search  current discussion  categories  forms - misc 

stovetop usable pottery ~~> flameware

updated sun 29 jun 03


Danielle Limparis on fri 27 jun 03

at one point in my undergrad career i was interested in making stovetop
ceramic work myself. i found a small section of information in susan
peterson's book "the craft and art of clay" (isbn 0-13-0851256). and yes,
the "magic" is both in the materials used for the clay body and the
temperature to which it is fired. two body recipies and one glaze recipe
are listed. the following recipies and information are taken from
peterson's text (which i would recommend you invest in, i find it to be a
good book for those ready to step up from the most basic beginner books) and
i in no way claim to be an authority on the subject or to have full first
hand experience in flameware. i purchased the materials my university did
not stock and started to do my own testing with flameware. it proved to be
a little more costly than i had initally anticipated. Petalite isn't cheap.
anyhow, i made a small batch of the clay (which isn't very plastic, but i
managed to throw a nice lidded pot for my thermal shock test) numerous test
tiles, and a test glaze line blend. the clay fires a nice white and the raw
clay looks to be between grogless stoneware and porcelain. i had three
glaze tests that were very attractive. my saucepan made it through the
bisque nicely and i was contemplating how to glaxe it. then before i knew
it, i had a severe falling out with my professor and no longer had access to
the cone 10 kiln. how extremely disappointing!! so i never quite made it
to the thermal shock testing since i only take my electric kiln at home to
cone 6. one day i will finish my testing and make myself a nice kitchen
set, but in the meantime, i'll just keep going in other directions....

Shockproof lithium compounds are necessary in the clay body for it to be
heated by flame including lithium carbonate - the source for lithium oxide -
and lithium compounds such as lepidolite, spodumene, petalite, and
lithospar. the method for shock testing flameware is directly over the
burner with and without food or water and cool the hot pot in water - repeat
several times.

Flameware A:
Petaline 30%
Spodumene 20%
Fire clay 30%
Ball clay 20%

this was test fired at hunter college successfully at cone 11. there is no
glaze recipe listed for this body.

Flameware B:
EPK china clay 13%
Ball clay 35%
Petalite 45%
G-200 feldspar 5%

this was successfully tested at cone 10 at hunter college. remember that
bentonite is a plasticizer in clay bodies and a suspension agent in glazes,
but it has the fault of expanding in water so its shringage is high.

Glazes are difficult to bond to lithium bodies. it helps to use some of the
body materials in the glaze. the following glaze works for flameware B:

Berstley borate 14%
Dolomite 8.6%
Talc 3.0%
Zinc oxide 1.9%
Lithium carbonate 1.7%
EPK china clay 30.2%
Silica 40.2%
Bentonite .4%

If this is really something you would like to pursue, best wishes and i hope
this information helps. if you are serious about researching the subject,
you may also want to look into the book Ceramic Science for the Potter by Dr
W.G. Lawrence used as a reference in peterson's book.

Good Luck,

>From: Jason Mongue
>Reply-To: Clayart
>Subject: stovetop usable pottery
>Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 11:16:37 -0700
>Does anyone know what the magic is to creating pottery which can be used on
>stovetops and over open flame? Is it in the clay mix or in the cone the
>ware is fired to? Or both?
>Send postings to
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at

Add photos to your messages with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.