Milwaukee on his new bike and is spending the night. He says he'll stop in on the Wizard when he travels west tomorrow.

July 20, 2009 July 19, 2009

Almost together....just have to find the thermocouple screws.

40,000 visits since 1-14-07 (918 days) ~ = 44 visits / day!

 Fallonator Brick Repair

    July 18, 2009    

July 10, 2009    

Unpacking the Fallonator JMH-7cf is better than a trip to the Fun House!

My buddy John's house will be featured in "Warwick in Bloom".

   July 8, 2009       

Clamping fixture for welding solid terminals on double twisted leads of a heating element.

Click here for the other end.

I've been speaking with a company about getting them to manufacture slip cast molds from these models. This is the information they wanted (I hope).

I've intended on doing it myself but time has been a tough commodity to come by these days and I'd like to have some of these to glaze during the Electric Reduction Workshop.

June 30, 2009       

June 29, 2009  

June 28, 2009  

     June 27, 2009         I took out the burned out element, repaired the brick lining and replaced the element. Tomorrow I plan to put in a 1/4" inlet in the bottom peep and exhaust tube in the lid.

A paste of colloidal silica and 325 mesh alumina seemed to make a nice "caulk" type material for filling the remaining joint outside the alumina powder layer on both the inside and outside where the rings meet.

Repaired interior prior to a 3 hr drying segment with the bottom ring on low, before heating to 2150F with th e lid cracked and bottom peep out. Quite a bit of stinky smoke burned out of the kiln lining.

After gouging out the rest of the "rot" I filled the larger cavities with Kaocrete HS (a 2600F rated castable) after removing the fiber and  coarse aggregate.

With the top kiln ring upside down I realized I still had a layer of thin RCF paper which looked like it was acting as a carbon wick helping the brick get dissolved. The alumina powder layer seemed unaffected.

I was able to gouge out most of the attacked brick, but there were still deep trails into the seam.

June 21, 2009         104th Firing Results

Kat loved the way her sconce came out but can't decide if she wants it reduced. Unfortunately the image on Andy's "Naked Lady" plate got obliterated in the firing. The clear glaze in hte center seemed to go opaque white as if it picked up something from the white stoneware of the plate. The lead of the penscil must be mainly cobalt colored as you can see the blue blob in the center as well as on the small test shard,

I did fry an element in that last reduction cycle.

Reduction Results:  I think I got an interesting glazed piece, but did burn out an element in the process.

June 20, 2009

A rainy day is a good excuse to spend some time in the studio.

104th Firing Setup

Doll Test Kiln Firing

These are both firing the same schedule. I pressed the start buttons at the same time and should get a good look at how one compares to the other during firing.

I felt the ceramic fiber gasketing wasn't working as well as expected and that maybe a seal of alumina powder between the sections would. I laid it on, nestled the next section on and worked it side to side and front to back to seat things. Vacuuming up the mess was the last step.

Loaded for Post Fire Reduction.

The kiln is heating through 1200F when the first load of "Reducing Agent" is applied.

Bomb # 2 got dropped when the kiln hit 1500F with the power switched off. It looks like the top element is still glowing.


It looks like the lid is the only place the smoke was coming out.

We've had a little moss infestation for the last 2 years. Digging out the worst of it is a real PITA!

Turf disease loves this weather.

Newton's rings from a  little spilled gasoline flowing on the wet pavement.

Kat is really getting the whole "Let's bake a Cake" thing down!

June 17, 2009

This glaze has 3% copper carbonate + 1/4% cobalt carbonate (and no titania) in it just waiting for post fire reduction. No one is going to accuse me of lifting this form by golly jeepers!

What's new in the back yard? Terry's latest "Blue Jean on Purple" plus some sections of old, used, brittle kiln elements as lawn art . I mean brittle! You can snap the coils off in your hands and see there are 4 to 5 crystallites across the section of the wire. They are still flexible enough that they wave in the wind. If I recall this is 3.25mm APM wire wound on a 2" diameter pipe. I'm surprised to see it so bunched up, like A-1 does when it gives it up.

June 14, 2009     103rd Firing Results     There are definitely a few things to chase here.

Terry asked me to show these to John Tilton

I wonder how crystalline glaze will work over this test plate by Any Boswell.

Here's Phil cutting his teeth on a small engine lathe turning acrylic end plates. It's cool how the plastic ribbons fly!

June 13, 2009     103rd Firing Setup       I have the pleasure of trying a few glazes provided by Kris Friedrich

If you were a sand trap you'd probably need a face lift after 8 years too!

June 11, 2009     Kat asked me to tell the hoppa that she found the best use of zincite in her jewelry work.

I've got to dust that shelf!

June 9, 2009 Around the yard and office.

Golf anyone?


This load saw 1 hr @ 1500C (2732F).

June 7, 2009 Gordon Czop...some work...and his grayling.

June 5, 2009

Meet Neil Casper Simak. He's new into crystalline glazes and in deep! I've added Neil to my friend's page.

He's going to come to the workshop.

I am so looking forward to the workshop in October. I figured I'll have everyone check in with Kat to get a name tag and give me the chance to make sure I have everyone's correct contact information and get a current photo of everyone. Kat will be playing "Little Hostess / Photographer Girl".

June 1, 2009     Here's some work by Neil Simak, currently a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He wrote "I have been using your website ...... to start making crystalline pottery." Neil's got his own website and Forum at

May 31, 2009    

Another beauty by the Wizard of Clay

I finally built a new stand for my Doll test kiln


Page: Current 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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..