Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stoking plugs

I threw the stoke hole plugs yesterday and on the suggestion of Michael Kline I added a clay handle instead of a metal bolt like I've seen before. Certainly the clay handle is much more aesthetically pleasing. Hopefully they will prove to be durable as well. I had a little bit of a scare as I came into the studio this morning, every single handle had split in half. The plugs are made of a 50/50 mix of EPK and kyanite. They don't really have much in the way of plasticity, and as the handles sagged slightly instead of bending normally like a throwing clay they simply split in two. Luckily they were still fairly soft and I was able to mend them. They are outside drying now and you can see the garbage bag I stuffed in them to keep the handle from sagging any more. Hopefully we can get them dried out and fired this weekend. Joe


EF said...

Ohh! There're just gorgeous! Maybe even sexxy! What in the world is kyanite? Excited to read about the maiden voyage!

Joe and Christy said...

thanks for the kind words. Kyanite is a naturally occuring mineral that melts at cone 37. It also expands when fired, counter acting the shrinkage of clay when fired. It's more stable than grog in that it never releases free silica, so there is no danger of cristobalite forming. Good stuff for making refractories, maybe a little expensive for regular clay bodies though. You can also read about it here: