Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Third Firing is in the Books!

 Despite having the mother of all colds (definitely not covid; I have tested 3 times now - 2 at-home & one pcr), I could not wait to unload the third glaze firing of the new soda kiln this morning. Got some amazing color - kind of a bronze-y gold - on the bare bmix body; and the Bauer orange, that reliable standby, got almost uniformly glossy & bright. See for yourself!

There were a couple disappointing factors, tho - some of the pieces were made before I started slow-drying anything with slip decoration, and as a result there was a little bit of popping off. Slow drying seems to have solved this problem, so yay; but of course those individual pieces will have to be seconds. 

And speaking of seconds, some of the Dotopia pieces - the ones with Oribe dots, as opposed to yellow dots - some of those will have to be 2nds also, because a lot of the dots jumped right off the ware & onto the kiln shelves (mostly) or other pots. This is a super annoying new problem, which I suspect is caused by a change I made it response to advice, and upped my bisque temperature from ^08 to ^05. I can't see any advantage to this - just higher fuel costs - & now it has made my glaze behave badly. So, not to put to fine a point on it, fuck that. 
Some dot pots that didn't have that annoying problem

You might think I am unhappy with this firing but - au contraire! - I am quite delighted. I got a lot of good pots, I know (at least I think I know) how to correct the problems, and best of all I feel like I am getting a good handle on how to fire this kiln. I think the level of reduction & amount of soda were just about perfect. 

I am always happy when I am learning new things. 

Some of these pots are off to Mainely Gallery in Belfast; a few - mostly mugs - are headed for Bay View Company; and the rest will be available for sale here at my studio during the Maine Pottery Tour. 

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