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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hold On I'm Feeling A Bit Faint!

Success! Opened the kiln this evening and everything had fired properly! I had expected things to have exploded again, so I opened the kiln feeling nervous; and was surprised to discover that everything was intact.

The first picture shows all the mugs. NB This was a single firing. On one or two I noticed the glaze was a little thick, but apart from that they all seem fine. These are all 400g small mugs.

Here is one of them close up. You can see that even the stamp looks nice and clear. I will see if I still like them in the morning, when the light is better.

Next. This is the carved vase which I also single fired. I sprayed the glaze on this. It has left a speckled effect as it pushed the white slip around when I sprayed it, but it looks pretty good and it didn't explode! So it goes down as a success.

This is a tile (I made a load of these ages ago for glaze tests). It doesn't look very interesting but I used it to do a salt glaze test. I wondered if I mixed up a solution of two parts water to one of salt if this would work as a glaze. It hasn't, but you never know unless you try.
I should point out that salt is often used to glaze pottery. However it is normally thrown into the kiln to glaze. What happens is when the kiln reaches the top temperature the salt is thrown in and the resulting reaction leaves a layer on the pottery (and the inside of the kiln).

Here, though, is a surprise. This tile was glazed with bicarbonate of soda. One teaspoon bicarb. to one of water. I'm amazed how well it has turned out. I will see if I can damage it tomorrow to test the usefulness of this technique. If all goes well I may well use it again.
Once again soda is normally thrown into the kiln, but I thought it was worth a try. I read that both salt and soda need a temperature of at least 1090C to work and as I am firing at 1120C I knew the theory behind my experiment was viable.
Anyway, that's all for today.
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