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15th century ash glaze workshop

updated fri 6 aug 04


RaNae Merrill on wed 4 aug 04

15th century Ash Glaze workshop

From the 10th to 15th centuries the glaze used in tile and pottery-making in
the Silk Road cities utilized a desert plant called ishkor mixed with
crushed quartz. Tiles and pottery made with this incredibly durable glaze
have retained their lustre and color into the present.

The making of ishkor glaze is a nearly-lost art, maintained and perpetuated
now by only 4 or 5 potters in Uzbekistan. I am putting together a workshop
in Uzbekistan for interested ceramists to learn the ancient art of making
ishkor glaze. Participants will spend a week and a half working with a
master of ishkor glaze, going through all the steps of making the glaze:
harvesting ishkor and gathering quartz pebbles; grinding and mixing
materials for glaze and coloring agents; and wood-firing. All the
techniques, tools and materials are true to ancient methods.

Since ishkor can only be harvested in late September, the workshop will be
held during the last two weeks of September. I realize that this is short
notice, but anyone who is interested in this yearís trip can contact me at or by phone at 646-698-1213. For photos of ceramics
and other Uzbek crafts, and for more background on Uzbekistan please go to
my website at

RaNae Merrill
New York City

P.S. I have traveled to Uzbekistan numerous times and have always had a
safe and interesting journey.

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