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Day 73: 100 Pots in 100 Days


Day 73: 100 Pots in 100 days

Nearly 3/4 of the way! We have raised over £300 towards the website – exact figures coming next week.


Not quite £3000 but a tenth of the way is better than a kick up the bottom.


Perhaps I will get a sudden influx of people wanting to win one of the pots when they can see them glazed?? Ever the optimist!


Today I made slip with my father. I have to admit to yelling at him as he tried to do it for me. Sometimes I am like a grumpy teenager but he was his usual patient and charming self and we got through with me humbly begging for forgiveness and him blaming my bad mood on hormones – he is probably right.


I have made lots of bottles of slip ready to add exciting things to so that I can create wonderful colours. I am very excited. I am even going to make some terra sigillata which I hope to burnish. I am going to add iron and use terracotta clay to make orange. terra sigillata is a bit like the cream on the top of the milk and is made of the finest particles. That wording was from my beloved. Thank you Mike.


I also played with a ceramic underglaze pencil!! I had been wanting to try tangling on a pot and bought this pencil to see if it worked. I started my first tangle today with this pencil. I then, for the blog, did a bit of research as I thought you might enjoy seeing how it was done. Low and behold the woman (sorry american voice) was talking about entangling with the same pencil! Well blow me down with a feather duster. 


I have thrown two pots with the specific intention of using the slip. I will put them on my blog along with photographs of the slip, the ceramic pencil on a biscuit pot and a photograph of my dog as well – because everyone enjoys a good pet photo.

Love to all from grumpy Holmes


So I learnt about making slip today and using ceramic underglaze pencils. This is what I found out…

Ceramic Pencils

Underglaze Decorating Pencils are ideal for shading, fine line drawing or identification. You apply the underglaze pencil to bisque ware to create a variety of unique decorative designs. After decorating, dust lightly with a brush to remove excess particles. Sponge on first coat of clear glaze lightly in order not to smear design – some people use hair spray or a gum as a wash on the design to fix it. Let dry and brush additional coats of clear transparent glaze. The maximum firing temperature is cone 10 for blue, black, and green, cone 5 for brown and yellow, and cone 05 for rose. Unlike regular pencils–care must be taken in sharpening Underglaze Pencils. Do NOT use a pencil sharpener. It is best to sharpen them with a knife or blade. All colors are AP Certified Non-Toxic, except for blue.

Making Slip

First you mix up the slip. I have been collecting the clay from the wheel as I clean it. I have two big buckets. One with white stoneware and one with toasted stoneware.

After mixing I sieved the slip through a 40 mesh sieve and then through an 80. There was very little in both.

I then filled 10 bottles, and 10 jars with white and toasted stoneware slip ready to add things to or make into terra sigillata 

Top tips so far?

  • Mix well to start
  • Make sure you put any jugs or mixing things on a clean cloth or board as you do not want to add dirt into the mix once sieved
  • this process is long and you are just at the start – be patient

Pot of the Day Process Gallery


Clay type: White stoneware

Turned and decorated

Decoration: This is a plain cup with a bit of a fancy handle - still extruded but I added and curly bit on the back of the handle.

Biscuit Fired

Kiln: ?
Programme: ?Temperature: ?
Duration: ?
Date: ?


Oxide: ?
Slip: ?
Glaze: ?
Kiln: ?
Temperature: ?
Date: ?

Win a pot from the 100 days

To enter the draw to win one of the 4 best pots, as chosen by Chris Jessop at SANHS, please donate using either Facebook, the donate box or directly to the office.

Donate and join the raffle through the SANHS Website. You can take a look at the reason why we are raising this money!

Click on the picture below to get to the donate button on the SANHS website. Don’t forget to share so other people can join in the raffle and help us raise money.

Or donate through our Facebook Fundraiser

You can do this by clicking the picture below. There you will find a post at the top of the page which will enable you to donate directly to facebook. Don’t forget to like our page. You will then find out what is going at Kenley and at SANHS.

Or donate directly to the office either by visiting us or you can post us a cheque or use the phone.

Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton TA2 6SF 

Telephone 01823 272429 

The SANHS office is normally open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Why not become a member? We always need volunteers to support us to protect our heritage.