Thursday, July 1, 2010

new clay, regurgitated decoration.

I got about 10#'s of my new clay body out of the racks today and I made a bunch of test pieces with it. The rings will be cut into pieces for glaze tests. The cups are made from 3/4#s and are for further testing of glazes that show promise. The new clay body is based on the old one but I cut out the goldart and significantly increased the kaolin along with replacing the 35 mesh fireclay with 50 mesh. I want a lighter body so this should be a good start. I mixed up 2 batches, about 650 pounds altogether. That should give me some good insight.

I had only 6 students in my summer class which is nice but it's hard to fill the gas kiln with only 6. I don't like the first semester students to have to commit all their work to one firing so about 1/3 of this kiln load was mine. This firing was weird, the left half of the kiln reduced just fine and the right oxidized. I've heard of this happening before but it's never happened to me. Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of bad firings but this is a new phenomenon to me. This large jar sat right in the middle of the top and got half reduced and half oxidized. It made me really mad at first but looking at the photo I kinda like it. Maybe it'll grow on me.

This is my ame glaze in the slow cooling gas kiln(it takes 2.5-3 days.) It's also incredibly reliable...go figure.

The customers for the dinnerware set I just did had one request, apples, but in my "style." At first I cringed a little and thought seriously about passing but they're friends...and then I remembered this Scott Roberts cereal bowl I have that has an apple-esque design. In an attempt to be completely unoriginal I copied his apple design after much practice at trying to come up with my own. Guess Scott's getting added to the list of potters getting a royalty check from me.

Dinner time, gotta go!


ang design said...

i had exactly that with my last gas firing 1/2 way through the kiln oxidised you could run a line through it..I know i didnt reduce it as much so prob going back to the old way of firing, having said that peeps like the half done apple motif..

cookingwithgas said...

that is a great apple- they should be very happy.
I have to wonder why an apple?
Doctor, teacher....- and the teapot is yummy!

Joe and Christy said...

And here I was getting all annoyed at the amount of spam we get in our comment sections... looks like it's a universal problem.
I'll be interested in hearing how you like your new clay body. I also like your half and half jar.... though I imagine everything to the right of it might be a little dull. I've never heard of a kiln being split like that. We often have little pockets of oxidation in our second chamber, but nothing quite so dramatic as what you describe. Any guesses what would cause that?

jim said...

i love the glaze on that teapot... beautimous!

brandon phillips said...

the spammers are really pissing me off. i may have to start moderating comments before they're posted. what a pain in the a**.

That kiln has two forced draft burners, one on each side. I'm guessing one of them was being weird, the settings were right though. Hopefully that won't happen again.