Working with Flameware

Adventures with Flameware

Flameware has been the most awesome and most frustrating claybody to work with. I began working with Robbie Lobell’s flameware claybody for about a year and a half now. I have had some challenges and write this so that you may begin your journey with the claybody with some suggestions at hand.


Using the above recipe I have made pans with lids, pizza stones, and probably my most favorite, Tajines. Robbie uses a type of clay press to form her pieces, I have decided to stick with throwing, a difficult task for this clay. I’d recommend lots of water and using as much slip as possible from the trowing process. I’ve not attempted to slab build with this clay body.



In earlier projects with pans and lids, I used the higher percentage of iron and Gas-fired to cone 10 after bisquing. I had a lot of trouble with warping, lids fusing to the rims of the body of the pan, as well as bottoms of pans sticking to patties used to protect shelving. Some of the lids themselves wanted to warp in the center and cave in where the top notch was.

IMAG0764  IMAG0798



Fixing Warping Issues

In this bottom photo you can see the wall of the pan that the handle is attached to is slightly pulling away from the lid. I believe it was the weight of the lug handle that added to the warping issue. I have not gotten the chance to experiment with lighter styles of handles to see if this fixes my issues of warping.

Lids that were more dome shaped (center photo, far left pan) did not warp. I believe giving some lift to the lid instead of leaving it flat, as in others in the photo, provided extra support for the center of the lid.

Fixing Fusing Issues

As I have said, I began with using the higher percentage of iron listed on the recipe provided by Robbie Lobell. Robbie actually addressed this issue in her PDF HERE, stating she coats her shelves to prevent her pots from fusing. I however, being in the academic setting did not have that option and began to experiment with percentages of iron and temperature of firing. Lowering my iron level to 1.75 and reducing gas firing temp to cone 9 verses cone 10 ended up providing me with much better results. Lids did still somewhat fuse but came apart with a slight tap to the table surface while supporting the bottom of my pots. Much less patty stuck to the bottoms and was easily buffed off with the Dremel.



To see what I’m doing with flameware:


Traveling Tajine

For more about flameware & Robbie Lobell’s work: