All of my attempts to make a gray glaze for cone 10/reduction resulted in blue glazes (shudder). And sometimes I made gray pots by accident, mostly with heavy crusts of salt and/or soda. I love that look, but I need a process that is more predictable, and more food-friendly. Last year, the answers began to emerge for me. The basis of the solution is porcelain. In order to make gray, you need to start with a white background.
These pots were thrown in porcelain, then brushed with a thin layer of a gray flashing slip. I've learned this slip does not look great on stoneware, it just looks flat and brown. But the white porcelain peeking through brightens everything, creating pretty shades of gray and brown with lots of variation.
And this is the second approach I took this year ... these pots were thrown in stoneware, then brush with porcelain slip. I carved a minimal pattern through the porcelain, to reach some of the brown tones of the stoneware. Then I fired them in the salt chamber of the kiln to receive some of those gray tones of salt.
I'm really pleased that I got to wood-fire with my friends from the Greenbelt Community Center again this year. Even though I no longer work there, I was able to sign up for this workshop, which is now deftly led by Karen Arrington. And once again we had a great experience working with Jim Dugan at Baltimore Clayworks, where we always get loads of guidance and expertise.