Sunday, April 10, 2011

Deck furniture returns

I enjoyed a nice Sunday around the house, cleaned the studio and then had our first barbecue of the season.  Rick brought the table and chair set from the cottage and Jared helped him with the grill.  Justin and Keeley came over for hot dogs, hamburgers, and salad.  Keeley made a delicious chocolate and vanilla pudding pie.  

I don't think we had the deck at this time last year.  It makes spring feel like it comes earlier because it's so much warmer up there off the snowy ground.  

There's still more than 2 feet of snow off the front of the deck.  It had been in the high 60s or low 70s earlier in the day but got pretty chilly by the time we finished dinner. Came inside and lit some logs in the fireplace.  

Yesterday I did a bisque firing using a cone 04 in the kiln sitter.  It fired for about 6 hours before the kiln sitter shut it down.  The bottom witness cones were 05 06 07 and the 05 and 06 bent fairly well.  The witness cones on the top two shelves practically dissolved, leaving parts of the cones on the shelves.  Guess those two shelves are hotter than the bottom one.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pottery Notes: Second Successful Glaze Firing

I had been having trouble with the kiln.  I tried to fire it twice last weekend and neither worked properly.  I foolishly discovered that I had mixed up which was off and which was on for the switches, so I was starting with it completely on and gradually turning it off.

I figured it out by opening the lid and and starting from scratch and watching the elements come on as I turned the switches.  We also used it to heat the garage up so that we could work out there.  

We cleaned the garage and then built shelves for the new kitchen pantry.  I love how much it holds and it really helps in decluttering the kitchen.  

So after we finished working in the garage I loaded the kiln and started it about 5 p.m. and it was done firing by about 11:30.  I think the pieces came pretty nice, mostly.

Left is brown clay with true celadon and underglazes; center is porcelain with true celadon;
and right is also true celadon on porcelain.

Tumblers with oil spot glaze.

Two tumblers on the right are seaweed glaze.  They look rather
metallic - much like a raku firing, but more controlled. The tumbler on the left is Vert Lustre outside, shino inside with shino dripped on outside.  I really like that combo and think I'll use it for the teapot I made Charlie. 

Royal blue with chun plum and true celadon. Really nice combo.

These all have true celadon.  Much darker on the dark clay.  I'm not
sure why the two porcelain pieces look so differently.

Various underglazes with blue rutile glaze inside.

Teddy bear brown underglaze with colored underglazes on top.  I ended up giving this and some other pieces to a
colleague who was collecting things for her friend who was moving into a new apartment after having been in a
homeless shelter for a  year.  
Royal blue and root beer glaze. Definitely not my favorite.  This royal blue is so much lighter than the royal blue on the small mug above.  I usually do a full 3 coats but I may have dipped the mug. . . hmmm... I really liked the way that came out better.

Teapot I finished building today.  The Chinese
letters are supposed to say Life

I made it for Charlie and got the Chinese letters from his book which in full
is called Life Lines but I decided to just use Life.

These are 4, 5, and 6 cones.  There was a Cone 8 in the kiln sitter and it clearly
got up to Cone 4, and just touched on Cone 5 I'd say.