Friday, July 03, 2009

now I know

Just how I will finish my pagoda. The little test pagodas came out just fine and show clearly how I might get the results I want on the pagoda. I tested 2 glazes, one over a red iron slip, and 2 overglazes. The results are similar but there is a clear winner in my opinion.

On the front of the little pagodas I used Pete Pinnell's "Weathered Bronze" and on the backs I used "AA Cooper" attributed to Val Cushing. In the pagodas on the left in both images I painted Clennell's red iron oxide slip overall before the bisque firing. My preference is the Weathered Bronze over the rio slip. I also dabbed on "Soft Gloss" over the glazes on the roof (front on the WB and back on the AAC. I like the variegated look the Soft Gloss gave to both glazes.
So now I am off to put the slip on the original pagoda. Then I have to get busy on the wheel to have wares to bisque with the pagoda!

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!