Monday, May 31, 2010

risking it all

I fired the little cazuelas, covered baking dish and deep pie plate. These are pieces that I had applied terra sig to the outside but left the inside surface plain because I wanted glaze there. Since I have not been working in low-fire except for the Majolica class I took a couple years ago, I don't have known/tested glazes. I wanted yellow--or really old gold--inside the pots. So I whipped up a glaze that called for yellow stain and went for it!
However the yellow glaze was not at all yellow after I mixed it up--more like flesh colored. I know about how the colors are not true--wet to fired--but I thought that using 10% yellow stain it would look yellow. I don't have a small test kiln and I'm not intending to stick with earthenware clay so I was not wanting to wait for a test run.
Here is the glaze after it was mixed and had sat around for a couple days:

That was risk #1.

I was delighted with the color I got. But very disappointed in the (my) glaze application. I had sprayed the glaze inside the pots but it was too thin. The rough texture (gritty) of the clay came through the thin coat of glaze and in some places it was so uneven that a thin area was next to a thick area. Very unsatisfactory.

So risk #2.
Today I reglazed all the pots--with the same glaze--and they are now firing for the 3rd time--counting the bisque firing as the first. Some good clayarter (forgot his name) suggested a way to get the glaze to stick to the slick surface of an already glazed pot was to heat the pots to about 400° before spraying a second layer of glaze onto the pots. So that is what I did. I heated the pots in the turkey roaster (that is stored in the studio) to 400° and took them out one by one, put into the spray booth and sprayed on a second coat. Hmmmm...we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, May 17, 2010

earthenware clay

I had just wanted to make a couple baking pieces out of earthenware clay to try out in my kitchen (I've been bit by the "Slow Cooking" bug.) Just a couple pieces. But then there was another something I wanted. And then when I was in Spain I fell in love with all the wonderful terracotta cooking ware there. Of course I could not bring all that I wanted home--did bring a couple pieces!! But came home wanting to make some of the things I had seen in Spain. So another bag of earthen red clay, and then another. And of course that got me into terra siglata.
Over the weekend I divided up the last of my red clay into 10 pieces and made 10 small cazuelas.

They are currently (not yet dry) about 6 3/8" across and 1 78" deep. Sorry I did not have enough clay to make a dozen as my sister also wanted some of these little cazuelas--she'll get some of these but not as many as she was wishing for. So I may not have come to the end of my earthen-ware-clay days yet!
Some of the pieces I made earlier: A casserole--still drying.
And these that have been bisqued:
French butter keeper.

A small tagine with terra sig.

A baking dish with terra sig.