Tag Archives: glazing

D.Michael Coffee..Colorado Ceramic Artist



Shino tea bowlShino over Alberta Slip Tea Cup — Michael Coffee


Shino teabowl textural finishMichael Coffee — Carbon Trap Shino Teabowl textural finish


Michael Coffee appears to be very mindful of the Eastern philosophies and attitudes regarding art when he his creating  ceramics. This is encapsulated in his article on the process of creating his works for ” my Special Offering to the Tea Community” …..

” The pieces were Created, Bisqued Fired, Glazed and finally given over to the potential calamity of the violent inferno of the Kiln. All these steps come with a certain level of anticipation and forward visioning, even though I’ve spent decades practicing the discipline to not envision a specific result, it’s hard not too.

The Glaze Firing went well, and despite my attempts to suspend a vision of the work inside the kiln, I was viewing finished works in my head. Upon opening the long cooling kiln I was again, as always surprised. I had visions of pieces with a more “graphic” visual and tactile presence. The kiln had other “visions.”

The kiln’s “vision” was to cause a kind of “forced restraint” upon the work in this firing. I liked the works before me, still too hot to touch, I had time to think. I was being reminded of a valuable lesson as well as being reminded of a short book I read over 30 years ago on Aesthetics, “In Praise of Shadows.”

“In Praise of Shadows”, was written by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki and was originally published in 1933 in Japanese and later translated to English in 1977. The essay consists of 16 sections that discuss traditional Japanese aesthetics in contrast with change. Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Asian cultures.

The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety. In addition to contrasting light and dark, Tanizaki further considers the layered tones of various kinds of shadows and their power to reflect low sheen materials like gold embroidery, patina and cloudy crystals.

The works being offered here require close study to fully appreciate the depth of nuance in the glaze finish. They don’t shout their presence, they are comfortable in the realm of the intimate object. ( see above )

Who is Michael Coffee :


With over 30 years of combined experience in architecture, ceramics and fine art printmaking, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Professional Artist, D. Michael Coffee, has amassed an extensive body of original functional and sculptural ceramics and hand-pressed “Reductive Ink” monoprints.

Coffee’s Shino, Ash and Tenmoku glazed stoneware of  Chawan, Yunomi, Guinomi and Mizusashi are highly collected by practitioners and enthusiasts worldwide. Coffee’s sculptural and functional ceramics are included in hundreds of prestigious public and private collections throughout the world, and have been shown in numerous solo and invitational exhibitions.
” All works of art that I offer in my shop are handmade solely by myself in my studio located in Pagosa Springs, CO. I work independently without the aid of assistants.  Coffee has been interested in ceramics since high school, where he served as a teaching assistant firing kilns, mixing glazes, and teaching himself to throw on the potter’s wheel. Although driven by an artist’s leanings, he chose to enter school to study Architecture.

In 1994 Coffee would finally return to ceramics, where he started twenty-five years earlier to fully realize true artistic freedom. He was clearly at the place in his artistic journey where he felt the most comfortable and inspired. He was finally able to work from pure instinct and intuition, honed from decades of study in design and aesthetics. He was able to work with materials that were simple, yet offered endless possibilities.

For D. Michael Coffee, limits don’t appear to exist. Every firing provides a unique opportunity to learn, if even from the failures. It is hard to say what feeds Coffee’s own internal flames, other than an overwhelming desire to create.

Michael claims in his artistic statement :- ” Art is my passion and the true backbone of my existence. I have worked extensively in all types of media, including painting, wood, metal, glass, architecture, ceramics and printmaking. I cannot lay claim to any particular style or genre, as I am primarily interested in nonlinear paths of development in the objects I make. Each step of the art making process is part of a personal inner journey. The common thread that stitches my work together is an overriding desire to be surprised by the outcome, as though I wasn’t present during the process.

The art that I create is a product of a concerted effort to exploit my powers of informed intuition for the sheer joy of attempting to reach a “mindless mind” state of awareness. That moment, one nano second before clear cognition again takes over the creative process. For me, the challenge is to let go of predetermined understanding and foresight, and to work on developing my instincts. I strive to create outside of my conscious self, empowered by the strength of my intuition. I tend to select materials that are simple, so as not to become material bound. When I’m successful, the work I create truly represents the sum total of my life experiences and visual histories.

I am also interested in the aesthetic concept of Wabi Sabi, the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, incomplete, natural and unconventional. I believe that it is impossible to mindfully or intentionally create works that possess these characteristics. By applying my intuition and instincts, I hope to fend off the development of immunities to the fascinations that are right in front me. ”

Michael Coffee is also the  Co-Founder and Creative Director of  SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Coffee has been responsible for organizing, curating and installing over 20 fine art exhibitions over the course of the last five years.and has transformed SHY RABBIT into the region’s most important and innovative contemporary arts space.



Shino and Slip Glazed Stoneware Vase

Shino and Slip Glazed Stoneware Vase



Michael Coffee tea bowl

Michael Coffee tea bowl


Chawan Teabowl Michael CoffeeShino Glazed matcha chawan teabowl

D.Michael Coffee



Satin Celadon Glazed CHAWAN

Satin Celadon Glazed CHAWAN — D.Michael Coffee



Shino and Copper glazed Yunomi Tea CupShino and Copper glazed Yunomi Tea Cup — D.Michael Coffee



Red Tears Yunomi teacup
Red Tears Yunomi teacup

D.Michael Coffee


Yunomi TeacupYunomi Teacup – – D.Michael Coffee



Shino and Slip Glazed MATCHA CHAWAN

Shino and Slip Glazed Matcha Chawan Teabowl Tea Ceremony vessel

D.Michael Coffee



MATCHA CHAWAN TeabowlShino and Slip Glazed MATCHA CHAWAN Teabowl Tea Ceremony



Yunomi Cup — D.Michael Coffee



Traditional Glazing: David Fry explores ancient glazes of China, Japan & Korea



David Fry-Vase with a beautiful pale chun glaze and a splash of cooper red, with combed and drawing work beneath.

 Vase  with a beautiful pale chun glaze and a splash of copper red, with combed and drawing work beneath.

David Fry


For more than 37 years David Fry, has experimented with  recipies gleaned from the ancient glazing techniques  of the East. Combining extensive research and intuition he has successfully reproduced their form and styles. He has developed  a ‘Lang-Yao’ or  Flambé, a copper red glaze, a rich blue ‘Jun’, a green Celadon, and a Black ‘Tea Dust’ Tenmoku along with  Shino and Wood Ash glazes.

Using a 40 cu.ft gas fired kiln,  which he built himself,  his prime firing technique is “Reduction” firing. ie. he reduces the amount of oxygen entering the kiln and  introduces wood to to create a smokey atmosphere at the end of the firing process. All his glazes contain some wood ash, which are utilised to introduce Phosphorous and Calcium. ( absent form standard glaze materials.) This wood ash is obtained from burning recycled wood and hedge cuttings ( Wild Rose & Hawthorne ). Each pot is overlayed with up to 5 glazes to enhance their colour depth and variety of colour mixes.  The firing takes about 24 hours, where a temperauture of 1340C is reached , followed by a cooling stage of 48 hours. During the cooling stage , changes still occur in the colour tones of the glaze as the crystals oxidise. Some of his glazes have a crackle pattern within  the glaze structure, much loved by collectors of Oriental ceramics.

David claims that “my glazes or materials do not contain any toxic materials, and the  glazes have  a high percentage of Silica and Alumina being fired at high stoneware temperatures. The principle fluxing element in my glazes is Calcium combined with smaller amounts of Potassium, Sodium and Magnesium. Therefore my work is safe for the user, the maker, and the environment .The colours of my glazes come from very small amounts of copper and iron in the glaze mix – reduced copper turns red and iron blue/green.”

David Fry is currently based in a sudio at the new Arts Centre in Newcastle, Britain.  He is continuing his quest to discover more exciting colours and textures,  drawing his inspiration from the endless variety of unique outcomes he attains from his combination of glaze mixtures and firing methods.


ancient ceramic glazes by David Fry - copper red glaze overlaid with ash and iron.

8″ dia. jar , copper red glaze overlaid with ash and iron.



David-Fry-bowl polychrome glaze bowl

 Current work – David Fry




David-Fry-pottery pressed platter, with a gold Shino and copper red glaze.

14″ sq. pressed platter, with a gold Shino and copper red glaze.

David Fry


Selection of stoneware tiles by David Fry

Stoneware tiles –David Fry




shaped vase rich mix of wood ash and iron over a copper red glaze - David Fry

 Shaped vase 9″ high, in a rich mix of wood ash and iron over a copper red glaze – David Fry




Woodfired ceramic vessel by David Fry light olive green with orange motifsWoodfired ceramic vessel with twin handles – David Fry





Rolled and pressed clay dish with a rather nice chun and iron glaze by David Fry

 Square dish rolled and pressed clay with a rather nice chun and iron




David Fry polychrome glazed vessel - green, brown, red highlights

David Fry footed bowl




David Fry red Inglewood Jar

The Inglewood Jar. on display at Hutton in the Forest



 Jar with handles, with a copper red glaze overlaid with wood ash.

Jar with handles, with a copper red glaze overlaid with wood ash to get a nice run.




lavender and green colour glaze pencil pot - David Fry

Pencil Pot – David Fry



David Fry vase gold and orange glaze

Small bottle vase – David Fry




David-Fry jar

David Fry jar



twin handled vase with overlaid glaze by David Fry

Double handled vase with overlaid drip glaze – David Fry




glazed plate by David Fry with red-purple-blue and green glaze

Polychrome plate – David Fry



Square dish with abstract design by David Fry

Square dish – David Fry



photo-Chris Madge-with David Fry

David Fry having a sitting with Chris Madge




David Fry display at Potfest 2013


prague2010 David Fry red ceramic bottle with flared rim

 Red Ceramic bottle – David Fry




David-Fry-ceramic vase

 David Fry current work




david-fry-cup white with a blue rim and green and pink motif

David Fry footed cup, blue rim



rich glazed vase in red and blue- David Fry

 David Fry footed vase, UK



See more at www.davidfryceramics.com

The magic of Moorcroft

Moorcroft poppy series

I have always loved Moorcroft designs, they are very distinctive and usually charactarized  by an Art Nouveau influence , especially their hand decorated Florian Ware. William Moorcroft’s first production was in 1897 when he was working for James McIntyre  The flambe, high temperature glazing techniques he pioneered with his father produced rich, deep and vibrant colours.In 1905 he established his own business and production flourished.

Moorcroft ware is aimed at the luxury end of the collector and gift markets, and are regarded  as a worthy acquisition. They have a high secondary market value. In the sphere of collecting they always perform solidly and some pieces have appreciated in value by 50% in 6 years. The fact that they are hand crafted and possess distinct  individuality maintains their ongoing appeal.

The Victoria & Albert museum has joined many other national museums in holding significant pieces of Moorcroft pottery in their permanent collections.

Maureen & Hugh Edwards currently have had  sole ownership of Moorcroft since 1993 and they support the strong design ethic of  this unique company.

Over the past nine years Moorcroft’s international profile has grown enormously, both in quality and in perceived value.

Auctioneers Christies hold a dedicated Moorcroft sale each year.

 Moorcroft Anna Lily Vase

.Moorcroft pomegranate vaseMoorcroft  “Pomegranate”


Hibiscus Cobalt Vase

QueensChoiceSpecial Queen’s Choice Special. Designed by Emma Bossons


  Moorcroft Mayfly vase
Moorcroft  Mayfly vase
Handpaint Moorcroft "Tiger Lily" plate Hand painted Moorcroft “Tiger Lily ” vase

Moorcroft Moonlight Blue vaseMoorcroft Moonlight Blue Vase

Moorcroft Hand Painted Clematis tube lined plate

Green Glaze Mushrooms

Flambe Fresia  12.5 inches tall

Designed by Beverly Wilkes


Beverley Wilkes design ( Denhams )