Friday, September 19, 2008

More studio set backs

As I have posted the main glaze kiln at the studio I go to has been out of commission. Now things are worse.

I got word that a sewer line ruptured and flooded the studio. Yummy. 

I have stopped work completely at the current studio and am actively looking for a new studio. 

It sucks because I liked the people at that studio but it simply is not working out. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

A mixed bag

The kiln load I got was mixed.

First the large kiln over fired. I use witness cones and the kiln fired a to a hard cone 6 according to the witness cones and I suspect that it took a long time to fire. I don't know for sure because it fired over night. I had a couple of pots sag. This isn't normal. I work in mostly porcelain but my pots are not so thin as to deform under normal firing conditions. 

So I lost two pots due to sagging. One was my favorite pot to date. A large, tall, well formed bowl. It has nice faceted feet. I glazed it with temmoku and rutile wash. The glaze came out great. But alas... the pot is warped due to the sagging. The othe pot that sagged was a small plate. Nice but c'est la vie.

I lost one other pot, the little octopus container I posted photos of in an earlier post. I used the seiji nuka ( I freakin love that glaze) and due to the long soak it ran. The legs of the octopus are now fused with the kiln stilts. 

The pots that came out nice were the four lidded containers I used an iron red glaze with seiji nuka and rutile splashes. The iron red turned kind of a muddy green but some copper colored crystal formations took shape. Not traditional but pretty nontheless. 

Waiting to pop the kiln

I got in line for our kilns and got a chance to load some pots yesterday. They're cooling now and should be ready to unload tonight.

I have only one glaze test in this batch; the clear bubbly runny test. No idea what to call it yet. As I posted earlier the idea came from a test in the glaze class I was in. This particular test I changed up a bit. I wanted to reduce the crazing so I added some silica. I still wanted to make sure this ran, so I increased the lithium to 20%. The recipe I tested was;

90 Nehp Syn.
20 Lithium Carb.
20 Silica

Yeah, I know it's ot 100%. Once I get the glaze where I want it I'll normalize it to 100%. 

As I was making this test it dawned on me that I am moving closer to a traditional clear glaze. I am just hoping to keep the bubbles =)

Other than the test I loaded 4 lidded containers, one really big bowl, a couple odds and ends. I have high hopes for this batch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A small update

A few small random notes....

The kiln repair failed. The second firing after I replaced the element failed to reach cone 04. So our little studio is down to two kilns, one of which is tiny. It only holds one medium sized pot per firing. This means things are going to be very slow until we get the large kiln repaired or replaced. And the studio owner is out of town until late September. =(

I tried a couple new glazes. One has my interest and I am starting to think about a real recipe. In the glaze class I took we had one test that was 85% Neph Syn and 15% wood ash. In reduction is was clear, bubbly, a tiny bit runny, very crazed. I want to get a clear, slightly fluid bubbly glaze. I moved away from using wood ash as a flux as I want super predictable results. I have enough variation with the kilns, I don't need it in glaze chemicals. I went with 90% neph syn, 10% lithium. It came out clear, not as fluid as I'd like, not as bubbly as I'd like. Tremendously crazed. I am going to tinker to add more flux and see if I can get the crazing out.

I saw a video demonstrating pulling and attaching handles. This is something that has been the bane of my time in the studio, I always screw up my handles. I tried the method shown in the video and the results look promising so far. I have a set of four mugs with complicated handles drying now. We'll see if this new method works for me.