Friday, August 27, 2010
Happy Clam and Glazing
Truth be told, I was apprehensive during this bisque firing for two reasons. I wondered if lightening would cause the electricity to shut down. I was lucky and the lightening was off in the distance. The other worry was the load contained a number of experimental pieces which had a potential to fail for one reason or another.
Everything came out just fine, except one flat sprig fell off the geometric pedestal vase. It slid down beside the teapot. I figure it must have fallen off during the cool down since it didn't break when it fell. I plan on using a trick Judy told me about, thanks Judy. I will glaze the body of the piece, put some Elmer's glue where I want to attach the sprig, then glaze the sprig in place. Hopefully this trick works since I spent a long time buidling this piece.
The cake pedestal didn't droop and I fired it upright, had to because of the sprigs on the top. It leans slightly but I think it already leaned when I dried it because I dried it upside down on wads. Michele gave me the idea to dry it upside down, thanks Michele. If only I had put the sprigs on the side of the pedestal then I could dry the cake pedestal absolutely flat. Next one.
The thick heavy saguaro vase didn't blow up or crack. Even the 16 inch tall vase is OK. The shell basket legs didn't fail. The legs look so small I thought the weight of the vase would break them, but I realize clay is much stronger than I think.
I was making this work for four months. I can't believe that much time has gone by since we moved here. So many months work is tied up in the firings and so far I am a happy clam. Now that I'm more comfortable with firing this new kiln, things will be go much quicker in the future, if the weather cooperates.
I've made a pretty good dent on glazing the two bisque loads. I glaze each piece individually and brush the glaze on. Some of the taller vases I pour the inside glaze and then brush the outside. I have terra cotta test tiles decorated with slip and I'll be testing clear glazes during the first glaze firing to see which will work best for the plates, platters, and vases.
Once I get all this work fired, I plan to experiment with making and spraying glazes. I was reading one of my ceramics books and saw some dry barium glazes I think would look super on sculptures. Comments and suggestions are welcome.