Asuka oversees the making of all Wingnut & Co. glazes and he is continually experimenting with a wide range of raw materials and refining our recipes.
Glaze testing is an important part of our practice and it allows us to better understand the materials we use everyday. We are interested in the origins of a raw material, its geology and the science behind why it reacts with and against other materials. We are fascinated with the chemistry of achieving certain colours and distinct surface effects and are continually impressed by the chemical changes that occur to colourants under the influence of extreme heat.
Each firing we are either refining current glazes or are trying new recipes on our 1"x 2.5" test tiles. On average we glaze fire twice a week, with generally 10-15 test tiles in each firing, approximately a bit over 1000 tests per year.
We try recipes from old pottery books, ceramic websites and continually seek advice and share findings with other potters and industry experts.
If we are working towards a particular glaze for a project or a new finish for our collection it usually takes us at least several months to develop and have it ready for use.
Please find below our collection of current glazes, standard glazes and surface details.
Our aim was to achieve a particular tone of grey combined with the right surface feel, which was more challenging than expected and it took us several years to arrive at Hai.
detail: It may seem simple, but Hai uses the most colourants of all our glazes.
Over the past eight years we have departed from and then returned to one of our first glazes, a gloss forest green glaze (Matsu). Koke references Matsu but has a deep moss colour and a velvety matt finish.
detail: We always fire Koke in the coolest part of our kiln to maintain a consistent finish, if this glaze becomes too hot it will turn brown and glossy.
This yellow ochre coloured glaze has a smooth satin finish and was made to compliment our new glazes Hai & Koke.
detail: Odo (Yellow Earth) is influenced by our time spent in Aichi Prefecture and our attraction to Ki-Seto ware (Yellow-Seto).
Shiro is our original matt white glaze. It was designed to be opaque but also to allow the natural speckle (coming from iron/ igneous rock) from the Australian stoneware to come through to the surface. We wanted the white to be cool and bright, but not to appear as an inert flat finish.
detail: In the beginning Shiro was a matter of knowing what we wanted but not yet having the skills and knowledge to create it. It took us several years to have something close to what we imagined and still now (like all our glazes) Shiro requires constant alterations depending on the batch of raw materials, the particular clay body it is applied to and the current climate.
This matt, opaque coral coloured glaze was made to replace one of our old favourite glazes Momo.
detail: Sango in its raw liquid form pre-firing is a radiant mint green.
Meaning Sand this glaze was designed to celebrate the Australian stoneware clay used in our studio.
We wanted a clear satin/matt glaze which is difficult to achieve as the raw material required to create the desired finish have the side effect of becoming cloudy and opaque. This glaze eventually became a base recipe for other glazes and requires continual adjustments to create recipes that allow for a clear, smooth, consistent glaze.
detail: We always fire Suna in the hottest part of our kiln, to ensure the glaze is as transparent as possible.
Mugi is rich and earthy in colour with a smooth matt finish.
detail: Mugi was a happy accident when a crucial ingredient was left out of another recipe.
This straw coloured glaze was a seasonal finish for Autumn 2018 and is now part of our regular range.
detail: Wara gets its warmth from the iron oxide in the glaze which contributes also to the the constant speckle. We also use this glaze as the background canvas for tetsue (iron drawings).
Kiri is a soft blue/grey gloss glaze, made to partner with Wakaba.
detail: Meaning 'Mist' we introduced Kiri in the Summer of 2017/18
Wakaba was the result of working on a green gloss glaze for Market Lane Coffee. It is light and fresh and is our take on a celadon glaze.
detail: Meaning 'Young Leaf' we introduced Wakaba in the Spring of 2017.
Asuka creates small collections of porcelain vases and guinomi throughout the year. The porcelain pieces in our studio are mostly dipped in a clear matt glaze.
detail: Porcelain if fired high enough has a translucence quality that allows light to emit through it.
Whilst the stoneware pot is freshly trimmed and is still leather hard, porcelain slip is brushed over the surface of the pot with a Hake brush. The pot is bisque fired and then dipped in a blushing glaze that Asuka developed to cover the brushwork but still allow the white of the porcelain to be apparent on the surface of the pot.
Kokumon roughly translates as 'carving a pattern into ceramic'. In our studio we use Kokumon to describe the process of creating a raised pattern on wheel thrown porcelain vessels. Each of the marks we apply, the repetitive patterns on our Kokumon vessels are hand painted and emerge as a surface texture post firing. With this process we wanted to highlight the transparent characteristics of porcelain and play with the light and shadows created by the raised linear details.
Meaning rock, we initially created Iwa for a collection of pieces for Japanese restaurant, Minamishima. The variation in this finish comes from the layering of two glazes. The initial glaze is an iron rich metallic glaze which is then covered with a rutile based glaze. The combination of the two recipes creates a finish with movement and tonal distinctions.