Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I got the kiln loaded Monday morning and it was firing by noon. Finally!

I had tried to fill the kiln on June 12 but could not "fill" it. Our friend Mary Allman arrived that afternoon and was here for a week. I did not try to complete the pre-firing work while she was here. I had found it very frustrating when I tried to get enough pieces glazed on the 11th and 12th to start the firing so I knew I did not want to try to do it while we had company--and besides we were enjoying her visit too much to spoil it with that frustration. After she left, there were several family demands that prolonged my procrastination. Monday morning Jim left for Santa Fe--to be gone for about 10 days--and I got busy filling that kiln! Finally!

Today I unloaded the kiln. And it was a very happy experience. Finally! There were NO disasters! One disappointment but it was the fault a poor choice of glaze combinations and not a fault of a glaze not working right or the kiln over or under firing! So I am a happy camper today. Unfortunately, Jim took the camera with him when he went to Santa Fe so I can't post any photos. I may do that after he returns if it still seems appropriate. In the meantime, I am trying to glaze another kiln load and get it fired before his return. I've also returned to the wheel--my reward for finally getting the kiln loaded and fired! I've had a good time yesterday and today working on the wheel. I should try to analyze what it is about throwing on the wheel that means so much to me and is so satisfying! Perhaps I'll do that one day and post the result of that inquiry here!

Friday, June 08, 2007

continued from post below...

I made some little "soy ewers" that I am fond of--four of them--and, happily, 2 came out very nice. The 2 that I had put the new 'red' glazes on came out very stony--unpleasant to touch. I would have been happy with them if they were smooth even though they are brown! I would have thought that the overfiring might have made them glassier instead of stony. Oh, so much to learn. But right now it feels like I am on a pretty fast learning curve!

And there was one more 'learning piece' in this firing. It is a large pedestal bowl--a fruit bowl or even a punch bowl, maybe. I messed it up with my glaze application--of a second glaze over the first. But I am happy with the details on the pot and will probably repeat that design. Here is a look at the details I liked.

If I had not put the second glaze on top of the first I think I would have been very happy with this piece. As it is, I am not!

disappointing, but not devastating

Well, I had high hopes for this last firing. I was testing some new glazes and materials in the hopes of getting a redish glaze at ^6--my firing range. But all I got was brown--not even redish-brown! So that was disappointing. And I had a very nice looking teapot in the kiln with a lovely green glaze on it. The green glaze slid off the pot and formed a beautiful green pool at the base fastening the pot to the tile under it forever. It also completely fused the lid to the pot. Too bad it really looked nice!

On the brighter side there were some successes. I have 6 nice salad plates and 5 nice rice bowls that fired very well. And they are a nice weight and have smooth rims--techniques I've been having a lot of trouble with lately. So that is satisfying! To be continued.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

glazing and glazing and glazing

I have a backlog of bisqued ware to glaze and fire. Since glazing is such a chore and one that I am very insecure about, I have managed to find lots of things to do lately rather than the glazing. I spent several days mixing glazes--some new glazes in test size batches and some tried and true glazes in larger batch size quantities. Finally, however, I had to start glazing or give up potting altogether! I began glazing yesterday and by noon today had enough glazed pieces to fill one kiln load. It will be fun to open this kiln as I have lots of tests and experiments in glazes as well as forms. I probably still have 2 more kiln-loads of ware ready to be glazed! The glazing set-up is going to stay in place in the carport until I get all of this glazed and fired. Then it will be OK to get back on the wheel!

I can probably open the kiln tomorrow evening--though it may not be until Thursday morning--and then I will photo and post anything I am happy to show off!