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


Comments from John Tilton  
Vase Shape Revisions


I don't think I'll win any design contests any time soon but do feel I'm making progress chasing this form. Paul Tougas wrote " A few good pics of the STS 132 launch May 14th courtesy of Josh.  He takes great photos." I'll say! And then "Very cool video showing 6 weeks of work preparing STS-131 condensed into approx a 4 min video clip."


Diane Luedemann really getting into her work.

Test pieces made using Jeff Poulter's clay.

Let's make a deal..........Jeff Poulter sent me 2 pieces for glazing some time ago. Not wanting to screw them up (I mean who knows how they will nucleate) I figured if I had some of his clay I could try glazing some other smaller pieces. He sent ~10# of clay from which I was able to throw 4 small pieces. Using the slop and trimming I then cast another 10 ornaments and pots.


Avi, Avi, Avi. Very nice indeed!

Recent work by Steve Klinsky

Kat Morrell at the Kirkland Artist Studio Tour

Come on Mom!

It's nice to have some work flowing through the shop again. It was scary slow 6 months ago.

Steve's pieces look even better grouped on my desk.

5-16-10  I found some more crystalline glaze people this week via Google Alerts.

Ground Hog Pottery

Manuel Magallon

Mountain Man Pottery

Don Watkins

McCanless Pottery

Peder Wilhelm (Will) McCanless

Sparrow Breeding Station Pottery

Carolyn Efner

I tried to get some photos to send to Diane for her Ceramics Monthly articles on reduction fired crystalline glazes. I have no clue if these will cut mustard and probably should leave the PhotoShop work to the pros.

Chinese Crystals  


Getting closer to glazing! Ginny with a Bill background If Skutts are dragons maybe L&Ls are buzzards?


Photos taken by my brother during a recent visit to a factory that makes aluminum cookware from continuous cast sheet in India.  


3110 base (with a little less zinc and more frit) + 2% nickel oxide on a stained engobe.

Josh Pehrson Ceramics

Amazing Porcelain Shapes and Crystalline Glaze- Josh Pehrson Ceramics

Time lapse videos of Josh throwing (Go to Gallery and Media)


Doing a lap dance. I know these aren't crystalline but Steve Boehme and others (like Carol Levine) who can draw things which seem to come alive amaze me.

Steve wrote "That little kiln you posted on your journal looks like it could hit cone 10 in half an hour.  I bet some sweet pots will come out of that." I replied "I fired that little baby for the first time last night per L&L's recommended "Slow Bisque" cycle to cone 5. It's funny that I have 7 of their kilns and never read that instruction before. I have always known to push the elements back in the holder and run a clean first firing to relax them into place plus form an alumina coating - but never bothered to read their manual before. I'm really looking forward to using it to do some development work and have my fingers crossed that it will start spitting gold (if you know what I mean)."


The new Doll Damn bear!  


Lois with a great new piece by Bill Campbell An array of custom 1700C (3100F) furnace insulation assemblies    





4-25-10 There has been very little time for pottery since spring has sprung. Yesterday we (me and 7 other guys) put in almost 70 man hours working on the yard. It looks spectacular if I do say so myself. Today has been drizzly and a good day to work on the computer and hopefully in the studio.

I've been tweaking a few glazes and finishing up glaze catchers for all the bisque that's backing up. It seems though that when I'm throwing I always try more pots (mugs lately), meaning I will need more catchers.


The flowers on the lawn have been spectacular this spring. Here's some more.

Kat's junior prom was Friday. We had about 100 people over for photos around the yard.




3-25-10 3-27-10
Sign of the devil? More signs of spring

Working on this website this morning I hit this number. Is it the sign of the crystalline glazed devil????? Yesterday at lunch my bill was $6.66. I had to add a banana!

Kat got her junior operators license this week and took off on her maiden (no mommy) voyage to the mall with Shannon

3-22-10   I finally got to throw some new pieces after whirl wind tour which took me to Bill Campbell's, The Wizard's and the ^6 workshop in Dunedin Florida with the likes of John Tilton and Glenn Woods. Feeling totally inadequate as a thrower, I think this was just the therapy I needed.

Spring has hit with a bang. Besides longer days there are many other changes. Even in the road kill, believe it or not. Lately it's been ground hog, possum and mink - plastered all over the place. Last night it was warm (55F). The cricket frogs were peeping all around and there were toads and earthworms everywhere. There had t be 3 to 4 worms per square foot all over the blacktop, greens and lawn. I figure on my 8 acre property there were over 1 million worms crawling all around.


3-15-10   Back home again

Mugs by (Glenn and Keith) The Pottery Boys.

3-12-to-14-10   Cone 6 Crystalline Glaze Workshop with Bill Schran

3-8-10   What's the deal with  Willemite and crystalline glazes anyway?

Red on White by Jon Price by the Wizard of Clay - Jamie Kozlowski Uranium and Nickel Oxides

3-5-10  I got to spend the day at Bill Campbell's with him and Christine - Master Mold Maker Deluxe!

I thought we had snow! Bill had more snow than you could shake a stick at. It seemed like it had been melting for a while but was still piled all over the place. The icicles coming off peoples houses were the size of mature trees.  It's a good thing we don't get that Lake effect stuff here.


2-27-10 I've finally finished making glaze catchers for the mountain of bisque in the shop and am looking forward to a snowbound weekend of potting in the studio.

 Glazing Avril Farley's 2 bottles (left) is probably a great place to start.

I fashioned some bases for the bottoms of Andy's pots which blew out in bisque.


It seems hard to believe there were 50+ people here just ~4 months ago.

2-25-10 + 2-26-10 I was all set to make a pilgrimage to Bill Campbell's with a stop off at The Wizard of Clay on the return trip until this storm hit. We got 32" of snow out of the deal - the most we've gotten since 1996. Needless to say my plans changed (hopefully to next weekend) as we had to dig out.

Somebody left the shed door open.

At work the day after.

Everything seems peaceful under a blanket of snow.


Before leaving work Thursday night.

Bella didn't seem to mind the snow.


2-22-10     Political Commentary: Heaviest Element Yet Known to Science Discovered

2-21-10     e-mail to Glenn Woods regarding upcoming Bill Schran ^6 workshop.


Blue Holstein? Open wide! "Shopping Trolley Kiln" from one of Feri's friends

2-14-10 I revisited an old firing schedule on this 3110 glaze with 2.5% Nickel Oxide and .4% titania. The crystals look like they grow in planes over one another. Kind of like bird feathers.

Thanks to some pointers from the photo geek at Best Buy I got a new lease on taking macros.

I wish I could say the same for this Video (~9mb) which should open in another window, but won't. Save it to the desktop then play.


Photo caption per Babel Fish: "There was an exhibition of Korean Ceramic Art Association from 2009 November 30th."

Some of these pieces have a metallic shine and iridescence.

Actual firing curves of the Doll, e23s and Fallonator.

Google Alerts brought me to Song Pa Doye and a selection of pieces from "Crystalline Glazed Porcelain Gallery of Jo, Yi-Hyun" and then to his web site. He's got some great work on his site and quite the resume. I like his gallery too. There is this photo of him with Peter Ilsley, John Tilton and Kris Friedrich titled "Crystalline glazed porcelain Exhibition" It must have been from Lattice Structures (before my time)! Oh yeah, there's Jesse.....Diane.....Holly......

2-7-10   I started firing a trio of kilns last night. I was up way too late glazing the winged thingy and was having heart palpitations as my thoughts alternated between "Don't screw this up" and "It's just clay".

I was mesmerized by this view last night.

Doll (The poor baby has acne now).


2-5-10    ARRRRRGH!!!!! I re-glazed and fired this ornament the other day (probably for the fourth time, ) after soaking it for about a week in a witches brew of organic goop (oil, sugar, etc). What a mistake!!!! Apparently it sprayed glaze particles all over the inside of the Doll on the way up which melted into the kiln lining. I was able to pick some of it out of the brick but had to flip the floor over. I will never do that again.

I guess I forgot to photograph it!

Before After Before After


These crystals were grown using this schedule, except for a longer sloping hold during segment 6 (5C/hr). I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly which segments are responsible for the center.


1-29-10      We put the finishing touches on a 50 cu. ft., 3000F alumina fiber insulated, molybdenum disilicide heated furnace lining for firing tin - indium materials used in touch screen applications. This puppy has a composite roof system and finger jointed walls we cut on one of the CNC routers. I have to admit that the first time through these bits scared the hell out of me.

The truck will get loaded today so it can be on the customer's dock at 8:00 am Monday. It's always nice to turn a fine piece of work into an invoice!

I reclaimed some deposited material from the flues of the old roof. My guess is that is a combo of crystallized tin - indium and molybdenum oxide. It has a very interesting look to it. Who knows what it will do to a crystalline glaze but I hope to find out soon.





1-22-10 I changed last night's firing schedule to try and get larger crystals with a wider white outline on the next one of Jamie's pieces. There are more blues as well as the number which gave gold crystals in these firings.

Maybe someday I can hope to throw like him but for now I'm just happy I've stepped in poop and have these beauties to play with.

1-21-10 This is the first piece thrown at the Symposium that I've fired. I still have quite a few other  pieces "in line" before this one but couldn't wait to see what these new glazes look like on one of The Wizards little cuties!

1-18-10 Good luck tomorrow Terry!

1-17-10 Terry hooked me up with Omega's TC Central software, remote receiver and transmitters. With them I can watch all my kilns firing at the same time.

Kiln activity through the eyes of TC Central and Excel

Another gorgeous form by David Turner all dressed up for the prom!

In the first Fallonator PFR I was trying to get a very light reduction. I set the reduction controller to 820 and should have gotten about 10 minutes worth. Part way into it I realized the bottle was empty and made a quick change. It only saw a few minutes in reduction which did nothing to the pieces.

In the second PFR I raised the reduction setting to 845mv and temperature plus added a hold. The only problem was part way through it I realized I hadn't turned the reduction unit on, but was able to recover quickly.


Omega's temperature transmitter recently installed on the e23s.

EPK/Alumina/Biscuit Smack Down Results

More variation. The piece on the left is glazed with F413 base with 1% MnO2 + 3% Red CuOx + 1% CoCO3 over an inclusion stained slip.

Smack Down Results: Alumina Hydrate beat EPK hands down in my book. The cleanup is amazing. Pop the catcher and clean off the dust with a sponge. I could never figure out how someone would be happy using a bench grinder at the end to clean up the edges but now I see that all you need to do is bevel the edge where the glaze cracked and sponge off the bottom.


Comments I've received include: Wouuuuuuuuuuu ! Take a glass of the best whiskey you have, and enjoy the moment!!!!! You can be proud about these beauties!……….Hey Phil.  Nice. Keep on havin fun!……….They look awesome…………Wow! ………Looks like a good firing……..and…….Well my my my.........I'd say that your definitely all grown up now, and are in fact, one of the best.

I was really pretty happy with how these firings turned out. Lots of variation, lots to see, and things (results) seemed to make sense.

 More Photos

Doll e23s

1-11-10     After ~ 20 hours all kilns were still cooling but cool enough to peek and see there will be some stuff to talk about.

The Fallonator's actual temperature is being recorded by the laptop via wireless transmitter.

It couldn't keep up the rate of 200C (360F) per hour above ~1050C (1922F) so the actual progress was delayed. I wonder why it shut off at the planned time though? Cowinkydink or is there something fishy goin' on?

Actual Firing Curve Planned vs. Actual


I loaded all three kilns with pieces from the days glazing efforts and am using the same firing schedule in each. I just received (today) transmitters for the Doll and e23s so the next time I do this I can plot the planned vs. actual firing curves for all 3 kilns.

These pots have catchers glued with alumina hydrate. Let's hope for the best!

Doll e23s

After striking to 780C


I've been torturing this poor pot with a series of firings and other bizarre and inhumane treatments. It looks like it took a blast from a well placed 12 ga. at 30 yards. Maybe it's time to throw in the towel on this bad boy. Hammer time????

Diane gave me some pointers on photographing this piece.

1-5-10     Left: Two pieces by Diane Luedemann.


Below: AW FUDGE!!!!! The only good in this disaster is that I found another reason to love L&L's hard element holders. This tip over resulted in a destroyed piece, a small chunk of missing brick and a little glaze on the face of a few holders. Can you imagine how much brick would have been destroyed (I figure ~ 1/2 sq. ft.) and all the fried elements to boot!


It looks like the pieces with glaze containing 5% Ag2CO3 fumed the others and impacted the ones with glaze containing 2% CuCO3 + .5% CoCO3 and no titania. They should have lit up copper red but instead seemed to have done otherwise. I think I should have checked William's "Silver Nitrate Manifesto" before reducing this load.

It seems like I got a decent reduction based on the color of the element supports and the pieces containing rutile (purple...and red).


It looks like the new year is starting with a BANG! New page! Newly tweaked look!

Setup for post fire reduction.


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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..