Christmas in July


Is it July already??!!?? The studio has officially moved into the garage! Pottery is starting to take shape in this new environment which is riddled with little fingers wanting to help dad with his “pottery”! Help that sure has good intentions but is sure to end in terror if you were a freshly thrown pot!

Working at home sure has its benefits though, quick breaks from throwing slows for spur of the moment water gun fights and yummy blackberry picking!

This year we are working on some new additions to our line of pottery. These nesting bowls will make their debut in Staunton Illinois in September.


These are an adaptation to the design of our baking dishes, otherwise known as our cobbler bakers. This new design will feature handles (some with, some without) and a new rim style, similar to the ‘split rim’ design pictured above on the mixing bowls.


We will continue to offer the favorites, like the little birds nesting on top of the spoon rests.



We will also continue our line of pie plates. This year look for the option of two different sizes. The Large will allow for a Small to nest inside for greater storage options. We will continue our new bread bakers (late fall 2015) they were a hit and people have sent pictures bragging about their wonderful loaves of bread.

You will also be able to find our interesting salt shakers. The salt shakers are a bit larger this year, hoping to reduce the amount of refills needed as well as still offering something that can be easily grabbed with the hand.

All of these items will debut this Fall at local area Art and Craft fairs around the St. Louis area. You will, of course, still be able to contact us directly from our Facebook page.

Look for all these new items at the DowntoEarthenware booth which is also getting a facelift. Look for unique crates to display all of our awesome functional pottery!

Christmas will come soon enough, don’t forget to complete your Christmas list early by contacting us for a one-of-a-kind dish for your loved ones!

Reclaimed and Repurposed

People get so worked up about things breaking. Not everything I throw or build survives into a finished product. There are a variety of steps that the clay takes to get to a functional piece of pottery. At any given time a piece may crack, warp, or explode. Sure, it’s disappointing because now I have to reinvest my time to create a like item, but it’s not a total loss. If the clay hasn’t been fired then all I’m out is my time because I can reuse that clay. Any clay that gets trimmed from a piece isn’t automatically garbage, either. I save all of it.


Scraps are left on a canvas table to get bone dry.


After the clay pieces are bone dry I rehydrate them in a 5 gallon bucket.



The sludgy clay is put into a mixer.

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Then I add enough clay powder to reach the proper consistency.

I get my clay from Krueger Pottery in St. Louis.

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Once the clay works through the mixture it comes out a manageable consistency that I will use to create more pieces.


There’s a similar process that we go through as humans, as Christians. In our sin and brokenness we are useless. We lack appeal and value and could easily be discarded.  However, God chose to repurpose us. He chose to give us new life. He rehydrated us with Christ’s blood and the waters of baptism. He uses the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. After Christ we have a new purpose, we have a new value. We are redeemed  creations of the Potter. He forms us, shapes us and gives us purpose – life.

Some Glaze Theory….

When discussing how glazes work, there are three main elements of a glaze:

  • The Glass Former

The Glass Former is the element that actually makes the glass (glaze) on the pot melt. The main Glass Former is known as Silica. Silica has a very high melting point of 3100 Degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Flux

Fluxes are chemicals used in glazes to help lower the temperature of the ‘melting point’. Most kilns don’t require a temperature of 3100 Degrees Fahrenheit to melt the glaze. For instance, most everything I fire is in the ^6 range (cone 6 = 2170 degrees Fahrenheit). In order for that to happen, I must use some flux in my glaze recipes to lower the reaction temp that the glass former requires. There is a down side to using flux in a glaze; the more flux amount used, the runnier the glaze becomes.

  • Refratories

Refractories keep glaze from running off the pot. If you have a glaze that is too runny, you need to add more EPK (Kaolin) or Aluminum, which are both refractories.

I found a great short video that explains how all three of these properties work together. Each of the three, The Glass Former, the Flux, and Refractories cause changes to happen the other.

These three components make up what is called the “Base” or “Base Glaze”. After the Base has been configured, then the potter can begin working with color elements to see how each color element can create a different look. The “Color Theory” element of glazing is something we will hold off with right now because that could take several posts. Once you start adding/subtracting color chemicals you may have to change other components too to compensate for that adding/subtracting.

I sure hope this helps you understand a bit about glaze theory!

New Process Video’s Posted on DowntoEarthenware

Every so often, we like to share some quick video’s (some with and some without audio) Since we love watching people throw on the wheel, we thought maybe you all would like to see some examples of us making the ware that you purchase.

Chicken Baker

Our newest item (yet to be unveiled) is the Chicken Baker. (We are formulating a post on how to use this to be viewed another day) Here is how it is made:

Baking Dish / Pie Plates

Our baking dishes are probably the most popular item we sell! These dishes are not only look great, but bake extremely well! We previously posted an AWESOME breakfast Crustless Egg Casserole dish on our site. Here is how they are made:


There are other process video’s on our Video’s Page. Feel free to give them a gander.
If you have any other process video’s you would like to see posted, please let us know so we can make them!

Demos and Deals!

Sunshine, live music, and handmade creations made a recipe for a great weekend! DowntoEarthenware had a booth at the Staunton (IL) Art and Music Festival Sept. 20 & 21. This was a unique opportunity to connect with people and really explain each piece and its function.


Zachariah Schnare-DownToEarthenware 1

A variety of pieces were available for purchase, but we had a special deal going on with our apple bakers. With every apple baker purchased the proud new owner also got to take home an apple (recently picked from a local orchard) to try in the new baker. This is quite a tasty incentive!

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Not only was there an opportunity to connect with individuals, but there was a great opportunity for those in attendance to see the throwing process.

Zachariah Schnare-DownToEarthenware 3

Here is a finished large baking dish.   Point of interest: did you know that the notches on the sides of the dishes aren’t purely decorative? If you cut a pie from one notch to the one directly across from it all the way around the pie you will end up with 8 evenly cut pieces! It’s all about form and function, my friends, form and function.

** Pictures courtesy of Kaylan Schardan of Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat – She visited the booth and when the article is published, we will be happy to share that link with you!