Fat Bottom Girls!

Thick Bottoms

Raku luminaries had a thick beginning! I had to cut a hole on top of three raku pieces and WOW I have more practice to do to get thinner bottoms.

Live and Learn

George Gasoigne

Summer Time

And the living is easy…..

Sounds like a plan right?!

Speaking of easy… I am currently in pottery class learning/doing alternate firing processes. We are going to be doing several different Raku firings, pit firing, barrel firing, soda something and ending with luster(ing?)… [still learning LOL]

Here is an example of one of the processes – this is called Naked Raku:

terra sigillata

Naked Raku Orb by Charles and Linda Riggs, 2003. 7 in. (18 cm) in width. Stoneware painted with white terra sigillata and polished with a soft cloth, bisque fired to cone 010, covered in resist slip and glaze. Sgraffito through glaze before raku firing to 1400ºF (760°C).

Wonderful Results!

I mentioned in earlier blogs that I ran into a ‘running of the glazes’ whilst using my favorite glaze combos. During the time of remedying the glaze issue I researched and found another glaze combo that a) allowed me to experience Testing of Tiles, and b) eventually produced an effect that is so juicy!

I had to lighten the photos a bit to help show the remarkable effects.

I used Amaco’s Potter’s Choice Glazes. Typically I first glazed 2x Obsidian Celadon, then 2x Merlot, then splashes of 2x Seaweed.

Wow!

Testing Test Tiles

First attempt to use brush-on glazes! To become familiar with the glazes, their combos, the running, as well as the processing in the studio kiln, I need to test the glaze on test tiles. So I made some.  Well I gave it a try, rolled out some clay, texturized the slab, positioned the slab to dry… but I dried it too long so cutting the slab into little ‘test tiles’ became a chore. Anyhow I saved what I could I bisqued them, and wha-lah!  LOL  (the studio has an extruder and I was given the green light to use it – yeehaw!… I’ll document that experience in a later post after it happens).

The glazes I’m testing are Amaco’s Potter’s Choice: Ancient Jasper and Blue Rutile. After doing a lil research I LOVED results of using these two glazes that folks were posting.

3 sets of handmade test tiles, with their first glazing and resting 24 hours before the next glaze application
Anjient Jasper first coat, Blue Rutile 2nd coat

Running of the Glazes

Sometimes it’s a short walk through muck and mire, and other times not so much – but either way keep ahold of the bigger picture.

-SP Lascelles

These last few months have been attempts to rectify a running glaze issue using the same glaze combo and techniques that I’ve used for years. In this last couple batches I’ve had nice pieces go south. I was getting depressed.

So I’ve had opportunities to tweak:

  • glaze dip times
  • amount of glaze
  • drying times
  • removal of glazes

During this time I didn’t have satisfactory results… as a matter-of-fact the running of the glazes produced another thorn to this potter’s experience because Kiln Shelves were affected, and that’s not a good thing. Especially more so because it was someone else (or a few people) who cleaned the shelves of the running glaze. Knowing the frustration and the hard work to clean glaze off a shelf I surely wasn’t happy to contribute to that.

I also had instances of cracking!

Experienced potters gave me suggestions and I am going to try them all. Here are the tips:

  • Potter 1:
    • Quick dip of base glaze, in this case perhaps only 2 seconds of the Starry Night Glaze
    • Almost immediately dip into the Coastal Blue Glaze. I asked about any drying time (thinking of using the time to wipe off the foot) *but the quicker the 2nd dip the better. So to accommodate this suggestion I will try 2 methods
      • use a tong to hold the piece while I wipe the foot immediately after applying the base glaze, and then drip in Coastal Blue
      • after wiping the foot and seeing the rim dry enough then dip in Coastal Blue (after finding a dry enough spot to hold the piece)
    • The 2 options at this point are to use the Cream glaze sparingly or to not use at all.
  • Potter 2 suggested this after I said I really really like the blue glazing result
    • Try using “Amber Celadon” as the base glaze and then dip Coastal Blue.
    • This are my test mugs:

I really hope to find the happy place again, where my Cosmic Blue series can continue. However I am open to new illustrations of the celestial skies using different glaze combos that work well. Stay tuned for the updates!

Researching other Cosmic Blues

I did acquire inspiration after researching a bit.

  • 1) I have to ask my the team at Clayscapes Pottery if I could use some of these glazes in their kiln… Look at those blues!
  • 2) Found this on Pinterest:

His page: http://www.campbellpottery.com/