Thursday, September 21, 2006

with fingers crossed

I just started a glaze firing. It is not a full as usual--but I did try to spread everything out equally up and down. After MUCH reflection, consideration and help from some good potters I decided to fire this load slow and LOW. Up until yesterday I expected to fire higher, suspecting gasses from combustibles still in the clay to be the problem. But it was suggested to me yesterday that perhaps it is not pinholes I am suffering but blisters! Blisters from overfiring the clay--not underfiring. That was a big surprise. But as I thought about it and read about blisters vs pinholes I had to agree that I was getting blisters--giving a crusty feel to the affected areas.

I have also given a lot more attention to my glaze application this time. Not because of the pinhole problems but to unattractive patterns on the fired surface from uneven glaze thickness. So I spent 2 days glazing this small load of pots. I am as eager to see the results of this attention to glaze application as to the effect of the firing schedule change.

I have wondered, in the past, if I made a mistake not getting a larger kiln. Boy, am I glad I don't have a big kiln to have to load to run all these 'tests'. These days it feels like I need a smaller kiln!

I can see that all these challenges have a benefit--I am learning a lot. But I am really ready for some happy results! I've got my fingers crossed!

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