Wednesday, July 01, 2009

working at it

I just got the kiln started. It is loaded mostly with tests. Test pagodas and lots of test tiles. I am working at learning about my glaze materials. therefore have lots of 'buttons' of materials in little dishes, a long line-blend of a glaze with lithium from 0 to 20 gms, and lots of glaze test tiles to enrich my empirical knowledge database! The last time I fired the kiln (bisque) I got very erratic results--underfired on top, overfired on bottom. I think it was because the kiln was very unevenly loaded--lots of empty space at the top. So I worked very hard to try to load the kiln more evenly. We'll see how that goes, too. In this kiln load, I am refiring 2 pieces that were very disappointing from the last firing. Wonder what luck I will have. Others have commented that it is not a sure thing--works sometimes, not worth the effort other times. Guess I am just curious to see if I can save them before I throw them away.

I'm discovering that I don't want all the glazes in the world--but just a couple that I really like. And one that is especially nice and takes various colorants well. Right now I have lots of large and small buckets of lots of glazes and glaze tests. Yet when I get ready to glaze pots there are only a couple that I am comfortable using.

I had my air compressor repaired recently--and I can't get it (or me) to work well. It had preformed so well until it didn't! And now I am struggling with trying to get the regulator set properly (never had to fool with it much before) and also all the controls on the spray gun seem to be off. Maybe I messed them up trying to use the compressor when it was not functioning well. Any way it is very frustrating!


Judy Shreve said...

I went through that same process -- trying to just have a couple of glazes that work at ^6! But I found after a short while for some reason they were no longer reliable. I was constantly opening the kiln to great disappointment.

That's why I have switched to earthenware. I like working with the pot at leather hard stage & I have found one glaze I can add different colorants to the base. Now I even have a decent clear. I hope I can maintain this level of contentment! Is that possible working with clay, glazes and a kiln!?

I'm sorry your compressor is giving you fits & I hope your kiln opening is filled with aha's!

Sister Creek Potter said...

Judy, what a great wish: that your kiln opening is filled with aha's! A great image, too. Thanks!

Shar said...

I am enjoying your past blogs
and take my hat off to you for keeping at it to get what you want.
I went to John Britts web site and
can not locate the blue that you
talk about. I am a collector of
recipes and wonder where else I can get this. I love testing glazes and am always willing to share.

Sister Creek Potter said...

shar. I will give you the recipe. since John Britt put it one his "Clay Club" blog and he is in favor of sharing recipes I don't think there is a problem with putting it here. I did give the wrong name--which maybe why you could not locate it.

(Oxidation or Reduction)

Alberta Slip 75.00
Gerstley Borate 15.00
Dolomite 5.00
Silica 4.00

Rutile 4.00