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Friday, March 28, 2008

Orange Results

Ok. Opened the kiln last night at 8pm on the button. And the results of the testing are in.
Yunomi cup which i'd used 2 of Alisa Clausen's "pink" recipes on: one on the inside & one outside.
A nondescript cup made with the sole intention of glaze testing.
And a regular cup, which if it came out of the glaze attractively enough, could actually be used!

All were a huge disappointment.

Alisa Clausen's "pink's" required a slow cooling - so this necessitated a 12-hour firing. And because my "new" kiln (purchased in August; arrived in Sept and already the digital programmer shuts the kiln off prematurely. Current remedy? Sit and watch that puppy every minute! ) shut off midway through, the 12-hour firing took much longer!
Used Chappell's SFG-9 on this one. Should have realized that with a recipe containing 4.1% Magnesium Carb, it would turn out with metallic overtones. Instead, thought it'd work pretty well as a raw glaze. ( Which it did! ) Discovered that (with the magnesium) copper + vanadium produce dark brown. Vanadium + Crocus Martin produce? Dark brown.
xxxxxxxxxxxxx This nondescript cup was supposed to be Orange! On the inside, the results of Vanadium + Titantium (with Rhodes' #18) produced brown. On the outside, we came a wee bit closer to achieving the desired results with Titantium + Praseodymium.
Close but no cigar.
However -- there are possibilities here. (1) reduce the amount of Titanium (2) increase the amount of the other oxides (3) fire at "normal" temps instead of the higher temp with the prolonged hold.
This one came closest to "orange" and it is supposed to be Pink !!! (Cream Breaking Red -- apply thinly for pinks; thickly for cream.) As viewed above, the outside was applied thinly. It was scratchily rough and i sandpapered the dickens out of it.
On the inside "Icing Pink" was applied with 2 thick coats. This one was not supposed to "break". Twas spozed to be a solid tutu-pink. It has exactly one very small area of color on the inside.
OK. So it's back to the drawing board on oranges. We're not there yet. Sorta feel like Thomas Edison when asked by a reporter how it felt to have had so many failures when trying to develop the light bulb.
Edison's reply was classic. "Young man," he said. "I have successfully found One thousand, 2 hundred and 43 ways that don't work."
Or was that: 12 thousand, 1 hundred and 43 ways that didn't work?
Am bisque-firing today. Was up at 3:16am to start the load. Not because i wanted to start that early, but nervous agitation about the kiln misfiring kept me awake and it was easier just to get up and begin the firing.
Happy awakefulness everyone


Sister Creek Potter said...

Chae, What is your kiln? Was it new when you got it? You should not have to go through what you are doing to get the firing you want. Is it computerized? I am in the process of leaning how to change out the elements in my kiln--makes me feel so independent to be able to do this myself. I never even wanted to do it myself--just hire someone and pay for them to do the change. But a friend talked me into letting her coach me through the process and I am so excited that I can do this! Gay

chaetoons said...

Hi Gay
The kiln was new in Sept 07. (6 months ago) It's a Pagagon and computerized. Need to call the folks i bought it from and/or Paragon company itself and mention the problem to them but have delayed hoping that the situation would "cure itself" -- foolish i know.
How i admire your independent streak! That's wonderful! You've got to let me know how it works out on the elements. Am thinking You are very brave!

cynthia said...

I was awake with you during your kiln loading - I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep.

In a way testing teaches you so much what a book never could.

chaetoons said...

I wouldn't wish that on anyone -- waking up at 3 in the morning! I think, now that the kiln is misfiring, something in my subconscious says: 'Hey! You've gotta start earlier.' and wakes me up at these outrageous hours!
It's true about actual experience teaching more than the books. Yet i find books invaluable for leading me to try new techniques (and glazes) that i wouldn't necessarily have known about without them.
And when i get in a blue funk, books are my lifeline to sanity !!!
Yesterday was a case in point. Leafing through Hamer's: "The Potter's Dictionary of Materials & Techniques" found a section on creating color designs by sandwiching 2 different clay colors together.
Tried this. Fun. Kept me busy for hours! If it fires up as "prettily" as it now appears, i'll be in 7th heaven!
And have a happy Sunday!