It’s been a while

adventures in clay

After months of spending time outside and watching my clay dry up in the studio, I’m finally back to the wheel.  Ironically, my greatest inspiration is now YouTube!  You might remember that my first attempts at learning to center a mound of clay using the video learning technique was a disaster.  Now that I have some of the basics under my belt, several lessons on You Tube have helped me throw taller, larger vessels.

When I get home from my Christmas trip, it will be time to load the kiln with another batch of greenware and try for a new path on glazes!

I didn’t blog about a major mistake I made in my second glaze firing.  Sure that I had the routine down, I programmed it myself, following Veryle Lynn’s instructions.  When it came time to program the “hold” time, I programmed 3 minutes and went on about my business.  Actually, I intentionally distracted myself so as not to be too anxious to prematurely open the kiln.

When I did finally open the lid to see my treasures, there were pieces that were beyond anything I had hoped for, and some unusual bubbles.  Interesting.  Since I had gone for Cone 6 this time, the hotter temperature could certainly explain the different results.  Or not.

The next batch I planned to duplicate what I loved in this latest firing and try some new things as well.  So I programmed the kiln exactly as before, only this time stuck around to watch the process.  Good thing.  By some magical timing (or so I thought) I checked in on the kiln just as it was reaching the 2200 degree mark-and it was programmed to stay there for 3 minutes and then start cooling down.  Or so I thought.  I came out about 30 minutes later and it was still at 2200 degrees.  Panic and then investigation ensued.  Yep, I had programmed it wrong.  Instead of 3 minutes, I programmed 3 HOURS.  And now I had to wait for a least a day for the darn kiln to cool down enough for me to see the disaster awaiting me.  That was a very looong day.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the lid and found a decent batch of pots.  Pretty much the same results as before.  Ah-ha!  Cone 6 was not the culprit for the bubbly results on some of the pots.  Sitting at 2200 degrees had certainly done it.  My electric bill and a few pots paid for my mistake; it was a good learning.  So the next glaze firing will be done a little differently.  Two of the best pots to come out of this “mistake” are shown in the picture.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>