Hare’s fur glaze?


Today’s kiln opening revealed another Clee Hill pancheon (31cm this time) with a beautiful, almost “hare’s fur” / chun effect. The bubble in the glaze is not only creating a blue blush through the glaze, there is also a streaking that is reminiscent of hare’s fur glazes I have seen in Song dynasty (1127-1279 AD) Chinese ceramics. It is pure luck / chance that I have stumbled across this glaze effect using three readily available local ingredients with the addition of quartz (which I justify as being one of the most ubiquitous and commonly occurring minerals on the planet and certainly present around Clee Hill). The crucial application factor seems to be the combination of the exact mix of ingredients plus the thick application of the glaze. It has to be thick to the point where it actually leaves drying cracks after application to the biscuit fired bowl.


One hill, many clays and colours….

The last two years of investigating Clee Hill have led me to a number of clay sources. The fireclay from near the village of Clee Hill has provided the richest material; firing to deep dark reds and purples at stoneware temperatures. The sources recently sampled from the other side of the hill are proving to be full of opportunity too, firing well to stoneware temperatures, but being pale, “brick” clays. One fires to an ochrous range of tones, with an iron speckle, the other to more of a buff, grey tinged with apricot range. All of these clays shrink pretty dramatically (around 10%), and are also somewhat erratic – firing to subtly different shades in the same kiln, set for the same firing cycle / temperature etc.

Stack of Clee Hill clay coffee mugs.
“Brick” clay coffee mugs with chun bubble, dolerite glaze.