Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some changes

I try to keep non-pottery stuff out of this blog but sometimes other topics bleed through. This is one such post.

My pottery is on hold for awhile. In the next 30 days I will be getting married and moving.

This impacts my pottery because I will be moving away from the studio I currently share. I will still be close enough that I can go but it will no longer be a quick trip, instead about 30-40 minutes each way. I know myself well enough to know this means a lot less time in the studio.

But it's not all bad news.

The new place has a half an acre with two free standing sheds. One is already configured very close to how I would set up a studio. Lots of shelves, skylights, good ventilation. The only thing missing is running water.

The other shed? It's a tear down... and rebuild as a kiln shed.

So my pottery efforts will be slowing and shifting focus. But in the end I should have a home studio as well as a fuel fired kiln. Reduction glazes here I come =)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Modified Lorio Ash tests

I unloaded the kiln this morning and saw my modified lorio ash glaze. It had the colors I was after but man did it blister. Tons of bubbles and blisters. It wasn't pretty.

So let's rework the formula.

Alberta Slip 43.5
EPK 13.9
Whiting 29.6
Wood Ash 13.9
Rutile 10

I suspect the rutile is causing the issue. So my next test will lose the rutile, replacing it with RIO and TiO2

Alberta Slip 43.5
EPK 13.9
Whiting 29.6
Wood Ash 13.9
RIO 3
Tio2 6

I also want it to run a little more than it is currently running so I am going drop the EPK down and add more flux.

Alberta Slip 43.5
EPK 5.9
Whiting 29.6
Wood Ash 13.9
Grestley Borate 8
RIO 3
Tio2 6

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Working on a palette

So as I was working up yet another ash glaze today I got thinking why am I doing this? I seem to be driven to mess around with glazes but hadn't really stopped to think what my goal is.

Once I thought about it the goal became clear quickly. I want a diverse, reliable glaze palette. Pretty simple.

To that end I started taking stock of what I have:

Basics, base glazes

An iron red. And iron red should be a in every potter's inventory. Mine is really more bronze than red but I like it.

A green nuka. This is a wonderful green that will develop black crystals where thick.

A blue/black. Love this glaze.

A matte white. I never use by itself, rather something I use to alter other glazes. Mine is a version of the ever popular strontium crystal matte.

A clear. Yup, everyone needs a clear.

A tin/chrome red. Wonderful little red.

Accent glazes

A green ash glaze. This is a modification of Aerni Ash that has a truck load of copper. Very nice, very green.

A very good cone 6 crystal base. I sometimes use cobalt in mine. But this reliably develops crystals at cone 6 without a controlled cooling. I use this dripped, stripped or poured as an accent or pooled in the bottom of pots. I get .25-.30 inch crystals without a controlled cooling.

A grestely borate/rutile wash. 75/25 mix that I use for highlights on a lot of pots. Works well with every one of my base glazes.

Now for what I am missing....

A reliable black/ very dark ash glaze. To this end I have been playing with barnard slip ash glazes. One of the glazes I tried today was a modification of an iron saturated ash from one of Michael Bailey's books in an attempt to get a good dark ash.

A yellow ash. Something that looks like Lorio ash in cone 6 oxidation.

A true black temmoku. I use VC's temmoku gold but really don't care for it. When it's used on the inside of a bowl it will completely cover with yellow crystals giving a mate effect that I don't like. My dark blue/black uses cobalt and I want something that will break red as a good temmoku should, not break blue.

A cone 6 oxidation chun or jun glaze. These are breath taking glazes. I really want to add one to my palette. This one will be tough to develop.

A white nuka that I can use as white or add colorants to. I have a green nuka but haven't tried it without the copper or with other colorants. I may already have this glaze and it just awaits testing to confirm. Or I may have to start from scratch here.

A cone 6 oribe. I love the look of a good oribe. I suspect once I start work on this it will be fairly easy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some recent results



I had some unexpected results from a recent kiln load of pots.

I put a strontium matte under the alberta slip glaze I have been using lately. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting what I got. I got a beautiful floating blue type glaze. Check out the plate below.




The dark stripes are drips of a blue crystalline glaze.

Here is the same combo, strontium matte under alberta slip glaze but this time with barnard slip ash glaze on the rim.


The pale stripes are a grestley borate/rutile wash.

I had a couple other nice pots, some nice mugs but as you can see I haven't yet spent the time and money to get a good photography set up for my pottery pictures. The pictures of the mugs came crappy so I will not up load them.

I have a bowl that I tried something different on and it worked. I used the alberta slip glaze on the bowl expect for a circle about 2.5 inches in the bottom. In that circle I put in a thick coat of blue crystalline glaze. The pool of crystalline glaze came out great. Nice crystals without a computer controlled kiln. Beautiful color. I am going to mix up a batch of clear crystalline glaze and pool it in a bowl letting it overlap a little with the alberta slip glaze. I expect the edges to have blue crystals giving way to white crystals.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A day spent glazing

I had the day off work and spent a good part of the day in the studio.

I had stacked up a pretty healthy stack of bisqued ware. Four or five large bowls, several large platters, a bunch of mugs and one of the tentacle vases. On all of the I used the obsidian 3 modified glaze. That's the very very dark blue.

I also put a coat of strontium matte under the obsidian on several of the pots. I am not sure how it will come out but I am hopeful.

I used several different accent glazes; a crystalline glaze with cobalt, a gerstely borate / rutile wash, a wood ash and barnard slip glaze, lastly some Aerni ash (modified) with cobalt.

One glaze I used today was new. I wanted a yellowish ash. I dug out John Britt's book and set my sights on Lorio Ash.

Alberta Slip 43.5
EPK 13.9
Whiting 29.6
Wood Ash 13.9
Rutile 10

I fire at cone 6, not cone 10 so I have to change it up. Just a little though. I have never used this glaze but the pictures of it at cone 10 show a runny glaze. Well, I want it runny at cone 6 as well. So I sub out the EPK for a flux.

Alberta Slip 43.5
Gerstley Borate 13.9
Whiting 29.6
Wood Ash 13.9
Rutile 10

I put this on a couple pots but pots I really don't like. We'll see how it comes out. I didn't have enough time after mixing and glazing to fire so that will have to wait until later.