Thursday, May 13, 2010
Raku and Cracks
The only bisque I had ready for raku firing were some B-mix clay ornaments I was saving for test tiles. I didn't know if B-mix clay would be good to use for raku, but I guess it was. I didn't bring my camera to class this time so these are the only photos I have. I used a sampling of the classroom raku glazes that were already mixed up.
I am amazed at how tough red hot pots can be. These ornaments survived being dropped in the kiln while they were molten, dropped into the trashcan full of newspapers and look how they turned out. I had one more ornaments, not sure what happened to it. I emptied the trash cans but it was no where to be found, perhaps it was in the second raku firing which I didn't stay for, hopefully it'll be there next week when I return.
This one has some nice copper flashing on the top, but the photo doesn't do it justice. I am wondering how the raku guru, Tracey Broome, would advise me on picking up flat items in the raku kiln. These were really difficult to get off the kiln shelf. Perhaps if I had known I'd put them in a raku kiln I would have made the edges curl up. Since there were going to be used for test tiles I made them flat to hang against a wall.
Here's my stamp impression on the back of one of the ornaments; it shows up nicely. Gary went with me to class because he was intrigued about raku firing. As we were driving home, he said "If you get a raku kiln you need to be really organized and safety conscious". Did you hear the word "if" in there? We've been married long enough that I know I may have a raku kiln in my future. Yippee.
This nice textured vase I made a while ago cracked on the opposite side of the seam. I think I tried to manipulate it when it was too dry. The smaller fish plate also cracked and the jacaranda bowl. Frost porcelain doesn't like to be moved or manipulated till it is completely dry. So far the big platters, the poppy bowl, and another vase are surviving.
I really liked that Texas white clay I was using in the RV which I got on the West Coast. I am not sure I can get it here on the East Coast. Another favorite of mine for Cone 10 is Windsor porcelain, I could do wonders with that clay. I don't have a reduction kiln and neither does the college and I sorely miss reduction firings. I hope to find someone around here with a reduction kiln where I can occasionally put a piece or two in. I'd like to remake some of the large vases, like the crowded city vase, I did a year or so ago and use some of my high fire, reduction glazes on them.
Up next is some tattoo inspiration so stay tuned. Yes tattoos, you won't want to miss that. Comments and suggestions are welcome.