Sunday, February 27, 2011

Polished Kiln

Here's a textured tile I did the other day on my black clay. The top is a textured bag some shrimp came in and the bottom one is a brass sprocket. Metal is bringing top dollar at the scrap yards, especially brass or copper.

I've been looking and looking for some metal pieces to use and they are hard to come by. The scrap yard only had huge ones, the rest they pile in bins and won't let the public rummage through. Some old clock works would be ideal for impressing in clay.

This one I'm experimenting from a video by Curt Benzle on ceramic arts daily tip of the day for layered colored slip. I think the slip was too wet and I didn't get all the colors to show. I have six layers of slip of white, green, lavender, blue, chartreuse and peach, but it looks like only the green and blue are showing. I've let the tile dry a bit more and will try more sgraffito through the layers to see what I get.

Here's the raku kiln set up with one section left out. Gary cleaned it all up, connected the wire to the pyrometer and polished the metal. There's nothing prettier than a polished kiln. Thanks Gary. He says putting the polish on the metal keeps it from rusting. Gary likes shiny metal. When Gary was driving trucks he said he didn't care what the rest of the truck looked like, but he wanted to look out over a shiny hood as he drove down the road. I think Gary is looking forward to seeing some shiny raku pieces come out of the kiln.

There was one short red wire under the kiln we're not sure where it goes? Any idea? The burners were filled with black soot and a bunch of it is all over the inside my car, not sure how it floated around in there, but it did. Perhaps because I had the air on that afternoon. A good reason to wear a mask when dealing with raku.

I woke up early with an idea for two series of pieces I can make for raku and I can't wait to get started on them. If I wake up with an idea I have to get up and jot down a memory sketch, otherwise I may forget about the idea. I think I'll check the tide tables and maybe we can go down and put our fishing lines in the water today and see what we can come up with.


  1. I love the look of raku-fired pottery. That is one fine looking kiln. I agree, there's something about their shininess and their place in the creative process... Have a great Sunday, Linda!

  2. It's fun to experiment with the layers of slip and color. I love the process of putting on, scraping off... Best luck with the kiln... and the fishing! (I like the texture on the tile.)

  3. Hi Linda! Looks like you are having a lot of clay fun these days :) Never thought to polish the kiln to prevent rust...hmmm. What did he use to polish? Maybe I could convince my hubby to shine up my kiln!

  4. I have never had a kiln that I could actually see my face in (probably just as well!), but it is nice to see something like that all looked after and loved. I am sure that you will have a lot of fun with it. I wonder if it would go up to stoneware temperatures, I have heard that some raku kilns will??

  5. Hi Teresa, thanks, you should have seen the kiln before Gary polished it, what a difference.

    Hi Patricia, thanks, we didn't go fishing because Gary said we should wait for the weekday when it's less crowded.

    Hi Kathy, thanks, he used some paste metal polish for stainless that comes in a can and some other stuff he has that's a spray and is a silver can, but the label is gone and he doesn't even know what it is. A lot of the products he uses are for cars because we used to have a lot of old cars and he loved to detail them.

    Hi Peter, thanks, I think the metal polish Gary used did wonders for this kiln. I believe this kiln will go to cone 10 and it can be used for reduction, but I'll probably try some cone 6 reduction, using less fuel hopefully. The bricks aren't as thick as my other kiln so not sure I would want to take it to Cone 10 I would think it would cool down rather quickly


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