search  current discussion  categories  glazes - ash 

shelf life for ash glazes

updated fri 10 sep 04


Tig Dupre on thu 9 sep 04

I've just started playing with ash glazes and have a question. Phil Rogers
recommends making only as much as you'll need at the time, suggesting that they
don't keep long at all. Is that typical? I'd love to hear of your experiences.


It is my (limited) experience that ash glazes will last about a year in the bucket before needing to be recycled. That is, if you use WASHED ash. Washing ash removes the soluble salts (sodium hydroxides--a form of lye), leaving the fairly pure oxides behind.

Unwashed ash, depending on the amount used--up to 10% in my experience--will settle, not hard-panning, but creating a soapy lye solution on top of the glaze. CAUTION! This stuff will hurt your bare hands. Use rubber gloves.

I have had great success in mixing up Val Cushing's ash glaze (^6) and dabbing it in a ring at the rim of tall vases, over several other colored glazes. It mixes (fluxes, actually) and runs through the colors, making handsome streaks.

Another caution in using ash glazes in a ^6 electric fire is to be cautious of runs. Ash glazes can be very runny, and do unspeakable things to kiln shelves. Protect your shelves, elevate your pots, and maybe use catch bowls. Do not glaze all the way to the foot.


Experiment and have fun!

Work your ash off,

Tig Dupre
in Port Orchard, Washington