Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet our glaze tech, Rachel.

Here at the Ceramic Shop, we don't just act as pottery suppliers -- we produce quite a bit of our own material, as well.  From HydroBats and kiln posts to glazes and wax products, all of our own-brand items go through a rigorous and extensive period of development, testing, and more testing.  

We don't play.

So who, exactly, is behind this development and testing?  While we have many different people working on a variety of different projects, our head glaze tech, Rachel, runs all of our glaze- and ceramic-based product development. Rachel has been part of The Ceramic Shop team for over a year now, having come to us from the highly-respected ceramics program at the University of Oregon.  There, she was truly well-trained when it comes to glaze and claybody formulation -- this is training she uses, and develops further, every day in the lab that she runs here. In the world of ceramic artists, there are just some people who are true materialists, and Rachel is the type of person who has a LOT to say about nepheline syenite (and molochite...and cryolite...). Basically, if you spend just five minutes in her work space you know this goes beyond extensive knowledge -- it's a passion for her. She's even a published author on this front -- check out her great project on the effects of sintered borax in Clay Times!

Shhhh! A Rachel in her natural habitat.

Since joining our team, Rachel has tackled numerous contract projects and has definitely proven her salt. And yes, she also has plenty to say about salt! Because of this, she is now serving as a consultant for glaze-specific projects here at The Ceramic Shop.  Say you have to do a bunch of cone 6 glaze tests for your arts center, home, or classroom, and you either don't have the time, know-how, or simply lab access -- Rachel can do all of this for you, complete with well-documented results.  Say you are looking for just the right butter yellow matte glaze for your stoneware, and you really just don't know where to begin - for a consulting fee, Rachel can do the research and then mix up and tests the glazes. Perhaps you have a project that's a little more production-based -- last year, Rachel took on the glazing and firing of about 1500 very precise and fragile elements for a major installation.  When it comes to clays and glazes, she can do it all!

Our consulting fee for this service begins at a reasonable $50/hr.  If you would like to get a quote for a project, you can give us a call at 215-427-9665 or email Mark at mark@theceramicshop.com or Rachel at rachel@theceramicshop.com.

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