Thursday, January 14, 2010

:>((( - Big Sad Face :>(((

Now Thurs morning ..... I opened the kiln around 7 AM to allow for the rest of the cooling. The one tray on the top shelf is not looking too bad. Maybe things will be ok.

It's now Thurs 10:30 AM ..... It's a sad day. Not such good results further down in the kiln. Witness cones showed things badly overfired to cone 7. And worst of all - on the bottom shelf - 9 mugs for a customer order due Friday. On most of the mugs, the glaze has run onto the kiln shelf and there are bumps and pits all over the pots. See my unhappy face :>((

The test tiles show some interesting results but since I don't plan on repeating this mistake, will not be something I will get in a normal fire. However, if I look on the bright side (there's got to be a bright side), they will be good to have for reference for those times when I am looking for special effects.

It will be nose to wheelhead this afternoon. There are a lot of pots to make before I head east mid February. 

Happy Mistake ???

Twas Tues evening and the glazing was all done, including the 32 glaze test tiles (16 glazes x 2 types of clay). On went the fire (I use an electric kiln and fire to cone 6 which is around 1223 degrees C for those who want to know). All was progressing well later in the evening. At 7 AM Weds morning, I toddled down to the studio to shut off the vent fan and was surprised to find the kiln still running! My normal fire including the cool down segment of the program takes roughly 12 hours. Not only was it still running, it was still up around cone 6! Arghhhhh! - in checking further, I realized that when I set the 'Hold Time' (time needed at top temp to soak the glaze) to 20 minutes, I had accidentally keyed in 20 HOURS!!!! I quickly stop the kiln, reprogram the ramp down schedule, cross my fingers and hope for, as per my daughter's description, a happy mistake!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Glaze Test Math

Glaze testing ..... love it, hate it. Need to get a glaze fire on in order to finish a mug order by Friday BUT didn't want to miss an opportunity to include colour tests of my latest fave glaze (the semi matte in my last post) in the firing. Always a bad judge of time (hubby will attest to that), I figured I'd take the morning yesterday to get the samples made - NOT! I was at it almost the entire day.....16x200g tests=6 hrs ....... hmmmm, gotta be something wrong with that math.

So that means, I will work today, supposedly my 'day off', to glaze the rest of the pots and hopefully have the fire on by 6 PM tonight. Stay tuned for the results ...... now that's the part I LOVE!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, New Pots!

Holidays are over .... time to get back into the studio! There were lotsa creative thoughts rambling through this old brain throughout our one month Christmas break that now need to be put into play - trying out terra sigillata finishes, playing with a glaze technique called cuerda seca plus plans for new tile projects. 

In the run up to the Christmas season, I had a customer ask I could make a couple of breakfast place settings (bowl, side plate and mug). She wanted to give them to her parents in Germany as a Christmas gift and since they live onboard a boat, she had a blue coloured nautical theme in mind. She saw some unfinished altered bowls I had on the studio shelf that she really liked and asked if I could make mugs in the same style. I agreed to give it a try .... both her and I were pretty impressed with the outcome (kinda cool to think I have now have pots residing in Germany!). The glaze is my new semi matte glaze in a 'blue jean' colour. I expect to be using more of this glaze this year and will be testing different colours in the next kiln load.