Mr. Huet stated, “…But, after the (Raku) firing of 980 Celsius, I put them right away in a sawdust barrel and leave it for at least one hour. After that I take them out and wait until the right color appears, and fixate it by a plant sprayer with water. If there is not beautiful color to be seen I give a little help with a gas torch!”
Thank you Mr. Huet for permitting me to share.
Given my love for Wood Fired Pottery, learning all that entrails, combined with a soft request for urns… I stumbled on a potter online who uses this glaze on his cremation urn:
After a recent class at the Clayscapes Pottery studio that focused on Alternative Firing methods I was keen on doing some more Raku, specifically Horsehair pieces.
In the process of getting ready to do my own Raku (a service provided by Clayscapes Pottery) I realized my advancement in Raku pottery research actually expanded to more appreciation for glaze recipes as I noted the ‘Copper Matte‘ options (see below):
Here is a run down of my pre-raku items of note:
No thin necks (hard to grasp with the tongs)
No tall slender objects (may fall over easily in the ‘reduction’ phase)
Lids are fired in the kiln separately so this takes up space on the kiln shelf. Note: Andrew from Clayscapes Pottery says he has a method of firing lids so they don’t crack on the shelf – I’ll keep you updated with this helpful hint
Burnishing is fun and meditative (on greenware) & is necessary if applying Terra Sig (for Horsehair prep)
In a 5 gal. bucket put 3 gallons (or roughly 28 pints/28 lbs) of water.
Add 14 lbs. dry clay. Ball Clays works well for white base, RedArt for red.
Add enough sodium silicate, soda ash, Darvan 7, or Calgon to deflocculate (a few tablespoons).
Allow to settle. Overnight is average.
Less plastic red clays such as RedArt or fire clay may require only 6-8 hours, while very plastic clays like XX Sagger or OM4 ball may take up to 48 hours.Terra sig is best when the specific gravity if about 1.14. Useful range is 1.1-1.5. Specific gravity is measured by weighting out 100 gms of water, marking the volume, and weighing the same volume of the sig. Divide the weight of the sig by 100. If too thin evaporate. If too thick allow to settle longer. Apply sig to bone dry greenware making careful not to make too many drips, and buff or Burnish to a nice shine.
Use “patinas” of 1 gerstley borate + 1 colorant as a thin wash over bisqued sigs, applied and rubbed off. Works well on textured areas. Here are some color suggestions added to 1 cup liquid sig: white = + 1 tsp. Zircopax or tin. off white = + 1 tsp. titanium diox. green = + tsp. chrome oxide blue = + tsp. cobalt carb. black = + 1 tsp. black stain purple = + 1 tsp. crocus martis
115 grams Red Art Clay (powder) or Grolleg White Clay
2 cups water
one drop defocculant (darvon or calgon)
*optional we added a small amount of red iron oxide to each recipe for color
Horsehair or Glaze
Horsehair – thicker hair is better. Good to have a friend with horses. Being grateful for this helps add another dimension of “Heartfelt Pottery”.
Glazing the inside – Question: is this feasible? If so, is this solely to help retain liquids? Otherwise I’d think I won’t use interior glaze as the Raku technique produces a porous piece (i.e. not ‘functional’). Most of the pieces I am looking to create are to serve as a storage container for things that don’t need air-tightness or fluid retention. Talking about this with a potential customer is a must!
Copper Matte – ooooh nice, and then sealing
Raku Kiln Firing
Making an adequate number of pieces is important to me – I don’t want to create too little and waste time at the kiln or my money spent renting the kiln firing. I guess making too much isn’t a bad thing as I could always do another firing!
The kiln shelf is 18″ (254.5 square inches), so 1/4 area of the shelf is 9″ x 9″ x ?? – however I think I could fit 2 max 5″ wide pieces w/their lids, in each 1/4 panel area without overcrowding (and without making the maneuvering with the tongs a challenge). The total for the shelf would then be 4 lidded piece + 1 piece without a lid place in the center, for a total of 5 pieces per load. And since the minimum # of load is 2 per firing, then we’re looking at a max of 10.
One way to find out is draw or print out an 18″ circle.
Working with the Raku Kiln firing facilitator about the choreography of us ‘dancing’ around & doing steps so we don’t bump into each other or let a pot not get the horsehair or reduction treatment in a timely temperature fashion.
Scrub Brush to clean pieces after the firing
Clothes: Long sleeved shirt, closed-toe footwear, no polyester clothing
Pan with Sand – to lay horsehair down and roll the piece (if desired)
Combustibles? I don’t know yet if I need to bring my own Sawdust and newspaper, which are popular combustibles
Sealant to help keep the colors from fading, after cleaning pieces
Have a resource for quick reference always helps, especially as time becomes more valuable, retention becomes less and less, or you need to share what you’ve learned.
Making lids for pottery jars and containers can demand more attention – some break, some aren’t sized well enough, some don’t pair just right, etc. So tips and resources are well appreciated, regardless.
Pondering, mulling, thinking, analyzing, planning, hoping, etc. Stay with me on this brief venture through exploration & pottery research.
While juggling two clay bodies and exploring my intent for each clay for this year’s creation lots, I ventured down the rabbit hole of researching SLIPS & mason stains in hopes of decorating or enhancing my pieces in a cool new way. During this time my memories included brief mentions from Master Potters Millie (St. John) Schmidt (https://www.ipacny.org/millie-st-john) and Tim See (http://www.timseeceramics.com, https://www.youtube.com/user/timseepots). But I had a twist to include, which was “would mason stains work well on bmix wood clay body for wood-firing“…which I plan to research more of course…
So then I happen to pop over to the issue of CRAZING, which for some reason led my curiosity to body cracking and glaze popping …
Do you see how my mind trails? LOL
So today though, I research and find a resting area in the rabbit hole I’m venturing where I exclaim (silently of course), “Ahhh! My college chem courses have just laughed at me!” (see picture below “Figure 2”). What a good moment for some humor!
Okay, here is the illustration that helped me realize it was time for another cup of coffee:
Body Cracking and Glaze Popping – Kgs.Ku.edu
1 Key Point of this blog vent(uring) is:
Give THANKS for each breath, both in and out. For each of moment can bless you with #yet-to-be-realized wisdom and love.
Left & Middle Cups = Starry Night Base, Coastal Blue dip 1/2 way down, topped with Cream.
Right Cup = Starry Night Base, Cream dip 1/2 down, topped and 1/2 angle dip of Coastal Blue
It was a nice exploration of the glaze effects – albeit with the tiny variables of how long it is heated in the kiln, how high the kiln temperature is, and where it sits in the kiln.
I brought the cup on the right to work to test it out – the drinkability (i.e. how it rests on my lips as I drink my coffee, how balanced does a full cup of coffee sit, how do my fingers feel and lay while holding the cup with the handle, etc). I love the smooth roundness of the cup. But I am seeking a more blue effect, a #CosmicBlue effect that reminds me of space, space gas, exploration, evolution, God’s creation, etc.
Recent inspiration came from a Pintrest whereas the middle of the pottery piece had a distinctive band of glaze that was then accentuated by cosmic glaze on the upper and lower parts. What a fun exploration of glaze play I thought! I wondered how they did it (more than one potter had examples).
BUT at studio I had to hurry hurry to complete my little goal – oooh dear. Not the technique I was hoping to do BUT I got an atypical technique completed.
Here is the current set using a ‘new’ technique – brushed on Coastal Blue in the mid section, dipped in Starry Night on top and bottom – – and then I nearly forgot about the INSIDES! So my Starry Night kind of went all over on 2 pieces for sure. And the last minute cream shower along the rim and the sides….
RESULTS – Part One
Okay so I ended up placing these 4 pieces on pieces of broken shelving JUST IN CASE the glazes ran – and thankfully I did. Three of the four ran. I thank my fellow Clayscapes Pottery potter friends with oodles of more experience than I for suggesting the shelving bits!
Results – Part Two
Success can be achieved while #Learning!
-Oneida Shark Pottery
Run Run Run. For this attempt I’d give myself a C- for the results. If I choose to explore the mid-section Coastal Blue glaze I may put it on taller pieces, reduce the # of seconds i hold the Starry Night glaze on the bottom and glaze the interior first. I’d give myself an A+ for effort!
This years’ woodfiring was postponed slightly due to flooding. Two weeks ago the wood firing team commenced the process with storing of wood and loading the kiln. Loading the kiln is definitely a fun event due to the number of good folks who come to help. I missed the loading because of my 9-5. For several days, 4 hours a day, the team fed thewood-kiln and last Thursday the kiln was unloaded. Now the unloading part is the one phase that I haven’t experienced yet so I was “stoked” to get that chance… but as it turns out my hot water tank wanted our full attention that day. C’est la vie. Now I can change the elements of those suckers! LOL. I vow to experience the unloading at the next wood firing event and then some!