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.


  1. Congratulations on a SUCCESSFUL firing!! The cake plate looks wonderful! I just posted how I admire your bravery in clay ;o) your new work is looking wonderful.

  2. Hi Cindy, thanks, I may not be brave but foolish. I need some things to come out in the glaze fire and be able to repeat them, we shall see coming up soon, then see if I can duplicate the results.

  3. I'm with Judy, whenever I have something fall off, I just dab a little clear glaze on the bottom and it glues itself right back on. I have even attached a couple of barn roofs this way.

  4. I can see why it is making you happy to be able to gaze upon all that work you have done. Everything is looking so wonderful, the hits just keep on coming! Great job Linda.

  5. Congrats on a good firing!
    I'm so happy for you that it al worked out just fine!
    don't keep us waiting to long for those 'glaze-pics' now! :-)
    Have a good weekend Linda!

  6. Hi Tracey, thanks, I hope it stays on, the piece did so nice in the bisque.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I want to get some final results so I know what to concentrate on making next.

    Hi Monique, thanks, I want to fire asap, but the monsoon weather dictates everything around here, hopefully Sunday or Monday storms will be less severe.

  7. Congrats Linda! Its reassuring to read that I'm not the only one who frets about firings... I love your glazed work storage area! So nice to be able to close the doors and keep stuff safe (do you have lizards too???). ;-) Looks like some serious treasures you've got going in there! Love those twin angular vases on the middle shelf.

  8. Hi Miri, thanks, the closet is nice, but this room has one long closet with two doors but in the middle there's no door so it's a pain in the neck to reach the stuff in the middle. Also the louvered bifold doors don't allow the closet door to open up as wide as a swinging door. I have cats so I have to keep everything in a closet or they would jump up and knock stuff down. I hope those vases turn out. One of them has a fairly narrow bottom but it isn't tippy amazingly so. We have lizards, but none in the house; my studio is in one of the bedrooms. Haven't done a glaze load in this kiln yet, am planning on doing a cone 5, will probably fire tomorrow since we have a small reprieve from thunderstorms.

  9. your churning and burning Linda (literally, with all the firings)!... How fun to see how you work is coming out. Awesome!


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