Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The After

I can't remember whether I promised to post the "after" photo to go with the "before" here or on my facebook page; in any  case, here it is. The gravy boat halfway up on the right was my favorite from this firing; if it doesn't sell over the holiday shopping season, I'll photograph it so you can have a closer look.

This was Wednesday, a rough day at my house: we had to have a cat euthanized. William was almost 17 and in some ways the heart of our household. He greeted visitors, spent every possible moment in a lap, and the other cats adored him. (not exaggerating: one in particular followed him around like a shadow.) It sucks to lose them but it's the price of loving them, and well worth it in my book.

Folks who only know me online probably think that all I do all day long is say goodbye to pets because I always mention it. We do have a lot of pets, so we lose a lot; and it feels...not right, I guess...to carry on as if nothing happened. Rest easy, Sweet William; I'll see you on the other side.

Back to our clay story, already in progress:

This firing reminded me how very small differences can make a big difference in results! There was a tiny gap between the bag wall (recently rebuilt) and the back wall of the kiln. I stuffed it up with a bit of wadding, and thereby addressed this issue I was having that there was an area in the center of the kiln which seemed a little dry. Some of the soda vapor must have been being sucked straight up the stack.

Lesson 2 of this firing: salt is not soda! I tried adding a small amount of salt this time, and discovered that some glazes that perform just fine in soda do not like salt much! I had a few pieces get blistery and bubbly. Not so badly that you can't use them but they are definitely seconds.
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