Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Digitry Kiln Controllers



Now available at

Leslie Ceramics

"Digitry's controllers were designed from the beginning as the result of a collaboration between glass artists and computer scientists. Consequently they have always had the special features for glass art. As new glass techniques have become popular, even more special features have been added. We have enjoyed this collaboration with our friends and customers for over a dozen years.
"Although Digitry's equipment was originally conceived to control annealing, it also has important uses in all aspects and techniques of glass art, where time-varying control of heat is critical. In fact, annealing blown glass may be among the most straightforward of these uses, which include casting, bending and kiln forming, slumping, fusing, and pate de verre. Digitry controllers have also been used in heat treating steel, crystalline glazing of ceramics, and control of glass batch furnaces. For facilities that do not need the multiple oven capability of the GB5, the single oven GB1 is an ideal choice. The GB1 is particularly favored by fusers. Note that the GB1 can hold 10 different temperature profiles. So, as you alternate uses, you do not have to punch in a new program each time."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Betty Chen cooks with Toki Flameclay

Betty Chen lives in Houston Texas with her husband Jen-Hwa. Chen grew up in Taiwan, in a family with nine siblings. So, as a result of being part of a large family, there was always something cooking in the kitchen. Chen says, “I learned how to cook by observing and helping my mother cook for the family.” Over the years Chen has become an avid cook testing out her recipes on her willing husband, Jen-Hwa. Recently, Chen received a Leslie Ceramic Flameclay vessel and has been cooking up a storm in Texas. Here, Betty Chen shares two recipes for the Leslie’s Newsletter audience. Enjoy! 

Betty Chen’s: Braised Red Snapper & Tofu 

Fresh Red Snapper fillet, about 1 pound.
6 stalks green onion, cut in 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely shredded ginger root
2 cloves garlic
A few whole red peppers (optional)
4 dry shitake mushrooms, soak in hot water to hydrate until soft, drain & trim off any hard stems
10 ounces soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Cilantro springs for garnish

Seasoning mixture:
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking wine, (preferably Shao-Xin)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon black vinegar (Balsamic is fine)
1 cup water

Cooking Instructions: Score 2-3 cuts on the skin side of the fillet, and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil over a medium high heat, in the Flameware dish. When the oil is very hot, carefully place the fish into the vessel, skin side down.  Pan fry without moving the fish until the skin side is browned. Carefully flip the fish and continue frying. Add garlic, green onion, ginger, peppers, and mushrooms at this time.  Over medium heat, use chopsticks to stir fry everything, but do not touch the fish.
When the green onions start to brown & soften, add the seasoning mixture and tofu, and bring to a boil.  Simmer without cover in low heat for about 20 minutes.  Then, turn off the heat & garnish with strings of cilantro. Carefully transfer the dish onto the table & serve with steamed rice. At this point, the dish may seem somewhat soupy, but the tofu will continue to absorb the liquid and its flavor. The Flameware dish will keep the food warm while it is being consumed. Enjoy!

Betty Chen’s Tarte Tatin:

Flaky pastry:
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted very cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg, beaten
Caramelized apples: 
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
For the pastry: Combine all dry ingredients, and mix well. Add butter pieces: Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course meal. Add the egg and stir with a fork until little balls form. Gather the dough by hand and shape into a ball, and wrap in plastic, then flatten it into a 4” round disk. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Unwrap & turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper, lay another piece of parchment paper the same size on top of the dough. Then, roll the dough into a 14-inch round shape. Carefully transfer the dough with the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the apple filling.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the filling:  Set Flameware dish on the stovetop over low heat. Add the butter and heat until melted.  Stir in the sugar & cook for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, but not browned. Move the dish away from the heat – caution!: it will be very hot.  Arrange the apple quarters into the dish in a circle, standing them upright with the cut-side down & with an end touching the wall of the dish. Fill the middle with the remaining quarters, cut-side down. Return the dish to the stove, cook about 12 minutes on high heat until the juice turn from a butterscotch to a rich amber color.  Remove the dish from the stove, then, using a fork, carefully flip the apples onto their un-caramelized sides.  Return to the stove & cook on high heat for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the dish from the heat. Carefully peer away the parchment paper (both sides) from the prepared dough, and with the help of a rolling pin, position the dough onto the apple filling, and tuck in the edge using a spoon. 
Cooking Instructions:
Bake in oven about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown & cooked throughout. Let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes.  
Carefully invert the tart onto a platter. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Leslie Ceramics Cone 5 - 6 Midfire Glaze Layer Tests

This is Leslie's 1108 Spanish Brown cone 5/6 glaze.  It has a beautiful deep brick red surface that breaks black with a lovely sheen.  

It also does amazing things when layered with Leslie's other cone 5/6 glazes. The following tiles are just a small sampling of the amazing combinations possible.  All of these tests were fired to cone 5 in an electric kiln on Leslie's cone 5 Vanilla Clay.  They will work just as well at cone 6 although the results would likely be slightly different.

This tile shows two coats of Koke Green (1104) under 2 coats of 1108.

This tile shows two coats of 1108 under 2 coats of Koke White (1105).

This tile shows two coats of Spanish Brown (1108) under two coats of Watermelon Green Happy Glaze (H-108).

 This tile shows two coats of Deep Sea Green (1097) under two coats of 1108.

This tile shows two coats of Spanish Brown (1108) under two coats of Niji White (1087).

This tile shows two coats of Shibui Galaxy Blue (SH-9) under two coats of 1108.

The following two tiles are both 1108 and Koke Blue (1102).
The top tile shows 2 coats of 1108 under 2 coats of 1102.
The tile bellow shows 2 coats of 1108 over 2 coats of 1102.

The following two tiles are both 1108 and Niji Black (1081).  
The top tile shows 2 coats of 1108 under 2 coats of 1081.
The tile bellow shows 2 coats of 1108 over 2 coats of 1081.

The following two tiles are both 1108 and Niji Red (1086).
The top tile shows 2 coats of 1108 under 2 coats of 1086.
The tile bellow shows 2 coats of 1108 over 2 coats of 1086.

The following two tiles are both 1108 and Koke Yellow (1103).
The top tile shows 2 coats of 1108 under 2 coats of 1103.
The tile bellow shows 2 coats of 1108 over 2 coats of 1103.

We have also done a number of tests on all of our other cone 5/6 glazes in layered tests.  In a later post we will show some of their highlights.  Here is just one to wet your whistle.

This tile shows two coats of Niji Paradise Purple (1090) under two coats of Koke Green (1104).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roscoe Ceramic Gallery

Derek Van Beers' fantastic gallery in the Uptown district of Oakland has several great shows lined up.  Be sure to check them out.  Stay tuned to the website here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christa Assad: Carhartt “Everyday Icon” Campaign

Leslie customer Christa Assad was photographed at Leslie's for Carhartt's “Everyday Icon” campaign.  Visit her website here.

Christa left this great comment:

"Christa Assad said...
thanks, Leslie's, for continuing to deliver great product and the friendliest service around! when Carhartt asked where i wanted to shoot the "materials scene", of course i thought of Leslie's Ceramics! i heart you!

Thanks Christa!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Schedule for this Saturday, October 22nd Ceramics Festival

7:30 - 8:15 Coffee and Set Up
8:15 - 9:15 Michelle Gregor
9:45 - 10:45 Forest L. Middleton
11:15 - 12:15 Eric Struck
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch
1:30 - 2:30 Susan Dannenfelser
3:00 - 4:00 Sandy Simon
4:30 Raffle!

Raku firing, Kids N Clay, Pottery Texture Queen, Fingerlakes slipcasting, etc. all day

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Torch Enameling Workshop: November 5th

November 5th - Torch Enameling on Copper Workshop with Steven James Enameled bracelet 

No kiln? No problem! Learn how to use your butane torch to hand-fire enamel onto metal. Create a variety of fused-glass designs -- pendants, matching earrings, and charms for a bracelet -- while learning the instructor’s tips and tricks he only shares in class. With enameling, the design ideas are endless and the outcomes are completely unique every time you fire! For maximum firing time, bring your own torch or share one of the instructor’s, and learn just how far you can take your creativity.
12:00 pm to 3 pm - Fee: $55 plus a $15 fee for supplies (paid to instructor day of workshop)
Students will also receive a 10% discount on anything in the store the day of the workshop.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dragon Flameware made with Toki Flameclay

Leslie customer Ericka Wingerter just created a website about the Flameware dishes that she makes with Leslie's Toki Flameclay.  Her website has some beautiful pictures and expounds the advantages of Toki Flameclay.  Here is what she has to say about her cookware, which she call Dragon Flameware:  

  • Dragon Flameware can withstand 800 degree heat. 
  • Ceramic cookware enhances food flavor and keeps dishes hotter longer.   
  • Non-Scratch, Non-Toxic Ceramic Glaze Surface. 
  • Dragon Flameware is versatile. It works in pizza ovens, regular ovens, and dishwashers. On stovetops, BBQs, open flames, and on your table. 
  • Dragon Flameware is non-toxic – with no trace metals or chemicals leaching from the cooking surface. 
  • Dragon Flameware is beautiful and one of a kind! 
Read More about her pottery and see more photos at

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Glaze on Sale Now

Happy Glaze on Sale!
Just in time for the new school year all pints will be on sale:
September 1st to the 17th
Leslie’s new Happy Glazes are:
  • Economical
  • Colorful
  • Glossy
  • Transparent
  • Made in Berkeley
      They also have a wide variety of applications and work great at Low Fire temperatures (cone 06-05-04) or at Mid Fire (cone 5-6). In addition they look fantastic when raku fired. Come by the store to check out the test tiles and pick up some Happy Glaze.

      This tile shows Leslie's Happy Glazes at cone 5:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creature / Portrait Head Workshop with Bob Carpenter

Creature / Portrait Head Workshop
Just in time for Halloween! In this workshop you will discover basic human facial anatomy and proportions and build a portrait or creature head. You will explore the hand building process including tools and techniques. Bob will demonstrate for you crucial armature techniques while you learn how to build life-sized ceramic sculptures and prevent them from exploding in the kiln. Be prepared for an afternoon of challenges and laughs. All skill levels are welcome!
10:30 am to 4 pm with a half hour break. Fee: $60
Bring photos or sketches for reference and any tools you might need. As always dress to mess.

K-12 Teachers: this class is designed for you and your students!

Bob Carpenter earned his Bachelors of Fine Art in Sculpture at The Academy of Art University in 2010. Since graduation he has been tutoring students in design, concept, building technique, finishing technique and photography. Bob has extensive knowledge of the ceramic process as well as mold making and techniques. You can find him and his works at

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seed Balls made with Ceramic Clay

Seed Ball Fever

Recently we have had a surge of inquiries from customers wanting to know if we have clay suitable to make seed balls. Of course we do. We usually recommend dry powdered Red Art Clay as it mixes more readily with the seeds and other ingredients and is just pure clay. We sell it in 1 lb, 5 lbs, 10 lbs, 25 lbs, 50 lbs, and up. Look at our Raw Material pricelist for prices here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

October 22nd Ceramic Festival Raffle

Many prizes will be raffled off at 4 PM, including a Shimpo VL Lite Potters Wheel generously donated by Shimpo Ceramics, Toki Rocket Kiln, IMCO Clay, Leslie Clays & Glazes, and many more prizes.

All proceeds will be donated to The Richmond Art Center and Berkeley Art Center.
1 ticket: $5
3 tickets: $10
8 tickets: $20
Visit or Call Leslie Ceramics to buy tickets!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leslie Ceramics and IMCO Clay Co Present: Open House Ceramics Festival

Saturday, October 22, 2011
7:30 - 4:30
Hosted by Leslie Ceramics
& IMCO, Industrial Minerals Co.

Featuring demonstrations by:

Eric Struck: Throwing Large Pots

Also you can participate in Raku firings with:

And for the kids:

Also featuring tables and presentations from:

They have graciously donated a VL-lite pottery wheel like this one to be raffled off.

And much more!
Many prizes will be raffled off at 4 PM, including a
VL Lite Potters Wheel generously donated by Shimpo Ceramics.
All proceeds will be donated to
The Richmond Art Center and Berkeley Art Center.