Wednesday, October 13, 2010


All the pots are cleaned and sorted and ready for the Fall Art Tour. The firing came out well. The pots in the first chamber last firing were a little disappointing. This was in part to our new clay body. Our old clay body responded very well to a neutral atmosphere, with beautiful peachy/salmon colors. The new clay body came out of the last firing some what pale and dry.
So we added more time to this firing to allow the clay body to mature (maybe mature is the wrong term... not sure what the word I'm looking for is....), and also upped the level of reduction in the first chamber. We are quite pleased with everything out of the first chamber:

A lot more ash than we've ever gotten before which I really like. Of course it does come at a cost. We burnt quite a bit of wood holding the kiln at cone 10 for an extra 24 hours. Was it worth it? I think so, Christy's not quite as convinced. Though she's not quite convinced that she wants to continue with high fired pots at all. Hopefully she'll find more time this winter to keep testing her earthen ware clay, and start pulling together some glazes. I doubt we will have a full line up of earthenware pots next year... but maybe 2012?
In cone 10 news, I made some changes to the two glazes that use our local red clay in them. I added 10% more silica to the dark glaze, and I'm really happy with the results. The crystallization has disappeared for the most part and the glaze now looks like the tests we got out of our little gas kiln.

Maybe not quite as happy with my photography skills, but the glaze is nice

I also added 5% EPK to the amber ash glaze which kept the glaze from running off of pots onto the shelves and also from pooling in the center of serving bowls:

Christy didn't get as much time to make pots as she would have liked, she did get some nice boxes made though:

As well as decorating several of my larger platters and serving bowls:

All in all the firing was quite good. I feel as though we are finally starting to get all the little idiosyncrasies of our kiln figured out. We are ending up with more and more nice pots out of each firing, and less and less pots that get tossed out into the shard pile.
The only real issue we ran into with this longer firing was the amount of ash that made it into the second chamber. Our celedon ash glaze doesn't do to well with large amount of ash on it. It tends to foam up. This can be interesting in small quantities, but in large amount you end up with this:

All of the yellow is quite rough to the touch, and the foaminess around the knob can be chipped off easily with a finger nail... Something to work on for next firing...
We'll post more pictures as we work toward getting our place all ready for the Fall Art Tour. This was a really good event last year for us, and we are looking forward to seeing everybody again this year.

1 comment:

Pat said...

Your pots are gorgeous! I hope you still have some good ones around when I get there in December; I'll give myself a Christmas present!