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Pottery/Clay and Glaze Selection for Birdhouses


I have been making birdhouses and toad houses and starting to sell a number of them. I am fairly new to pottery and learning everyday. My question is - What would be the best clay and cone of glaze for using on the birdhouses and toad houses. I need to get the most durable to resist against the weather when they are outside. When I first started making them I used a low fire clay and ghlaze and boy did I learn fast. I have my own poters electric wheel and electric kiln that will fire up to cone 10. Any ideas, comments, suggestions?

Dear Alan,

    Thank you for your recent question. The type of clay that would be ideal for your birdhouses is a medium stoneware clay body. This is a clay body that fires to cone 5. It is sturdy, can be made into thin slabs and is water resistant. You will want to use cone 5 glazes, which are ideal in that you can get true commercial colors from a ceramic store, or create glazes in the studio to match the shrinkage rate of the clay body.

    The reason for a medium stoneware clay body and cone 5 glazes is that you want your birdhouses and toad houses to withstand the drastic change in temperature, especially extreme cold and extreme hot temperatures. You will want to choose a medium stoneware with a high amount of grog. This will allow the clay to expand and shrink during these temperature changes, preventing the clay from cracking.

    I hope this assists you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me again anytime.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


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Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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