Mica-ware — Formed Earth Studio

What are Mica-ware pots?

Look at your pot, see the sparkles? That is the Mica that has been mixed in with the clay.  Adding Mica to the clay makes it extremely resistant to heat shock.  Which means it will resist cracking due to being heated unevenly. Some enthusiasts say food cooked in micaceous clay tastes sweeter because the clay is alkaline and neutralizes the acids in foods. When using your mica-pot you will notice that the clay absorbed the oils and flavors of the food you cook, your pot becomes a reflection of the food you cook.

An interesting feature of mica-posts is that they stay relatively cool, which means you can lift the lid or pick up the pot using the handles without pot holders.

 

Using Mica-ware pots:

•Microwave: Mica-pots are not microwave compatible.

•Open flames: Mica-pots are suitable gas stoves grills and campfires without a diffuser.

•Maximum temperature:  Low simmer (medium low on most gas stoves)

•Electric burner or glass stovetop, a diffuser MUST be placed under the pot to protect it!

•Oven: Micaceous pots are safe for all standard oven baking.

•Broiler: Do not place it directly under the broiler.

Cleaning Mica-ware pots:

Hand wash only, Micaceous pots are not dishwasher compatible.  Use a soft cloth to clean the pottery with warm water and baking soda. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.  Lightly coat the pottery inside and outside with oil. Store the pottery in dry location.  **DO NOT use soap or metal abrasives. Soap will absorb into the walls of the pottery and can cause cracking.  Soap will destroy the seasoning of the pottery.  Metal abrasives will scratch the pottery. Do not soak the pottery in water.** 

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A new direction

 

I have been looking for a way to take my designs in a new direction. I was inspired by George McKenzie's post in the Potters Network and reading an article from Ceramic Daily I began to see some possibilities.  After throwing a porcelain pot I coat it with a layer of Terra Sigillata (T-Sig). Then I apply some thinned wax resist using Sumi-e brushwork techniques. Once the wax dries I use a damp sponge to carefully wipe away to exposed T-Sig and clay to create a 3D image. I started with one color of T-Sig and a second coating of wax over the clay to more depth.

Yesterday I decided to extend the technique to multiple colors of T-Sig. I spent most of yesterday mixing new colors of Terra Sigillata (T-Sig). My palate is now expanded from two to ten.  I am focusing on multiple colors of green, some blues, greys and a few accent colors. 

The first subject is dragonflies from our local lakes. I spent hours researching dragonflies. More hours drawing them in pencil and using water on paper and clay to perfect my brushwork. So far this shows some real possibilities. This weekend I was driving outside of Seattle at the foot of the Cascade Mountains and saw all the Maple trees beginning to leaf out.  The play of pale greens against the dark bark was mesmerizing (yes, distracted driving). That is why I spent yesterday mixing multiple shades of green. I want to be able to capture the play of light against the trees as they change all summer long.

Unloaded kiln with results - very happy!