Rachael Radford on Jul 15, 2016
Working with Brenna was incredible! I custom ordered three canisters in different glazes instead of a matching set. They are stunning, exactly as I'd hoped and were here so quickly! I can't wait to get mugs next. Thank you Brenna!
I design and create a line of crystalline glazed porcelain ware that embodies a sense of play within a paradigm of precision.
Brenna McBroom is a functional ceramist from Asheville, North Carolina. Raised in northeast Florida, Brenna began throwing on the wheel in January of 2008. Weekly classes soon led to intensive self study and an Independent Study Project through New College of Florida in the spring of 2009. In the spring of 2010, Brenna traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts to study and work with artist Judy Motzkin, and in the fall of 2010 she relocated from Jacksonville, Florida to Asheville, North Carolina in order to become involved in a vibrant ceramics community. In the fall of 2011, Brenna took part in a ceramics apprenticeship with ceramic artist Dale Donovan focusing on crystalline glazing and fell in love with the process. She is currently producing a body of functional and decorative crystalline glazed work.
Brenna produces vases, mugs, teapots, canister sets, cremation urns, and mini-bowls.
About the Process:
Good crystalline glazing is a balancing act between glaze composition, firing schedule, glaze thickness, pot shape, and pedestal construction. When all of these factors are aligned, the crystalline glazes sing. But knock one factor out of alignment by only a small margin, and the results can be terrible: no crystals, ugly rough crystals, broken pieces, bizarre colors, or strange surface bumps.
To achieve the two-dimensional crystals you see on the surfaces of these pots, I mix several glaze ingredients together in very precise ratios. The two important ingredients are zinc oxide and silica; these two minerals combine during the firing to form zinc silicate crystals.
Once the glaze has been mixed, I apply two to three thick coats to every piece using a large Japanese style paintbrush. Crystalline glazes are very runny when fired, so after the glazing process each piece is a glued to a pedestal designed to catch the runoff glaze. Next the pieces are loaded into the kiln and fired to approximately 2330 degrees Fahrenheit. I hold the kiln at this temperature for about thirty minutes. Next, I program the kiln to drop to ~2000 degrees Fahrenheit and hold for two hours. This is the primary crystal growing period. A few more programmed temperature fluctuations, and the kiln shuts off.
After allowing the kiln to cool naturally, I unload the pieces and tap the pedestals firmly on the ground to separate them from the pots. Once the pieces have cooled completely, I grind the bases with a bench grinder and again with a rotating silicon carbide disc. Finally, the pieces are carefully washed and dried before being priced, photographed, and sold.
Around the web
Owner, Maker, Designer, Ceramic Artist
At 18 I discovered wheel thrown pottery and quickly realized that I wanted to make pots full time. At 20 I saw my first crystalline glazed pot and fell in love. And that, as they say, was that.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards