Elusive Shinos

originally published 7/29/2013

Someone recently asked me how I got a particular smokey effect on a shino plate.  Did you use the glaze "Malcolm Shino to get that effect?"  I didn't know how to respond because there are so many variables in firing shinos.  How do you explain the experimentation that goes with finding the key to consistency with Elusive Shinos. I've been experimenting with shinos for a while, and the results coming out of the kiln are always a surprise.  A passion for shino  began when I made a dinnerware set that was supposed to be a creamy white, and when I opened the kiln, the variation was extraordinary, from totally black to spotted to crystallized.  Each plate and bowl was different and pretty spectacular.

elusive shinos


But when I tried (many times) to reproduce the effects, I could not get a consistent result.  I've been in love with this exploration since that first "mistake."

Malcolm Davis has always been the authority on shino glazing.  Here's a handout that he generated with ideas for shino.

I've tried a lot of them!  Here's what I know.

Of all the things that are important, reducing heavily at cone 010 is critical. How you dry the pot after the glaze is applied helps trap carbon. (a fan, or outside breeze, for me, creates beautiful variation of effects).  The age of the glaze does not  factor in to produce consistent results.  A lower bisque may be important, drying the inside glaze may be important.  I've tried so many other variations like packing the kiln with shinos, washing the pot with soda ash, covering with plastic during drying, etc. to no effect.  I guess the elusive effects of shino are what make it so much fun to open the kiln.



Elusive Shino shino carbon trapped pitcher


]Elusive shino Shino Ikebana vasesElusive shino Shino Long PlatterElusive Shino Shino DinnerplateElusive Shinos Shino 3-piece bowl setElusive Shinos Two shino mugs

Elusive Shinos

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