Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost Perfect

The bisque was almost perfect like this butterfly on lantana. One of his wings was half gone, but it didn't seem to matter he just kept flying around sipping nectar. There were no cracks, no blow-ups, and no sprigs fell off in the whole load.

Cone 06 melted down completely, but cone 05 and 04 are upright. Next bisque I will try 05 with a hold at the top for 10 minutes, if that doesn't do it then 20 minutes, then 04 with no hold. We shall see, every kiln is different.

The only problem was the kanthal wire handles on the basket and the tall vase. The wire leaned probably due to the beads I placed on top of the handles. The beads weighed down the handles. Not sure if I want to try bending the wire back into place. Should I try it or leave the wire wonky? Maybe I'll put these two into a barrel firing and leave the wire as is.

This lid with a topper and a short length of kanthal wire did just fine. I'll have to experiment more with this technique.

For efficiency I could fire another bisque load and while it's firing I could be glazing these. It takes two days for a bisque, for the load, the fire, the cool down, and the unload. Then while the next glaze is firing I could be glazing the second bisque and so on. Thanks everyone for all the great comments on my last post, I learned some valuable information. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. This morning I wished to see a butterfly today but it didn't happen ... until I saw your post! You made me smile over how the universe delivers things to us. :-)
    Isn't it a beautiful thought that even with a broken wing one can still fly?
    I kinda like the wonky wires, I'd go for the barrelfiring.


  2. Hi Monique, thanks, I am so glad I posted the butterfly, after I did I saw others flying around the lantana which is one of the favorite nectar foods of the butterfly. ... yes broken and run down wings and all ... so many fly... in their daily lives. I was disappointed at first with the kanthal wire, but I am now getting used to them and may leave them as they are for a barrel firing. I somehow forgot to post the photo of the topper being ok. Oh well, thanks for your comments. May a butterfly fly by and delight you in it's beauty.

  3. Congrats on the firing!
    One thing to consider it perhaps checking the cones during the firing when you're getting close to temperature? This does require putting the cones in a spot that can see through your peep holes. For my first few firings I set the temperature with a longish soak. You can check the cones during the fire and you see your cone is bent as you want it, you just end the firing. Might save you a few steps in your experimentation. :-)

  4. Hi Miri, thanks, I thought about that and could have interrupted the firing and reprogrammed, but it was 2 am and I was tired. I will see what happens next. i do have thick gloves and glasses to look at the cones, I must check them out the next time especially since I really am committed to fine tuning this oxidation firing.

  5. i only use the electric kiln to bisque and never use cones in it, only a pyrometer... fire to about 1875... sometimes it gets a little a hotter but never over 1900.

  6. Hi Michele, thanks, this load went to 1881, but it wasn't a 05, the middle cone in both cone packs shown here. I want to at least get that cone to bend for the bisque. When I did gas firing they sometimes only bisqued to 06 and I had pinholing and crawling, which I want to avoid. I'm won't fire these over again, I'll see how the glaze load does on these pieces.

  7. Hey linda- this might not be the time- But i was looking at your kiln and I wanted to let you know that I put mine up on bricks to make it easier for me to load.
    Three hard bricks turned sideways- good firing!

  8. Hi Meredith, good idea, but too late now, it's too heavy to move. I'm only 5 feet 2 inches tall, so it isn't too bad since it's only 18 inches deep and is on a metal stand of about a foot. One brick might have helped a bit, next time I'll think of that.

  9. Hi Linda, Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm checking yours out now :) I'm in Gainesville...near you?

    I kind of like the "wonky" wire, particularly on the more round, curvy basket. You might try the straightening on the taller form, as it seems to have more formal architectonic lines. Or you could go with a slanty surface decoration and that might make it seem more intentional. Serendipity... sometimes it works :) --Ann


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment