My Process & Clay

The process of turning clay into functional pots is a very important for me, and I partake in it every step of the way. From the digging of clay, the making of pots, to mixing my own glazes from raw materials and finally firing, I try to be involved in the process as much as I can.


Clay Body

Brown and White Stoneware Pottery Clay

Pottery Clay Iron Speckles

The making starts with the clay itself. I primarily work with two types. First, a high-iron stoneware blend, together with local clay that I dig and process by myself. This produces a slightly rough textured dark toasty brown clay body. During the firing, iron speckles break through the clay and glaze surface, giving rise to a varying landscape for every piece.

The other is a white stoneware blend that is of a white-grey colour. I chose to retain some texture of the groggy clay instead and this works particularly well with the ash/celadon-type of glazes that I use. You may occasionally see an iron speck or two due to the intentional cross contamination of my brown clay.



Pottery Making

Pottery Throwing Marks

I prepare my clay by hand, and my pieces are primarily thrown on the wheel, and altered thereafter if required. My works are generally simple and clean, gravitating towards forms that can be enjoyed every day. I use minimal tools, preferring to use my hands for most parts. This tends to leave fingermarks and uneven surfaces which I choose to keep. Such imperfections and variations are to me what distinguish handmade ceramics from the mass-produced ones.



Ash Glaze, Shino Glaze

I use a mix of glazes that I prepare myself from raw materials, as well as some that are formulated by my teacher. But they all have their roots from traditional glazes used in the past, and many are formulated to suit certain types of firing.

Some of the glazes I work with include ash glazes, shino-style glazes and celadon-type glazes. You can read more about them on the product page of each piece.

Many of my glazes when fired, have imperfections such as crackles or pinholes. These are natural and intended.



Gas Reduction Firing

A ceramic piece generally goes through two firings. The first firing is a bisque firing where it is fired to 960C. It is after this that my pieces will then be glazed in preparation for the final firing.

I do both electric and gas firings, but most of my clay and glazes are made for gas reduction firing. Pots are loaded into the kiln the day before and I light the fire early morning the next day. They are fired to 1300C for 8hrs in a reduction atmosphere. During this period, the kiln is starved of oxygen, bringing out the iron and colours in the clay and glazes as they react during the firing. It is then sealed and left to cool, ready for unloading the next day.

Every firing is different and many factors can affect the final result, from the placement and packing of the kiln, to even the weather. But it is such variables that make every firing and pot distinctive.