Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Glaze Firing

This is the sum total of my first glaze firing.  I wanted to do a test run, rather than fill it to the brim.  The first bisque firing went fine but didn't get as hot as it should have which is much more forgiving on a bisque firing than a glaze firing.  To accommodate for that I'm using a 7 cone in the kiln sitter though my goal is to fire to cone 5 or 6.  

Kiln wash on the shelf

Bottom shelf

Second and third shelves.  You can see the witness cones sitting there in front of the peep hole.  

Loading in the last piece.
Ok, next day . . .  emptied the kiln this morning.  Again, it appears from the witness cones that it didn't get as hot as it should have but the pieces seem to have cured fine.  

first glaze run

These two tumblers were a bit disappointing.  I really dislike the colors (rose and medium blue underglazes with a clear glaze overall) - or maybe it's just my brushing technique (or lack thereof) but I also must have gotten some wax on the rim where the glazes didn't take.
These two tumblers are done in true celadon over porcelain.  I like them; the carvings show through well and the color is nice.

I used all my new underglazes on this so I could see what colors they fired.  It will come in very handy.

You can see the cones didn't bend like you would expect.  They are 5, 6, and 7 cone packs and the bent cone is a 7 which was in the kiln sitter.  I had hoped to fire to cone 5 but from the look of the witness cones, it appears I didn't get there.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Latest Pottery

An udu drum done in underglazes and stains.
A couple of tumblers, carved, stained with Spanish iron oxide and 3 coats of clear glaze. 
Mug.  I think the bottom is very thin celadon froth but not sure what's on the top.  I like the shape of this.
"Quilted" tumbler with painted underglazes, stained and then covered with clear glaze.
The kit 'n kaboodle.   The front bowl is chun over cappucino.
Working on pieces for my first glaze firing.  The white is a clear glaze and underneath are varioius underglazes and stains.  These pieces and the ones below are from my first bisque firing.
Pieces waiting for glazing.

waiting for glazing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Kiln Firing

Malley came up on Saturday, February 12th, to help me load the kiln for the first time.  We figured it would take about 10 or 12 hours to fire so we loaded it on Saturday and I was to start it up early Sunday morning when I'd be around all day.
The first shelf

Filling the kiln.

Second shelf

Third shelf, which is a half shelf

It's full and ready to fire
 So I went out on Sunday  morning and flipped on the first switch at 8.  I flipped on the second switch at 10 a.m. and the third switch at 12 noon.  I then just waited one hour between switch number 4 and another hour for switch number 5.  So they were all on at 2:00 and at about 3:30 the kiln sitter shut the kiln off.

This was much faster than we'd expected - just 7.5 hours.  I was a little worried when I looked at the cone set on the bottom shelf and could see that none of those cones had bent, indicating that it hadn't really gotten up to the required temperature.  However, the kiln sitter cone had bent and turned the kiln off so I was still hopeful.
The cones after firing
 I had to wait until Monday to let it cool off enough to empty, so Monday morning before work I opened it up and the kiln was still warm.  I pulled out the piece below and could see that it had turned fairly pink as they should when it's bisqued.
A bisqued piece - it's actually more pink than it looks in this photo.

More of the fired pieces.  The white ones are porcelain.
I think the kiln should have fired for a bit longer than it did but I think the pieces will be okay to glaze and fire again.  I'll try to do that soon, for the experience.

Rick had to pick up a faculty candidate from the airport tonight so he stopped by Portland Pottery to pick up supplies for me.  I got a bunch of glazes and underglazes, some kiln wash, some more cones, etc.