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Erik Haagensen Process Notes

The pottery is made of stoneware clay that is fired three times. Most pieces are thrown on the wheel though I occasionally do a little handbuilding.

The pieces are made, dried, and then bisque fired to Cone 04. After bisque, they are glazed with a milky translucent shino glaze. The bright colored glazes are the same shino base glaze with mason stains added. The glazed ware is then fired in reduction to Cone 6. Once the glaze has been fired on, I add the line drawings using a variety of methods. Some pieces are drawn by hand directly onto the ware using a ceramic “ink” that I developed, applied with a variety of implements including a calligraphy pen, bamboo pen, brushes, and slip trailers.

Alternately, I will create the drawings using pencil and paper, then using some technomagic, create ceramic overglaze transfers from my original drawings. Either way, the work then goes back into kiln, fired in oxidation to melt the overglaze drawings into the glaze. It is possible to keep doing additional decoration and refiring.

There are several things I like about this approach to surface. The shino glaze provides a delightful canvas for drawing on, full of reductiony goodness, speckles, and fine glaze crazing patterns. The character of the line is that of a pen-and-ink drawing, much more so than my brushwork ever did. And logistically it is nice because the work can pause at any stage without worrying about drying out. I also like that the work is high-fired, durable, and non-toxic, with imagery that will never fade or degrade.