In The Kiln, Part II

This blog illustrates the glazing process Terry Slonaker uses on his hand-built clay maidens. It is the second installment of “In The Kiln”, highlighting artwork in-progress by Desert Artisans’ Gallery’s artists.  Part I follows Clydean Troner, (clay) and Nancy Cressler (glass) through their creative process.  Read Part I here:

Desert Artisans’ Gallery has been very fortunate to represent local Tucson artist, Terry Slonaker, and his exquisite hand-built artwork for over a decade.  Here is a rare look into Terry’s creative process:

Terry hand builds his figures out of stoneware clays using slabs and other techniques. He throws the small pots, which are often incorporated into his larger statues, on a pottery wheel. He then bisque fires them to 1800 degrees in an electric kiln. 

These step-by-step pictures show the glazing process which make Terry’s sculptures come to life. 

First, the maiden’s hair and faces are coated with oxides. Designs are then hand drawn on the sculptures. His trademark precise lines and intricate designs are created by carefully applying tape (the tape is green and seen in the left & center pictures above) and a wax resist. Finally, glaze colors are applied to correct thickness. When the glazing is complete, the tape is removed and the wax resist burns off in final firing. He uses the same glazing process for the small pots.

In the final step, the pieces are fired to 2300 degrees in a gas kiln.  The transition from raw clay to a finished, glazed maiden is a testament to Terry’s impressive artistic skills.

Terry Slonaker’s maidens, warriors, serene fountains, wall hangings, bowls & small decorative pots are available at Desert Artisans’ Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.

Terry Slonaker’s striking hand-built & hand-decorated pots



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