Shino Glazes Panel Discussion

What’s black and white and red all over? Or maybe gray and orange with black spots? Or just white with pinholes?

Prized for its beauty and challenges, Shino glazes may be all or none of the above! Join our panel discussion on July 12th, to hear from five experienced potters about their work chasing the mysteries and wondrous effects of Shino glazes.

The audience is invited to participate in a “pop-up” show by bringing their own Shino ware to illustrate the range of this glaze type, and to complement the Sandy Spring Museum Exhibition, “Inspired by Malcolm.”

With roots in 16th century Japan, Shino glazes were made with local feldspar and clay, and have been described as a fat, white glaze with a soft sheen, often marked with pinholes and crawling. Such glaze “defects” add to the character of the ware, prized for the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-Sabi – the beauty of things imperfect and incomplete, and integral to the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Today’s potters mostly work with American Shino glazes, first developed at the University of Minnesota after a challenge from Warren MacKenzie: “Match the Japanese Shino glaze with American materials!” In 1974, graduate student Virginia Wirt experimented with the addition of soda ash and spodumene to the classic feldspar/clay mix, and the American carbon-trapping Shino was born.

Shinos are both “stable and unpredictable.” While today, many different recipes are available, including Malcolm Davis Shino, the outcome even with the same glaze formulation depends on many things. As Davis wrote, there are endless variables – from the clay body (stoneware or porcelain), to the bisque temperature (C/012 or C/04), to the kind of water used, to the thickness of the pots, to the thickness of the glaze, to the length of dry time before firing, to …. Shall we agree it’s endless?

Further, as a potter or a collector, what is it that you like? Orange, white, gray, black or red? Satin or glossy? What forms are you drawn to?
This Shino panel will illustrate a range of work by potters using Shinos today.

Shino Glazes Panelists