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Virtual – Shino: An American Translation of a Japanese Glaze

Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Five master potters, experienced in working with Shino glazes, will discuss the fascination and mystery – the challenges and difficulties – of the Ancient Japanese glaze and the updated American versions. Shino glazes, described as a white glaze with a soft sheen often marked with pinholes and crawling, originated in 16th century Japan. While some may regard pinholes and crawling as glaze “defects,” under the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi – the beauty of things imperfect and incomplete – they became prized traits that added to the character of the work. It was not until 1974 that the American Shino was created by Virginia Wirt, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota.  (Malcolm Davis worked with American Shino).

What are the differences between Japanese and American Shinos? Why are there so many formulas? How do Shino glazes react to different firing techniques? Listen in as our panelists discuss the answers to these questions and much more.


  • Joe Hicks (panel moderator): Associate Professor of Fine Art at Marymount University, Joe was hired to develop a ceramics program for the Department of Fine Arts. The program has grown from two introductory ceramics courses to a full Ceramics Minor.
  • Kevin Crowe: Based in the Blue Ridge Foothills in Virginia, Kevin produces wood-fired functional stoneware with strong Asian and English roots.
  • Jim Dugan: After a decade as Wood Fired Kiln Manager and a Resident Artist at Baltimore Clayworks, Jim now manages the wood kilns at Monocacy River Pottery.
  • John Jessiman: Founder and Director of Cub Creek Foundation, a residency program for emerging clay artists.
  • Loren Scherbak: Loren has been using clay for 45 years and is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint by using local materials and fewer chemicals.

For accommodation requests, please contact the museum via email or at 301-774-0022.

Inspired by Malcolm: A Passion for Shino is sponsored in part by Judith Davis, Montgomery Potters, District Clay Center, Baltimore Clayworks, and The Clay Co-Op.

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