Glazing with Duncan Renaissance Glazes – Part One: Antique Celadon


Hello! Welcome to my new blog series on glazing tips.

I’m starting with Duncan Renaissance Glazes. I love these glazes! I stumbled across them a while ago, I don’t remember when exactly, and I don’t remember how I found them, but I’m so glad I did. They’re user-friendly, they brush on so easy. I like glazes that are easy to use and consistent, and this glaze is one of them.

These glazes vary, depending on the thickness you use, whether it has texture or not, and how much texture it has. The more texture, the better it looks. Where you place it in the kiln, makes a difference also. Pieces placed at or near the bottom of the kiln are greener, darker and react more with the texture. The pieces at or near the top of the kiln are lighter and don’t usually have a rustic look. I also think it depends on the brushes you use as well.


I use fan brushes for most of my pieces. I use a small brush for the rims, edges and for detail work. For small pieces like ornaments, I use a small fan brush or a small brush, when I run out of clean fan brushes.

As you can see from the photo above, my bird ornament is lighter than my birdie bowl. It has less texture then the birdie bowl, there are several areas on the ornament that have no texture at all, verses the birdie bowl which is completely covered with texture and it was placed at the top of my kiln.

Before I start glazing, I apply wax resist on the bottom of my ornaments, and then I go up the sides just a little, so the glaze doesn’t go all the way to the bottom. I apply three light coats on the top only, and two light coats on the sides. I don’t want any drips or any ornaments sticking to my shelves. When I fire my ornaments. I place them on kiln stilts to raise them up off the shelf.


I apply wax resist to the bottoms of my birdie bowls. Then brush on three coats of glaze on the top, and bottoms except for a small area where the wax resist is. I have several sizes of fan brushes and usually use one of the smaller ones. Then I use a regular small brush for the edges.


As you can see from this photo, the green bird ornaments all look-alike for the most part. The butterflies look darker…they have more texture, and they were placed toward the bottom of my kiln.


This photo shows you the difference between a textured surface verses a non-textured surface and kiln placement. The small bowl at the top of the photo was placed at the bottom or near the bottom  and has no texture. The leaf bowl was placed near the top of my kiln and has a little texture.

This is what the glaze looks like on my non-textured ruffle rim bowls. The bottoms were waxed with wax resist and then three coats were applied to the bottoms, inside and rims. They were placed near the bottom of my kiln.

This heart dish was glazed with three coats of glaze on the bottom and top, using a smaller fan brush, and three coats on the sides/edge with a small brush, after it was waxed, like the birdie bowls. This one looks like it was placed near or at the top of my kiln.

The green leaf magnets were glazed like my bird ornaments, three light coats on the top and two coats on the sides. They were fired toward the top of my kiln, see how light they are. The maple leaves were glazed with three coats and are usually placed in the middle of my kiln.

This is one of my handmade dinnerware collections called Lake House, formally known as Brooklawn Park. This glaze loves texture, it makes Lake House look fabulous!

Each piece is slightly different, and completely covered in texture.

I use a large fan brush on the plates and a medium size one for the bowls. They all have three coats of glaze on the bottom (except where I waxed with wax resist), and the top and I apply three coats on the rims with a small brush.

This is another one of my handmade dinnerware collections called Tropical Breeze. They’re glazed just like Lake House, three coats on all sides. But it looks different. The glaze pools in between the raised lines.

Vintage Cottage is another one of my handmade dinnerware collections. As you can see from the photo, the plates were fired near the bottom of the kiln and the bowl was fired near the top. The plates are more rustic looking. I love this glaze!

I hope this has been helpful.

I think part two will be – Vintage Blue

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time! 

Vintage Cottage Dinnerware


This is my Vintage Cottage Collection

It’s handmade…one piece at a time. Each piece is slightly different, making each one unique and different. I go into more detail in this post…


The top plate was glazed in…Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Sienna Speckle


This one was glazed in…Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Galze Deep Olive Speckle


This one was glazed in…Deep Firebrick by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Firebrick


And these are the plates that were purchased for the Tropical Smoothie Cafes…photo shoot. You can read more about it here…

There’s so many other glazes…I want to try. I guess I’ll have to make lots of little plates and do some glaze testing.








Work in progress!


I haven’t decided what to do with this design…yet!

When I started making these plates, I put the design on the bottom…because I wanted a smooth clean surface on the top of the plate, for food. But now, I think I might put the design on the top as well. People can choose which one they like better, or they can mix and match. For example…a dinner plate with the design on the bottom, side plate with the design on the top, and bread and butter plate with the design on the bottom, or the other way around. A dinner plate with the design on the top, side plate plain and bread and butter plate with the design on the top. I think that would be cute!


I’m not sure what colors I’ll glaze them in yet…either?

I’ll have to make a bunch of little plates and do some glaze testing to see how they come out, especially with the plates that have the design on the top. I’ll have to use a transparent glaze or at least a glaze that works well with texture.


I really like this design.

I’m not sure what to call it though? I was thinking about calling it Cobblestone, but I’m not sure? What do you think I should call them?



This glaze is called…Deep Olive Speckle


It’s another great glaze by Potters Choice. It’s easy to use, brushes on nicely and is very consistent. I haven’t had any problems with it…at all! And it’s fantastic with texture. You can see every single detail. I really like that!


It’s definitely a keeper!

PC 29 PC 41

A while ago, I purchased two bottles of PC -41 Vert Lustre…mainly because it looked like a really nice dark green. It’s another great glaze by Potters Choice. It brushes on really nice, and it fires well…but it’s really difficult to photograph because it’s so glossy. If you don’t need to take photos, then it’s great!

After working with clay for almost 25 years, I’m getting a little picky with my glazes. They have to brush on easy (if I’m not dipping), they have to be consistent, and they have to photograph well. That’s really important if you sell online. You need good photos. So, if a glaze doesn’t photograph well…it’s gone!

I wasn’t pleased with myself for purchasing two bottles, I usually only buy one bottle at a time when trying out a new glaze. So, I decided to layer it with another glaze and see how that would work out.

I choose to layer it with Deep Olive Speckle. 


Now, this is much better! I can photograph it…Yay!

The color is a little different from the test piece by Potters Choice, I kind of like this color better. It’s different because Potters Choice used 2 coats of Deep Olive Speckle and then 2 coats of Vert Lustre on top…four coats total. Four coats scare me, I think that’s a little too much glaze. I don’t want drips (I hate drips), and I don’t want the glaze to run onto my shelf. So, I used 2 coats of Deep Olive Speckle and 1 coat of Vert Lustre on top…three coats total. I like it! I think I’ll keep it. What do you think?

I think I’ll call this color…Pacific Pine


Here’s a close-up view


After trying it out on some leaves, I wanted to see how it reacted with texture. So, I tried it out on a couple of Birdie Bowls. You can see the texture through the glaze, but not as clearly as if it were just Deep Olive Speckle. That’s because Deep Olive Speckle is a translucent glaze and Vert Lustre isn’t. But, I like the way it looks. What do you think? 


Here’s the other Birdie Bowl. There’s still some glare from the glossy glaze though. I’ll have to do some extra photo editing the next time I use this glaze combination.

I think this color would be great around the holidays.

deep olive speckle2

Since that glaze combination went well, I think I’ll try these glaze combinations, and see what happens. My test pieces probably won’t look exactly like these, because I’m not using 4 coats. We’ll see what happens!

deep olive speckle

Hmmm…I have a lot of glaze testing to do!

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake2

Several months ago, I decided to create a new line of handmade dinnerware called “The Lake House Collection.” So far, there are 5 different designs, each with their own name.

Mirror Lake…which actually use to be called Brooklawn Park, is now part of The Lake House Collection. I think the swirling leaf design (reminiscent of reflected leaves in the swirling water) fits better in this collection.

mirror lake the lake house collection by melinda marie alexander from ravenhillpottery.etsy.comjpg


Echo Lake…will be dinnerware with no texture, in the same colors as Mirror Lake. I’m thinking about putting the swirling leaf design on the bottom of the plates, but I’m not sure yet. We’ll see how it goes.

Mystic Lake…will be all about the glaze. I’ll be experimenting with glaze combinations and hopefully I’ll be able to make some magic!

Shadow Lake…will have some kind of leaf design, not sure yet though. It might be a little more moody and darker in color? I still have to figure this one out.

Sunset Lake…will be autumn colors, with and without texture.

The names I choose for the collection, are names of real lakes in Massachusetts, where I’m from. I thought it would be really nice to name them after real lakes.

I’m really looking forward to making this collection.

Check out…The Lake House on Pinterest!

What do you think of my new collection?  


Glaze Combinations

PC glaze combinations3

Here’s some of the glaze combinations I’m wanting to try on my bottles and vases, especially the simple, clean line forms. However, I think these could look great on the pieces with the handles too. Here’s a look at the sketches from yesterday’s post, just in case you missed it.

#1 Seaweed over True Celadon is absolutely gorgeous

#2 Frosted Turquoise over True Celadon is wonderful

#3 Lustrous Jade over True Celadon is really nice

#4 Arctic Blue over True Celadon is nice

PC glaze combinations4

Oh, my goodness!

I feel like a kid in the candy store. I want to try every single one of these glaze combinations by Potters Choice. I can already see these glazes on my bottles and vases. And they would look great on dinnerware too. I love these! 

#1 Art Deco Green over True Celadon is absolutely gorgeous

#2 Umber Float over True Celadon is awesome

#3 Frosted Melon over True Celadon is so pretty

#4 Tourmaline over True Celadon is really nice

PC glaze combinations5

Oh, my word!

I am in love with #1, isn’t it gorgeous! I can definitely see that one on my bottles and vases. Oh, and dinnerware too! I think I’ll try that one first. I have to do more than one post on these glaze combinations, there’s so many gorgeous colors. Wait till you see the blues and browns.

#1 Frosted Turquoise over Dark Green is absolutely beautiful

#2 Light Sepia over Dark Green is awesome

#3 Smoked Sienna over Dark Green is really nice

#4 Tourmaline over Dark green is so pretty

PC glaze combinations

How about these glaze combinations? Wow!

#1 Lustrous Jade over Smokey Merlot is awesome

#2 Seaweed over Smokey Merlot is gorgeous

#3 Iron Lustre over Smokey Merlot is really nice

#4 Tourmaline over Smokey Merlot is so pretty

PC glaze combinations2

#1 Light Sepia over Smokey Merlot is really nice

#2 Deep Firebrick over Smokey Merlot is really nice

#3 Vert Lustre over Smokey Merlot is nice

#4 Toasted Sage over Smokey Merlot is so pretty

I’m really looking forward to trying these!

Which color combinations do you like?

Earthen Vessels


I was going through my old photos, and stumbled across some photos of bottles and vases I made a long time ago. I forgot all about these! These photos are of bisque fired pieces (they hadn’t been glazed yet.) Now I really want to make some new ones! 

I love making sassy handles!


I love this handle!


I love the shape of this one, and the handle! I’m really looking forward to making more of these. I’m planning on experimenting with different glazes, and doing some glaze combinations to see what kind of effects I’ll be able to achieve. It should be interesting!


This one is still in it’s bisque form. I haven’t decided what glaze to use on it, or maybe I’m just too afraid to glaze it. I just don’t know what to do with it yet! I think I’ll make mini versions of this, and test some glazes out on the little ones first. I think that’s a good idea!


What colors do you think I should make the new ones in?

What are your favorite colors?


Lu-Ray Vintage Dinnerware

I’ve been fascinated with dinnerware ever since I was 5 years old.

I’m not sure why?

My mother had a set of Lu-Ray Pastel Dinnerware displayed in the hutch, in the dinning room. Back then, I didn’t know what they were called, I just knew that I was fascinated by them. I’d go in the dinning room (which was only used for special occasions), and stare at them. I’m not really sure what it was that fascinated me so much? Maybe it was because each one was a different color, or maybe it was the colors themselves? I wonder how many other little girls were fascinated by dinnerware? Probably not too many. 

Who knew…that one day I would be making dinnerware. I certainly didn’t. One of these days, I’ll make my own version of pastel dinnerware. I just have to find the perfect glazes first. I’m not sure if I should just make them for myself, or also put them into production? What do you think?

Would you buy pastel dinnerware?

Time to clean up!

Since National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo is over and the Christmas rush is slowing down…it’s time to clean up my workshop!

I’ve been using every flat surface in my workshop as a table. My slab roller was covered with unfinished items, tools that needed cleaning, there’s even a bowl of slip that I forgot to finish working on, and put away in a plastic container, it dried up! My potter’s wheel is covered with sketch books that I didn’t put away, napkins for photo taking and other stuff I don’t even know or remember.

Sorry, I didn’t take any photos of the mess. I’m a little OCD about messes. I think it’s because my mother is a Virgo, or maybe it’s just me…because my bedroom was always neat and clean growing up. Everything was in its place and my mother never had to tell me to put anything away. I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned to deal with messes…especially raising 5 children (four boys…need I say more) who wasn’t as clean as I was, that’s for sure. I’ve had to bite my tongue a lot and just leave the room. But, I can only take it for so long…then it needs to be cleaned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Ahh…my worktable is clean!

And ready to start working. I have water, my spray bottle, paper towels, buckets, sponges, tools, brushes, clay…I’m all set!


My canvas-covered workbench is clean!

I’m sure it won’t look like this for long…once I start working on something. Then I’ll just have to clean it again. It’s a never-ending process for me. Make a mess and clean it up! I could really use a cleaning lady but, I’m not sure I would let her in my workshop? Yeah, I don’t think I could let her clean my workshop, she can clean the house and I’ll clean my workshop, that sounds good!


Oh…Yay! My slab roller is clean!

I love my slab roller! Now I can get to work. I was planning on making some mugs first, but then yesterday I remembered something I’ve been wanting to make and didn’t have a chance to yet. You’ll have to wait and see what it is. I’ll post photos once I make them. Then I’ll make some mugs, or maybe I’ll just make both…we’ll see.


I can’t wait to roll out a slab and make something new!

I haven’t finished the slip yet, I just added water and stirred. I’ll get to it later. And I haven’t even attempted to clean my potter’s wheel. But, that’s okay! I can hand build and clean my wheel later. I’m anxious to start working with clay again. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty. I can’t wait to feel the clay squish through my fingers again.

I’m going to try some new glaze combinations too, so I’m excited!

Do you have any ideas about what I should make? I’d love to hear from you!

Potters Choice – Deep Sienna Speckle


Potters Chioce Glaze Deep Sienna 2

This is the perfect time of year to do a blog post about another one of my favorite Potters Choice glazes…

Deep Sienna Speckle

I’m not very patient when it comes to trying out a new glaze. I don’t like waiting to try it out on some test tiles, so I use small items like these leaf pendants. Test tiles are not only a waste of my time, they also take up much-needed space in my workshop, and then I can’t do anything with them. When I use something small to test a glaze and it comes out great, I can sell it! If not…no big deal!


Then I try it out on something a little bit larger, like my super cute bird ornaments. I love these birds!


And these really cute mittens! This glaze is always consistent. I’ve never had a problem with it. I love glazes like this!


Then I try it out on something a little larger with a bowl like shape to it, so I can see how the glaze works on something that’s not flat. Like my little heart dishes. It came out great! And because it’s a transparent glaze, it’s great with texture.  

Oh, before I forget…everything so far has been glazed on B-Mix 5 clay.


These heart dishes are so cute!


Now I’m ready to try it out on some of my maple leaves.

This glaze looks great on my leaves. I love it!


They were made with B-Mix 5 clay also.


Now it’s time for some bowls.

These moon bowls were made with #50 stoneware clay. The color is a little darker, but it still looks great! I love the rough rustic look of these bowls.


These bowls were made with B-Mix 5, and no texture. It looks great with texture and without. It’s easy to brush on, which I really like. And it’s reliable and consistent…what more could you ask for! 


This bowl came out nice.


I love the way this flower bowl came out! Doesn’t it look great?


I used #50 stoneware clay for this bowl. It’s a buff colored clay after firing with speckles in it. The glaze usually comes out a little darker than if it had been glazed on B-Mix.


Now it’s time to try it out on some plates with no texture.

I love it, I need to make more of these.


I love how this glaze shows every little detail of this texture. It looks amazing!

*Please note: When firing this glaze, fire it with speckle glazes only, like Deep Firebrick or Deep Olive Speckle. The specks fly around in the kiln atmosphere and will go on your other glazes. I always fire these glazes separate from my other glazes.

Hmmm…what should I try it on next?

Maybe some mugs!