Sourdough Recipe for Leaven ceramics / Obvara firing

In this article, I will discuss a lit bit more about making your own sourdough liquid.

From my experience, almost any kind of mix will give you a result. But in order to find really intriguing patterns, you have to do some job on your own, because so many factors will cause the final look of your item; temperature of the environment, clay body, an origin of products, and of course your own skills.

As a base mostly I use this one:

  • Water
    7.5 liters  2 US liquid gallons

  • Whole Wheat Flour
    600 grams21 Ounces

  • Yeast (powder)
    4 grams0.14 Ounce

  • Sugar
    200 grams7 Ounces

It produces nice medium contrast. Colors vary from light brown to dark brown.

In total you will get about 9 liters – 2.3 gallons of sourdough. I suggest using 12 l – 3 gallons bucket, preferably metal or wooden. That’s a perfect size bucket for working with smaller objects such as bowls, small vases, mugs and etc. If you need a bigger batch – just change all ingredients proportionally.

The easiest way of mixing is to prepare water first, and then add the rest of ingredients while mixing. If you have done with mixing, just cover up with a lid, sheet of wood, a throwing bat or whatever comes to your mind. Just do not close tight as expanding gases can blow off a lid. Place your “wine” somewhere where the smell of fermentation process will not bother you. I personally love that smell. Your sourdough has to mature/ferment in 3-4 days at room temperature. In my region faster in summer and slower in winter. You can speed up a process by placing a bucket with your mix near warmer areas at your studio like kiln or radiator. Couple times a day stir your mix and wait for a strong bread-like smell. And you are ready to go!

Some tips:

  • If you would like to get darker colors and even more contrast I suggest using more sugar.
  • If you are looking for a lighter tone, use less sugar and less wheat.
  • For reddish finish add fresh smashed beetroot or pickled Beetroot

Do not afraid to experiment and share your results!!

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