Ann enjoys making pottery pieces that add style and beauty to your surroundings. These pieces are fired in unique ways focusing on the surface shape and decoration. These pots are not water-tight and are not food safe. They are intended for artistic purposes only. Ann has attended workshops with international experts, Randy Broadnax, Don Ellis, and Harry Hearne. She has integrated her own techniques with those learned at the workshops and through research and practice. Ann's current focus is on the following types of art pottery which are all made on a potter's wheel and fired initially in an electric kiln to approximately 1900 degress Fahrenheit followed by another firing in a top hat propane raku kiln:
Horsehair raku - Ann's technique involves either burnishing the pots before firing until glossy with or without applying terra sigillata to the outside surface. The final firing involves removing the pots from the kiln at approximately 1600 degrees Fahrenheit and draping pieces of horse tail or mane hair to the surface to form a pleasing pattern. In addition to the hair, sugar or feathers may be used. Some pots are fumed with ferric chloride which creates a yellow or orange tint on a portion of the pot to give the pot a distinctive surface.
Raku - After the pots are fired in the electric kiln, raku glazes are applied. The pots are then fired to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point they are red hot. They are transferred from the kiln and placed in metal containers with combustible material. Once the pots come into contact with the combustible material, the material ignites. Then, the lids are placed on the containers and they are left for various time frames as a "reduction" process takes place. The result is a "blooming" of various metallic or other colors depending on the process used. The final colors reflect the many variables including the length of time before being placed in the containers and the amount of time they stay in the containers.
Sagar - After the initial firing, the pots are removed from the kiln and then draped with various materials and chemicals. Organic material such as leaves, Spanish moss, seaweed may be used. Other items that are favorites are ferric chloride, salt, and certain oxides. The materials are held to the pots with a tight wrap of crinkled aluminum foil and fired to the point where the foil begins to break down.
Functional pottery includes both decorative pots such as vases that can hold water and fruit bowls as well as many items used in the kitchen or home. All of these items are food, dishwasher and microwave safe unless stated otherwise. They have been thrown on a potter's wheel or hand-built from moist stoneware clay. Some items may be carved or hand decorated at this stage, and handles, feet, and other attachments are added. They are allowed to dry and then placed in an electric kiln and fired to 1888 degrees Farenheit. Afther the initial firing, the pots are checked for any rough areas and sanded. Then, they are glazed by one or more of these methods: dipping, pouring, spraying, or brushing. They are then loaded into the electric kiln for a final firing to approximately 2232 degrees Farenheit. If all goes well through the process, the pots come out and are checked a final time for glaze imperfections.