Thursday, September 2, 2010
More Firing and Glazing
Last firing the bead on a wire handle drooped on the pot next to it and the glaze fused them together. I used a handheld propane torch to heat up the glaze to separate them. If a piece sticks to the kiln shelf you can also use this method of heating the glaze and melting it to separate it from the shelf. Careful not to touch the part you heat because it stays extremely hot for a very long time.
I loaded this bisque last night and it is cooling; it's down to 532. Seems like it takes forever for the last 500 degrees to cool. I had two tall sculptural pieces which won't stand up on their own that so I propped them with stilts. I have no idea what I will do when I glaze fire them. I may make a pedestal tray with a pocket for them to rest in. What do you think, have any creative ideas of what to do?
Several people asked exactly which program I ended up using for my last firing. Here it is. I ended up putting the top peep in at 770 degrees but next time I will put the top peep in when the final fire down of 1400 is reached and the kiln shuts off. Here is the cone pack for the bottom shelf. Somehow I put the cones in reverse order so going from left to right is cone 6, cone 5, cone 4. The top shelf cone 6 was barely tipping, so it was cooler. The last photo in my previous post shows the inside of the kiln after firing. Judy at Mountain House Studios has given me some great advice about keeping firing logs and details about the cones and the placement of pieces of work in the kiln. I'm starting a separate firing book.
It took me forever to glaze the saguaro vase. I wanted the depressions to have a darker glaze and the ridges to be lighter. I paint each glaze with a small paint brush. Hope all the time it took is worth it.
We went to the big box store today to get a few items and I was drooling in the tool section at the paint guns. Gary already has an air compressor. I almost have Gary talked into getting a sprayer. It has a gravity fed paint reservoir and I can just imagine myself spraying glazes. Gay at Sister Creek Pottery gave me some good hints on spraying glazes so I can't wait to try them out.
The cake pedestal is solid at the bottom and I put four holes (I always put more than one just in case) to allow air and gases to escape during firing. When I glaze the piece I temporarily put a toothpick in each hole to keep the glaze out.
If the kiln cools down in time I'll start another glaze firing tonight. Comments and suggestions are welcome.