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Friday, July 4, 2008

Don't Give Up

For those of you who are new to pottery; who see some of your pieces come out of the kiln as a glazing disaster -- the bowl, cup, plate, whatever is whole, mind you -- it's just such an ugly color that you'd like to pitch it across the length of a football field; don't give up.

When i first started creating pottery there was no one to tell me that these pieces could be refired.
So! I hid them behind a bunch of stuff, out of sight -- but not quite out of mind. At the time, i thought they were totally unredeemable.

However, the premise that these pieces are doomed to the reject heap is entirely false. Recently, i discovered that pieces can be refired 6 times.
No, make that 7 times.
Well, actually the piece below was refired 8 times before it finally decided to co-operate with me.

Now i am really pleased with it.
So! xx Don't give up !!!
Now if i could just manage my photography skills to adequately display how things appear in "real life", i'd be quite tickled! The bottom of the bowl is mostly brown with red adventurine sparkles underneath the glaze . . . . however . . . . rainbow irisdescent colors rest atop of the glaze. So! Depending upon how the bowl is held in the sunlight determines what the eye actually sees !!!
And to think -- this one was in my "to x-x throwaway - but i just can't part with it yet" pile . . . .
Happy glazing days folks


Rositta said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and I'd like to comment on glazing. I think it depends on your method of firing, ie. reduction etc. Generally though in an electric kiln I find it doesn't work very well especially if the glaze has run off and you have bare spots. These are almost impossible to cover with glaze the second time around, or am I doing something wrong...ciao

chaetoons said...

Hi Rositta
The pieces fired for the last month have all been low-fire glazes.
Generally, the glaze used is:
80 Gerstley Borate
20 Custer Feldspar
Plus whatever oxides, carbonates or washes you want to apply.
I fire to around 1860 degrees F.
The glaze melts but doesn't run off the pot.
But - just in case - i put all pieces up on stilts !!!
Before that was firing to Cone 6 and used much different glazes but the ones i liked the best were Rhodes #18 with his #15 sprayed over it.
Don't know what to tell you about "bare spots" as i haven't run into that yet.
Do you dip? Spray? Brush?
Almost always, i brush my glazes on and double coat . . . .
Hope that helps?

Rositta said...

Hi there chae...thanks for answering. Mostly I fire to somewhere between cone 7 and 8 with an electric kiln. I haven't done any pottery in 4 years and am just now starting again but it was a real business for about 3 years. I dip and double dip in some places and generally don't use oxides except in a slip which I use for trailing work. I am going to see if the glazes for 4 years ago can be rescued or if I have to mix all new stuff. I have photos of my stuff in flick (sidebar of my blog) in the pottery album...hugs to you too, ciao

chaetoons said...

Mornin' Rositta
Being able to fire at Cones 7 and 8 gives you more options. The instructions on my Paragon electric say it will fire to cone 8, but it struggles to do so. Shutting itself off at temps above 2150 degrees F. Have a gas kiln but have been reluctant to fire it as would have had to battle 45 feet of snow during the winter just to get to it and sorta got in the habit of using the Paragon which is in the house.
The clay i use is midfire from Georgies in Oregon. Am really pleased with the way it throws on the wheel and hate to switch clays now that i have some understanding of how to work with this one.
It was learning how to use the oxides for coloring that fascinated me so! Am still fascinated but also frustrated as the colors i map out which should work -- don't.
I admire anyone who can accomplish making pottery a "real business" !!! That's awesome.
Am not quite there yet myself. Have only sold one piece -- and that was by accident !!!
Hey! Have a greatest day.

Natalie -- NKP Designs said...

It's gorgeous!

chaetoons said...

Thanks Natalie
That's music to my ears.
I was a bit tickled with the results myself!