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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sandy Day

Well. I had most of the stuff anyways.
So today seemed like the perfect time to acquire the washtub, sand, salt, Jasco Silicone Grout Sealer and rubbing alcohol. Started out in pursuit of these materials well before 9am this morning.
Shopping in a one-horse town can be challenging, especially if the horse has floundered and it's the only game for 100 miles. (By the way, has anyone bought gas lately? It cost me $27.86 to fill my little car's 5 gallon tank. To do a cost comparative analysis - just a few years back, the cost would have been a schochi over $5.00 !!! And thank goodness i filled it Saturday . . . the price went up another 12 cents by Monday.)

Found the salt, Jasco Grout Sealer and rubbing alcohol right away. And also, the large stainless steel bowl and Pyrex glass lid.
However, the washtub was a bit of a headache. By the process of temporizing reconsideration, came to the conclusion that a plastic galvanized metal washtub would probably work - as the fire and flame wouldn't reach beyond the sand and hopefully, the sand won't get hot enough to melt the plastic.
The only major obstacle left to overcome was the sand itself.
If i tell you that my back is out and my leg seems to have a crink in it - well, that was from trying to drag 80 pound sacks of sand from the car to the back yard to fill the plastic galvanized metal washtub! It took four of those puppies to do the trick. That's 360 pounds !!!

OK. So already yet. I hear you asking: What's this all about ???

Recently purchased Watkins & Wandless's book: Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques. If any of you have been in a creative slump recently, it's a must have. Just reading the book, stimulates the imagination and gets the creative liquids circulating to nearly the 212 degree mark. Makes you want to jump right up and start trying all these new methods immediately.

Here's a shortened version of Don Ellis' Copper Matte-Alcohol Reduction technique:
1. Acquire tub and fill it with sand.
2. Place stainless steel bowl in sand and place the glass lid close by.
3. Spray copper wash on bisqued piece and fire to 1750 degrees.
4. Remove from kiln and place on banding wheel (my "banding wheel" is going to be an improvised affair.)
5. Spray with rubbing alcohol. Spray 6-9 layers, waiting 5 seconds between sprays.
6. Place piece in stainless steel bowl and cover with the glass lid which you have handy nearby.

Sounds easy - doesn't it?

If for nothing more than the photos, you need the book. It details more information on Ellis' technique than i've outlined here, along with other techniques that are equally exciting. The photography work is excellent. And if your piece comes out resembling the photos of Ellis' work, you'll have a copperized item with luxurous, iridescent blues, pinks and lavenders. I can hardly wait to try it . . . .
My back is protesting so vigorously that i think we'll try this out on Thursday instead of tomorrow.


cynthia said...

Sounds interesting, Chae - can't wait to see the results!

Happy Mother's Day!

chaetoons said...

Good Mornin' Cynthia
It was a happpy Mother's day! Hope yours was too !!!
There's a new addition to our family -- a little cockatiel which i've named Lux. Prefers to sit on my shoulder rather than anywhere's else !!!
Have had to wait on the new glazing techniques for immediately after i got everything set up to proceed outside -- it started snowing.
It's snowing today
Back to regular kiln firing for a while at least.

Natalie -- NKP Designs said...

You're very brave to set this up in your yard! Can't wait to see the photos!

chaetoons said...

Good Afternoon Natalie
No sooner did i get everything assembled to do the technique in the yard than it started snowing! Mini-blizzard no less!
So! Yesterday, did one of the procedures in the house.
Am about to post the experience to the blog.