All pottery is made in our Kapaa studio. I make all my own glazes and have been researching and developing glazes for 30 years. Many of my glazes are unique. I fire functional and most sculptural ware to 2300° or cone 10 in a waste vegetable oil (WVO) fuelled updraft kiln in an oxidation atmosphere. All functional ware is food-safe, and dishwasher & microwave safe. Copper red and flambe glazes use silicon carbide as a local reducing agent in the glaze. Red is the most difficult and temperamental color to produce.
My kiln is a 24 cu. ft. updraft commercial kiln that was designed for propane. I began developing a WVO system for my kiln in 2008. The high cost of propane in Hawaii was stressing my budget and WVO is easily available here from the numerous restaurants that serve the tourist industry. I had to design and build my system from scratch as there are very few potters that use WVO as a fuel. I got burner ideas from YouTube and after some experimentation came up with a good burner design. Designing the fireboxes has been more problematic because of the intense heat generated by WVO burners, 10 times as much as a propane burner. I am currently using 3000° hardbrick and that is holding up fairly well. The time and effort that I have put in to create my system has been well worth it. I get my oil for free and I reckon that I save about $5000/year by firing with WVO. Artistically, I have found it to be a great fuel. It is very controllable and gives me excellent, clean, even firings every time.
My latest passion is highly patterned colored clay millefiori pots.I began developing this style in 2009. To make these pots, I mix ceramic stains with white porcelain to create a complete palette of colored clays. I then mix, stack, blend and extrude color combinations to produce intricately patterned blocks of colored clay. Thin (1/8″) slices off these blocks are then used to produce slab and wheel thrown work. These pots are fired to cone 10 with a clear glaze. This is a labor intensive but rewarding process that has fired my imagination incredibly. I’m more excited about this process than I have been about anything I’ve ever done in ceramics. It’s lots of fun and I lay awake at night dreaming of the possibilities.