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Friday, September 25, 2009


OK !!! I feel a little more positive now.
It's as if, after much searching thru the convoluted maze of pathways at the world's fair, i finally found the cotton candy booth. Oughta mention here: i love cotton candy!
Here's the scoop.
About three-quarters of the way thru yesterday's firing, realized i was trying to do two opposing things simultaneously.
1.) Was still working under the theory, that with different programming, i could get the little electric Paragon to reach a mid-range temp.
2.) That i had concocted glazes for a much lower temperature range, and if brought up to 2142°F quite possibly, they would "boil" and the effects of the whole firing would give misleading results.

Opted for the lower temperature range. Specifically 2016°F with a 15-minute hold.
Used 3 different glaze calculations.
Here are the results:
Glaze 1 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Glaze 2
Both glaze 1 and 2 vitrified. Glaze 2 is richer, more glossy and a much better glaze. In both cases, i poured glaze into the bowl, swished it around, then poured the remaining out. Glaze#2 is a Conrad G170, cone 3-5 gloss. It worked well, but if used again, will apply 2 coats for i think that will give better results. The pea-green color resulted from the basic glaze with 1% copper carb and 0.25% Rutile added. The dark purplish blue had 0.5 cobalt oxide and 0.25 magnesium added to basic glaze.
Neither of these glazes ran at all.
Now for the prize. This next one is a glaze formulation which i found on the internet which had been published in Ceramics Monthly's April 1998 issue. Notes on the glaze mentioned that it had a Cone 1-6 range but sometimes bubbled at Cone 6.
It is a rich creamy glossy turquoise glaze. Perfect. Only needs one coat. But 2 coats wouldn't hurt it. Doesn't run at 2016°F temp with a 15-min hold. Will definately use this formulation again.
Name: Wrights Water Blue
Cone: 1-6 Oxidation
3% Lithium Carbonate
9% Strontium Carbonate
59% Frit 3110
12% EPK
17% Silica
2% Bentonite
5% Copper Carbonate
Wasn't sure the clay i am using would vitrify at this low of a temperature either, or that the glaze would marry the clay. It's Georgies G-mix 6 with grog. It has a stated range of cone 4-6. However, the clay is extremely versatile and i've used it before when doing raku firing. Had noted, then, that the pieces with a raku 80/20 glaze would hold water indefinately without the liquid seeping out. No leakage.
If sound counts for anything a'tall, a fingernail pinged against the side of the bowl gives a lovely melodic sound as if the clay has vitrified !!!
Currently, have water in all three bowls checking for seepage or leaking.
So !!!!
There you have it. There may be a way around dysfunctional kilns.
After a year in the doldrums, a wee bit of my lifelong positive attitude is returning! And i am soooo glad to meet and greet it again . . . .

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