Monday, August 23, 2010
Bathed In Sunlight
I'm calling this spirit jar, Bathed in Sunlight; it's about 15 inches tall. I've used yellow slip for the sun and also drizzled the slip run down the sides in columns. I inserted kanthal wire in the top for the sun's rays and put little beads at the end of each ray of the sun. In the photo it looks like there are twice as many wires and top beads due to the reflection. I couldn't move the piece for the photo because the yellow slip wasn't completely dry.
Here's a jar which I squeezed into a wavy form; it's about 11 inches tall. For the next week or so I'll be making sculptural pieces with my Cassius Basaltic clay.
Several folks requested information about Cassius Basaltic clay. It fires a rich black in the final fire. It shouldn't be fired any hotter than cone 4 to prevent blistering or bloating and little white specks coming to the surface. It does contain manganese so should be fired with proper ventilation. It also doesn't take well to glazes due to impurities in the clay, so I use it for sculptural pieces. This is supposedly the blackest firing clay available. I purchased this clay in California. It is distributed by Aardvark Clay in Los Angeles. Once I get a group of pieces made with this clay, I can fire them all together to the same temperature.
We've had severe thunderstorms and lots of lightening the last three days so I couldn't fire the kiln. Tomorrow is supposed to be a calm day, so I plan to start the kiln at noon and be done firing a little after midnight. I figured if I start firing midday when it's hottest outside, by the time the kiln is really hot it will be cooler outside and then by morning it will be cooled down. If I start firing late at night the kiln is the hottest in the morning and it has to cool down during the hottest part of the day.
I think there's a whole system to firing during the summer when a kiln is inside a garage connected to the house. Next place I'll have the kiln in a separate building away from the house. Coming up next some beach photos from the Forgotten Coast of Florida, you won't want to miss those. Comments and suggestions are welcome.