Annabelle’s Leach apprenticeship – Glazes and chargers

Amazingly, the sun is still shining and pots keep coming out of the kiln. We’ve said a very sad goodbye-for-now to Callum, the first Seasalt apprentice, as he goes off on a year’s sabbatical to travel the world meeting other potters. This summer, he will be starting to blog his residency at my old friend Kazuya Ishida’s studio in Bizen, Japan.


In my last blog, I talked about combining slip textures with different glazing techniques and applying it to my first set of circular jars or moon jars. I posted a photo of the kiln opening on my Instagram – I had a lovely matte blue jar onto which I’d poured a lighter coloured glaze, and an ash green jar which actually ran onto the shelf! It’s important to mention how much testing should be done and how necessary it is to really know how your glaze works. Even though they were both in cooler areas, the ash glaze was so thick that the pot couldn’t hold it all. Mishaps like this happen relatively often because of the amount of variables we have at play, but that challenge is what drives me to keep going.


My next throwing challenge was to make chargers. Roelof Uys, my mentor and lead potter of the Leach, suggested I make a form using 1.5kilos and keep doubling up the weight. I managed to throw my first 6 kilo charger and I can’t wait to see the finished results of a set. For decoration, I’ve decided to step away from rough textured surfaces and use a flat brush to apply thin layers of porcelain slip, because the form is so strong and the walls aren’t wide enough for rough textured brushes. I’ve facetted the sides in keeping with the blue-grey lidded jars, which will go alongside these “nesting” shallow bowls.