Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday Firing

We fired the raku kiln Sunday.

I had spent most of Saturday in the studio, glazing rockets and pots. I didn't have a lot of pieces, but it takes a while to do each one. We tend to put layers of underglaze under our glazes, which intensifies the colors of the glazes, or moves them from being marginal to being vivid. I also had a lot of finicky, detail work, like glazing flower petals, stems, and leaves on two pieces.

We took a break Saturday evening, and went to an Octoberfest party for a few hours. When I got home, I returned to the studio until midnight.

We noted some strange things when glazing the tallest of the rockets. The windshield was no longer centered on the dorsal fin; it was as if the entire piece twisted in the bisque firing about twenty degrees. There was a set of portholes along each side of the rocket, and you can see where they are no longer lined up, and are progressively more off center the farther you get from the nose. I used a Korean throwing technique to get the height for the piece, and it put so much stress in the clay that the piece 'unwound' a bit while firing.

Julie had a porcelain test piece that she fired, trying some different techniques, and she also glazed a small lided jar that I had thrown some time back.

We did two firings. During the first, I placed a vase in a bad position in the kiln, and it was unfortunately dropped and chipped its foot when we were taking it out. I want to try to refire two of the rockets, since I don't like the way the Seth's turned out, and the engines weren't reduced enough and are a bright green instead of being copper.


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