Author archive for Derek

  • Glazes

    Kaki (Persimmon, Tomato) Glaze

    Here are a few Kaki glazes, mostly from John Britt’s book High Fire Glazes.  You can find these recipes (with updated cone 9 & 10 photos)  and more on my glaze website Glazy:

    Coleman Kaki

    Custer Feldspar 48, Silica 16, Whiting 9, Kaolin 7, Talc 9, Bone Ash 11, Red Iron Oxide 11.5

    Coleman Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Coleman Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Coleman Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Coleman Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Coleman Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    Coleman Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    Coleman Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    KC Red Kaki

    Custer Feldspar 45.7, Silica 24.5, Whiting 6.4, Kaolin 6.4, Magnesium Carbonate 6.4, Bone Ash 10.6, Red Iron Oxide 6.4

    KC Red Kaki 1310 Reduction

    KC Red Kaki 1310 Reduction

    KC Red Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    KC Red Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Anderson Ranch Kaki

    Custer Feldspar 45, Silica 20, Whiting 7, Kaolin 8, Talc 8, Bone Ash 12, Red Iron Oxide 13.5

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    Anderson Ranch Kaki 1300 Reduction Slower Cool

    Staley's Kaki

    Custer Feldspar 48, Silica 26, Kaolin 7, Magnesium Carbonate 7, Bone Ash 12, Red Iron Oxide 8

    Staley's Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Staley's Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Staley's Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Staley's Kaki 1280 Oxidation


    Custer Feldspar 30, Silica 20, Kaolin 20, Dolomite 15, Bone Ash 15, Red Iron Oxide 10

    Kaki Kaki 1310 Reduction

    Kaki Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Kaki Kaki 1280 Oxidation

    Val's Tomato Red

    F-4 Feldspar 45, Silica 24, Whiting 7, Kaolin 7, Magnesium Carbonate 6, Bone Ash 11, Red Iron Oxide 8

    Val's Tomato Red 1310 Reduction

    Val's Tomato Red 1310 Reduction

    Val's Tomato Red 1280 Oxidation

    Val's Tomato Red 1280 Oxidation

    Chinese Glazes Russet Ding

    Left:  Potash Feldspar 26, Silica 25.5, Kaolin 34.5, Dolomite 10, Titanium Dioxide 1, Red Iron Oxide 10

    Right:  Potash Feldspar 30.5, Silica 30, Kaolin 28.5, Dolomite 7, Titanium Dioxide 1, Red Iron Oxide 5.5

    Chinese Glazes Russet Ding 1 1310 Reduction

    Chinese Glazes Russet Ding 2 1310 Reduction

  • Glazes

    Tianmu (Temmoku) Glazes

    Here are a few Tenmoku glazes, mostly from John Britt’s book High Fire Glazes.  You can find these recipes and more on my glaze website Glazy:

    Hamada Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 50, Silica 30, Whiting 20, Red Iron Oxide 9

    Leach Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 40, Silica 30, Whiting 20, Kaolin 10, Red Iron Oxide 9

    Rust Black

    Custer Feldspar 46.2, Silica 23.2, Whiting 17.4, Kaolin 10.9, Zinc Oxide 2.3, Yellow Iron Oxide 11.2

    Jeff's Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 53.8, Silica 22.4, Whiting 12.9, Kaolin 6, Barium Carbonate 2.5, Zinc Oxide 2.5, Red Iron Oxide 8.9

    Secrest Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 53, Silica 24, Whiting 12, Kaolin 6, Barium Carbonate 2.5, Zinc Oxide 2.5, Red Iron Oxide 10

    Mark's Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 45, Silica 27, Whiting 17, Kaolin 11, Red Iron Oxide 10

    Johnston Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 59.1, Silica 23.4, Whiting 12.7, Kaolin 4.9, Red Iron Oxide 7.7

    Roy Temmoku

    Custer Feldspar 58.7, Silica 21.7, Whiting 12.4, Bell Dark Ball Clay (sub regular Ball Clay) 7.2, Red Iron Oxide 7.7

  • Family

    區达年 Philip Dalen Au


    April 3, 1916 – October 27, 1993

    Philip Au and his elder sister, Norma, were born in Hong Kong. Their father died when Philip was ten and their mother valiantly worked to support her family and, because she could not afford to send them to school, taught her children at home. She died when Philip was twelve and the children had to fend for themselves because they had no other relatives to care for them. It was during this difficult period that the love and help of Mrs. Sin sustained and nurtured Philip. He attended St. Joseph’s College whenever there were tuition funds and educated himself by self-study when there was none.

    When Philip was twenty-one, he went to Shanghai to join his sister. There he studied business and was employed as a bank clerk. The bank recognized his talent and hard work by advancing him into more challenging assignments until he was head of the bank’s currency arbitrage section. During this period, the Lopez family were kind to Philip. The Japanese occupation resulted in replacement of many bank personnel, prompting Philip and Mickey Markarov to jointly start a bicycle assembly venture. The business was successful and expanded into tricycle taxi service. In 1944, Philip married Mary and their son was born the following year. In 1949, the family moved to Hong Kong without the opportunity to liquidate or bring along any asset due to the impending Communist take-over of China.

    The family struggled through their early years in Hong Kong. Philip started the Dalen Export Company and Mary worked as a secretary. Philip’s keen interest in the dire straits of his fellow refugees led him to be active in the Reform Club through which he became a thrice elected member of the Urban Council as well as the Hong Kong Housing Authority. He exercised the full power of these positions to negotiate, maneuver and shame the British government to render immediate and long term refugee aid. One of Philip’s greatest achievements was his central role in initiating government sponsored construction of multi-storied buildings for refugees.

    In 1959, Philip gave up his successful export business and political career in Hong Kong for the uncertainty of a new life in the United States. He started an import company and soon shared a store with his sister on Bush Street in San Francisco while Mary again worked as a secretary. In 1961, they moved from San Francisco to Berkeley. Handicapped by a lack of capital, Philip had to give up his business and supported his family by selling insurance. In 1966, he became the sole proprietor of Cost Less Imports on University Avenue in Berkeley. The business gradually expanded into beads and then belly-dance costumes.

    Philip is survived by his loving wife Mary, his sister Norma, his son Patrick, his daughter-in-law Ardis, his grandson Derek, his granddaughter Jennifer and all those who affectionately called him Uncle Philip.

    -Patrick Au


    Early Years


    Philip Au with friends. Shanghai early 1940s.

    Philip Au with friends. Shanghai early 1940s.

    Philip Au with friends. Shanghai early 1940s.

    Philip Au with friends, early 1940s. Shanghai Bund waterfront. Possibly with bank co-workers where Philip worked in currency arbitrage.

    Philip Au with friends, early 1940s. Shanghai Bund waterfront. Possibly with bank co-workers where Philip worked in currency arbitrage.

    Shanghai, 1940's.

    Shanghai, 1940's.

    Marriage, 1944

    Philip Au and Mary Huang were married in Shanghai in 1944.  More photos of Mary here.

    Mainland Chinese Refugees, Hong Kong, 1950's

    From the Wikipedia article:

    The 1950s in Hong Kong began against a backdrop of the resumption of British sovereignty after the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended in 1945, and the renewal of the NationalistCommunist Civil War in mainland China. It prompted a large influx of refugees from the mainland, causing a huge population surge: from 1945 to 1951, the population grew from 600,000 to 2.1 million. The government struggled to accommodate these immigrants. Unrest in China also prompted businesses to relocate their assets and capital from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Together with the cheap labour of the immigrants, the seeds of Hong Kong’s economic miracle in the second half of the 20th century were sown.

    Philip Au with Chinese mainland refugees in Hong Kong, 1950's

    Reform Club

    From the Wikipedia article:

    The Reform Club of Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港革新會) was one of the oldest political groups in Hong Kong existed from 1949 until the mid-1990s. Together with the Civic Association, they were the closest to opposition parties in Hong Kong during the post-war colonial period.

    Philip Dalen Au giving a speech for the Reform Club. Hong Kong, 1950's

    Philip Dalen Au at a refugee camp. Hong Kong, 1950's

    Philip Dalen Au. Hong Kong, 1950's

    A polling station. Hong Kong, 1950's

    North Point Estate (1958 – 2002)

    As Senior Selected Councillor of the Urban Council, Philip Au was instrumental in planning and building the North Point Estate.  The North Point Estate was the first housing project undertaken by the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA), and provided a model of low-cost housing for the world.

    Planning of the North Point Estate. Mid-1950's

    The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Philip Dalen Au, Senior Selected Councillor, Urban Council. 1958

    Philip Au showing Prince Philip the low cost housing units of North Point Estate. 1958

    Family Heirlooms

    于右任 Yu Youren

    區建公 Au Kin Kung

    周世聪 Chow Sai-chung

  • Heirlooms


    Max Raymond Carey was born in Fairbury, Nebraska on March 7, 1915.  After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Max joined the Air Force as an aviation cadet.  He graduated in June of 1941 and was assigned to Hickam Field in Hawaii.  On December 7, Max witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.  About six months later Max’s unit was sent to the South Pacific where he flew over the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Guadalcanal.

    Max returned to the US to serve as an instructor pilot on B17 Flying Fortresses, then commanded 300 crew members to England.  Having completed his assignment and relieved as commander, Max spent three weeks exploring London while waiting for an opportunity to fly home.  Having heard someone was needed to fly US Embassy mail to the US, Max volunteered.  The task would take him on a long detour through Glasgow, Algeria, Cairo, Liberia, Brazil, and finally back to the US.

    After the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945, Max flew with a lieutenant from the Philippines to Yokohama in order to secure airfields ahead of MacArthur’s arrival on August 30.  Max had a jeep, a sidearm, a few cartons of cigarettes and two stacks of yen notes, but neither an interpreter nor reliable maps.  Nevertheless, Max’s official work went smoothly- most of the airfields had been deserted or were staffed with only a skeleton crew who were already prepared to hand over the base.  In his free time Max explored Tokyo on his own.

    B-17 Flying Fortress

    Imperial Hotel

    During the five or six days that Max drove around Tokyo he visited markets and ate at restaurants, having no idea what he was eating.  From a bridge outside the Imperial Palace Max peaked at the gardens.  He roamed the halls of the deserted Imperial Hotel built by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The residents stayed away from him- one can imagine their shock at the site of a uniformed American soldier casually walking their streets.

    In Ueno Max ended up at a high-end department store (perhaps Matsuzakaya).  The front doors were locked, but he found his way inside through a back entrance.  He surprised a maid who rushed to get the manager.  The manager, even now still immaculately dressed, introduced himself in English and invited Max upstairs into his office.  The manager was apologetic as he explained that the finest merchandise had been hidden away in mountain caves in Kyoto, but if Max would only return in three days there would be something to show him.

    Three days later, Max returned to the store and was again led upstairs.  He was greeted with an array of items laid out before him- jewelry, fabric, paintings and crafts.  Max chose things his wife would like: some silk brocades, paintings and a jade.  Max had no idea as to the value of these items, whatever amount the manager asked for he readily gave from the stack of bills in his pocket.

    Max is now 99 years old.  Many adventures later, the items he purchased so long ago are still decorating his modest apartment.

    Tokuriki Tomikichiro, 12 Months of Japan

    White Jade Buddhist Carp


  • Family

    Mary Au

    Vladimir Golikoff, Russian tea merchant. Father of Mary and Paul.

    Liang Oei Lin Born 1906, Hankow. Mother of Mary Au.

    Liang Oei Lin with Mary and Paul.

    Mary Au and Paul Vladimir Huang with their step-father, Captain Wong You Zee. They are on his ship which plied the Yangtze River.

    Mary Au (left) with friend. Shanghai or Hankow.

    Mary Au. Shanghai or Hankow.

    Mary Au. Shanghai, 1940's.

  • Heirlooms

    于右任 Yu Youren

    Yu was a scholar of calligraphy and is regarded as one China’s modern masters. His works in cursive and semi-cursive manner are intensely animated. He is perhaps best known for his calligraphy and published related works on the topic. Because his later years were spent in Taiwan, his writing style is very popular and his works are considered very desirable by collectors. Yu completed numerous inkworks, stone carvings, and title plaques while living in Taipei including works for the National Museum of History, Din Tai Fung, Xingtiang Temple, and the Shilin Official Residence.

  • Heirlooms

    Tokuriki Tomikichiro

    Tokuriki Tomikichiro 徳力富吉郎

    Print artist. Tokuriki was born in Kyoto, where he has always worked. The last of a long line of traditional-style painters, he turned early to woodblock prints and became a leader of the Kyoto ‘Sosaku Hanga’. He graduated from the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts and then from the Kyoto City Specialist School of Painting in 1924. In 1928 he studied ‘Nihonga’ painting under Tsuchida Bakusen (1887-1936) and Yamamoto Shunkyo (1871-1933) and exhibited with Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai, but about the same time in 1929 he changed to woodblock printing under the influence of Hiratsuka Un’ichi and began to contribute to the early print magazine ‘Han’. He was a member of Nihon Hanga Kyokai from 1932, and active in promoting ‘Sosaku Hanga’ in Kyoto. He was a co-founder of the Kyoto magazine ‘Taishu hanga’ in 1932, which helped create the sense of a local school of the Creative Print Movement much encouraged by Hiratsuka. He produced many sets of prints before and during the Pacific War based on traditional subjects, such as ‘Shin Kyoto fukei’ (‘New View of Kyoto’, 1933-4), which also included designs by Asada Benji (q.v.) and Asano Takeji (b.1900), and ‘Tokyo hakkei’ (‘Eight Views of Tokyo’, 1942). Most of these were published by Uchida of Kyoto, but after the war Tokuriki set up his own publishing company called Matsukyu, which also began to teach block-carving to artisans and artists, in later years many of them foreigners. In 1948 he also set up a sub-company called Koryokusha consisting of artists who would produce their prints under the financial umbrella of Matsukyu. Later sets include ‘Hanga Kyoto hyakkei’ (‘One Hundred Print Views of Kyoto’, 1975). Tokuriki has continued to be active in teaching and writing, producing a long series of articles on print techniques in ‘Hanga geijutsu’ magazine during the 1970s.

    一月 January

    Ise Ujihashi Bridge

    二月 February

    Kasuga Shrine in Nara

    三月 March

    Kagoshima Shiroyama

    四月 April

    Mount Fuji in Clouds

    五月 May

    Niju-Bashi Bridge

    六月 June

    Nikko Toshogu Shrine

    七月 July

    Tago Bay

    八月 August

    Suwa Kintaikyo Bridge

    九月 September

    Ohmi Katata Ukimido Temple

    十月 October

    Fuji from Akinono

    十一月 November


    十二月 December

    Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto

  • Heirlooms

    區建公 Au Kin Kung




  • Heirlooms

    周世聪 Madame Chow Sai-chung


  • Jingdezhen

    Chinese Cones

    I can't but help think my cones are giving me the finger..

  • Jingdezhen

    Gaolin Mountain

    The traditional source of Kaolin clay used in Chinese porcelain is Gaolin mountain.  There’s actually not much to see at the park there- all the kaolin clay was mined out a very long time ago.  But the mountain itself is beautiful, and the nearby villages still offer a glimpse into “old China”.

    The village at Kaolin mountain.

    Although there’s not much to see related to ceramic history, the mountain is beautiful.

    One of the old mine shafts at Kaolin mountain.

    A waterwheel fed by one of the mountain streams.

    The old village is quaint and peaceful.

    Traditional houses are found in the smaller villages around Kaolin mountain.

  • Porcelain Body

    Natural Quarts and Mica additions to porcelain

    Test of adding natural quartz and mica to porcelain.

    Porcelain is Taida 609 fired to 1310 celsius in reduction.

    Top row: 5, 10, 15, 20% addition of silica to 100g porcelain slip
    Bottom row: 5, 10, 15, 20% addition of mica to 100g porcelain slip


    The natural quartz has a ton of impurities. Also I did not consistently grind or filter the quartz. Addition of quartz impedes translucency.


    I’m not sure exactly what type of mica I used. However, it seems pretty clean and of uniform particle size. Didn’t notice translucency affected much. The last tile is a little thicker than the others so appears more opaque.


  • Uncategorized

    CGGHZ Chinese Glazes Guan Hangzhou p82

    Chinese Glazes Hangzhou Guan Glazes

    Table 29 p269

    CGGHZ 1
    PF 27
    CC 21
    QU 29
    Wh 18.5
    DO 3
    RIO .5
    BA 1.0

    CGGHZ 2
    PF 30.5
    CC 18.5
    QU 27
    WH 19
    DO 3
    RIO .5
    BA 0.7

    CGGHZ 3
    PF 24
    CC 25.5
    QU 28.5
    WH 18
    DO 3
    RIO .6

    CGGHZ 4
    PF 31
    CC 22
    QU 25
    WH 16.5
    DO 4.0
    RIO .5
    MD 0.2

    2013/05/13 1270C reduction, sub .3 YIO for RIO






  • Photos


  • Techniques

    Omega HH506RA Pyrometer

    In the future I’ll be adding articles to this website.  The first article that came to mind was a review of an excellent pyrometer I recently purchased, the Omega HH506RA.

    Omega HH506RA Dual Input, High Accuracy Datalogger/Thermometer ($199USD)

    I was looking for a thermometer to use primarily with my gas kiln, preferably a portable version that i could easily detach and use with other kilns in my workshop.

    My main requirements were:

    • At least two inputs for the two thermocouples (top & bottom) in my gas kiln.
    • Multiple thermocouple types.  I fire the gas kiln to cone 9-12 so prefer S-type thermocouples for their greater accuracy (0 to 1600°C continuous temperature range) and longevity.  But for my cheap bisque electric kiln I use K-type thermocouples (0 to +1100°C).
    • Real-time datalogging using a serial or USB cable which can be connected to a computer.  Ideally, the data should be transmitted in a non-propriety format which can be read directly from the port or from a simple text file.  (Logging is important as I’m also helping a ceramicist friend who wants to view firing data from his kilns while he’s out of town.)
    • Dual voltage, or preferably battery operated.
    • Rugged housing, solid build quality.

    Fluke offers the Series II Model 52 which has two inputs and datalogging.  However, from reading the manual it seems that the data can only be viewed on the computer through Fluke’s proprietary FlukeView Forms software, adding at least another hundred dollars (for the basic version) to the over $300USD cost of the thermometer.

    After looking through the Clayart mailing list archives I started looking into Omega thermometers.  Omega’s website ( can be quite confusing due to the abundance of options available, but after much searching it seemed that the Omega HH506RA would meet all my requirements.  A quick response from Omega support confirmed everything I needed to get things working.

    • Omega HH506RA Thermometer ($199) 2-Channel Temperature Measuring, 7 Thermocouple Types , Triple Display with Setable Backlight , Triple Display with Setable Backlight , Save Data (128 Samples with Real-Time Data), Datalogging (16 Sets, Max 1024 Data Capacity), Time, Record Interval, APO Time Setting , Software Package Included (RS232C Cable and Disk, Model HH506RA Only), °C/°F Switchable , 0.1 Resolution , Water/Splash Resistant, NEMA-4X,, Dustproof
    • Accessory HH506RA-USB-SW ($30) USB cable and software for Win98/NT/2000. The HH506RA already comes with software and a RS232 cable.  But a lot of computers don’t even have RS232 ports anymore, so I added the USB cable.
    • Miniature Thermocouple Connectors Flat Pin  (Part number SMPW-K-M for K-type, SMPW-R/S-MF for S-type.) You will need one male connector for each type of themocouple you’ll be using.  The connectors are easily be attached to the ends of thermocouple wires and then plugged into the thermometer.  I purchased two S-type connectors for the gas kiln and two K-type connectors for the electric bisque kiln.
    • R and S Type Thermocouple Extension Wire  I already had thermocouples and wire.  But if you need to purchase the wire, Omega sells it in a minimum of 25′ rolls.  Part number EXTT-RS-20-25.


    As I mentioned, I already had thermocouples and wire.  So all I had to do was attach the thermocouple wires to the Omega connectors and then insert into the thermometer.  I was concerned that simply adding the Omega connectors and thermometer would lead to accuracy problems due to the length and gauge of the wire not being matched to the thermometer.  After many tests against my old pyrometer and cone firings, I was happy to find that the Omega is very accurate.

    As you can see in the above picture, my thermocouple wires are thick-gauge, much thicker than the Omega connectors are designed to be used with.  But they work together just fine, even though the connector covers cannot be used.  Thermocouple inputs and USB/RS232 input are all located at the top of the unit.  The display is quite clear and has an illuminated display.  Thermometer controls are fairly easy to figure out.  You need to adjust the settings to match your setup.  As you can see in the display, the current reading is 9°CS, C representing Celsius and S representing the type of thermocouple.  Mismatching the thermocouple type with thermometer settings will give incorrect readings.

    Output from the HH506RA using the Omega software

    The USB cable is easily connected to a computer.  The Windows software is quite old but simple to install and run.  The dual temperature displays and temperature difference display are very nice, but unfortunately I’ve found the graphing function unusable.  Fortunately, the simple tab-delimited text file output of the Omega software is easily imported into spreadsheet applications like Excel and Google Docs.

    Using Excel with Omega temperature output

    The Omega temperature output file as viewed in Excel and simple text (above).

    Using Google Docs

    Below, the file after being uploaded to Google Docs and viewed in a simple Line Chart.  The same could be done in Excel.
    By the way, the above graph shows my firing schedule.  This instance isn’t a particularly good firing.  Slow rise first hour to get rid of moisture, fairly fast to 800, from 800-900°C soak with slight pressure for a couple hours until kiln evens out, begin reduction just after with gradual decrease as reaching temperature, soak for another hour until Chinese cone 9 drops (about 1310°C), crash cool with full open damper until 900°C.  It’s a ten (in this case, twelve) hour firing but doesn’t take a lot of gas due to the three or more hours of relaxed soaking.


    At $199USD the Omega HH506RA thermometer is an excellent value.  I’ve already used it for a year and haven’t had any problems.  It’s built solidly and the original 9v battery hasn’t died yet.  I really like the display on the computer monitor, especially the difference between the two thermocouple readings.  It would be nice if Omega had better software for looking at graphs, but since the files are easily imported into Excel this isn’t much of an issue.
  • Craft


    It’s said that you can tell how long a foreigner has been in China by the number of appearances they have on Chinese television.  I’m not doing well, I guess, because I’ve only been in one documentary.

    “China · porcelain” is a documentary about the fascinating history of Chinese export porcelain in the Ming and Qing dynasties, including Chinese porcelain’s influence on world trade, culture, and the economy.
  • Glazes

    The Glaze Sprayer Maker

    Some of the tinsmith's tools

    Templates for glaze canisters

    Each type of glaze canister has a specific application, from spraying large sculptures to detailed underglaze application.