Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweet Ash.

Hello all, here is the post I promised yesterday. I've been busy getting pots ready for a wood firing taking place monday. I'm also firing the gas kiln at the univ. this week with a dinnerware set and a couple of platters, the rest of the kiln will be rounded out with student work. I've found myself making more pots for glaze as opposed to slip lately. I think I'm needing some variety. My last couple of semesters in college I exhausted myself with ash glazes, both pots and testing-I must've tested in the hundreds of glazes. I picked two that I liked and have used only those since college, funny enough one of the best glazes then and still now is one of the simplest and oldest, the old 442. You can see it a couple posts ago. So anyways, about half of the wood kiln load will be glazed. I'm a little worried, actually a lotta worried about how they'll turn out. I thought maybe I would just fire them in the gas kiln but to me that feels as if I'm doing the work an injustice by taking the easy/reliable way out. Sure I may lose more pieces but the surface on the pots out of the wood kiln just puts the gas kiln to shame. So why, you may ask, am I firing a dinnerware set in the gas kiln? I don't have enough kiln shelves to stack all those plates individually. Way it goes.

It's been a looooong time since I've glazed a platter. Actually that's not true-I did a shino platter last fall, anyways... I have had trouble finding large containers to be able to dip large platters/shallow bowls into. They either require too much volume of glaze(rubbermaid storage) or are cost prohibitive(restaurant suppliers). I saw a photo of Guillermo Cuellar somewhere glazing a platter in the lid of a trash can and I thought to myself: Brilliant!

Here are a couple slipped platters I decorated a few days ago. They are both tile6 slip-the one on the left has a contrasting slip brushed on one side and a brushwork pattern that is supposed to resemble birds, I don't know how successful that is but I like it all the same. I hakeme'd(can that be a verb?) the guy on the right after I poured on the slip. The hakeme pattern is korean via hamada via shimaoka via phil rogers, though maybe I'm the first to use a flashing slip, eh?

This bowl is about 12" across, I'm particularly fond of how well the jigsaw blade pattern came out.
Today has been one of those days that makes you want to pull your hair out, nothing really going wrong, just frustration after frustration. I was feeling a bit pissy and made a post unfairly critiquing someone who as far as I know is not here in the blog-o-sphere. I enjoy a healthy critique as much as the next fella but it's not fair when the person being critiqued can't defend themselves. So for those of you who read that before I deleted it- I apologize for my doucheness.
I was thinking this afternoon about potters who have reached a certain sort of tenure in the pottery world. It reminds me a bit of The Emperor's New Clothes, draw your own conclusions.
That's enough blither for today. So long.


Judy Shreve said...

Brandon -- I can't wait to see photos of this work. It should be fabulous coming out of the wood kiln.

Thanks for the garbage can lid idea -- and also will you share your tile 6 slip recipe -- or I should ask first what's the temp. range?

And as far as the critique -- you didn't name the artist so no harm done. It's always good to talk about handle improvements!

Linda Starr said...

Nice slip work and great trash can lid idea. I've never used them, but have seen those plate shelf systems made like the tile ones, probably pretty clostly though; I don't know.

Kyle Carpenter said...

I found the other cup. Really nice little cups. They feel great.

Sometimes I use a 20 gallon bucket for pouring glaze/slip on larger pots and platters. They are the large buckets with the two rope handles, usually costing $5-7 at Lowe's or Dollar General. I use a cup and pour glaze/slip, holding the pot over the large bucket. After I'm finished I pour whatever's in the large bucket back into the 5 gallon bucket and just wash out the large one.

Also, M.Kline often fires "glaze only" kiln loads and puts in less salt than if he is firing his slipware pots.

That's my 2 cents. Oh, and lovely bowl.

Anonymous said...


Discovered your blog via Joe Cole in WI. Like the pots, very nice.

Collin Taylor

Alex Matisse said...

For glazing large platters why not just pour in the glaze and pour it out? That leaves the underside unglazed which for wood firing I think is ok but maybe the platter was headed for the gas kiln in which case I can see wanting to get some glaze under it.

Joe and Christy said...

Good luck with your wood firing. Is there something in particular you are worried about with all your ash glaze in the wood kiln? Don't worry, I'm sure it will go well.

brandon phillips said...

the tile6 slip is from the rock creek kiln article in studio potter from the early 90's. It's range is cone8+ though i find it looks best between cone 9-10.
#6 Tile Kaolin 14
Grolleg Kaolin 3
Silica 1
Nepheline Syn. 2
Bentonite .25

straight tile 6 with some bentonite is nice as well, i think that is what kyle carpenter uses. these only flash color in salt/soda fired atmospheres though. if you fire it in a standard ox/red firing it'll just be a dry white.

linda-yeah, they make plate setters but they are somewhat costly and i'm not sure how well they would hold up in a wood/salt kiln. i may buy a couple and see.

alex-they're going in the gas kiln, i'm trying something new and didn't want to waste the space in my wood kiln. the platters i do in the wood kiln are bare on the bottom and flash nicely.

joe-i always worry about something. ash glazed work has been only 10-15% of my total output so i worry about committing that much of a kiln load to it. i salt it which will flux the glaze a bit but if any of the kiln hits cone 11 that glaze will run right off the pots. i like m. kline's idea of doing glazed vs. slipped loads and i think i may pursue that idea. but for this one i've got to get it fired.

Anonymous said...

hey... another idea if the trash can lid isn't deep enough, if you have an oriental grocery near you, they usually have large round plastic containers of various sizes used to wash vegetables in. i have one about 7" deep and probably 20" in diameter.