another early morning sunny walk.
Tilda gave me a terrible fright. she was up on the field bank, spotted an enormous hare and was off after it before I could think … actually it was so big I thought it was a Muntjac deer until she got closer – off she went in hot pursuit, round the back of the poplar stand. this was before we got onto the farm, and suddenly, there was the hare running up the field just next to the road, a few hundred yards away from me, Tilda about 20 yards behind, and the school bus honking its horn on the other side of the hedge. then all disappeared. other hares appeared. no Tilda ….
another 5 minutes and she reappeared in the opposite direction from which I had been expecting her, and got into a very muddy ditch full of primroses for a wallow. my heart suddenly went nineteen to the dozen … funny how that happened when I had her back safe!
I promised a blog on the new firing, so here we go. first of all, the web page for the new pots is here
the first thing I made when I started working again in March was the commissioned piece, the remake of the biggest pot in the Beaux Arts show. this came out better than the original, I think, and also, interestingly, although I made it smaller, so that it fitted in the kiln, unlike the other which had to have a high temperature biscuit firing so that it could stand upright in the kiln for the glaze firing, it ended up the same size. I must remember to be even more vigilant about the size of big pots. it has a little more glaze on it, because the lower biscuit temperature left it more absorbent. it was very difficult to glaze, being very heavy, maybe heavier than the first one.
then the disappointment, one pot I put in raw-glazed, ie, it didn’t go through the biscuit firing first.
whether it was the very high temperature (cone 11, but 1283 C by the pyrometer), or the raw glazing, I think this is almost the worst this glaze – my matt copper/tin/dolomite – has ever come out. the cones were very sheltered by the big pot, so I think the work on the shelf at the back of the kiln probably went up to cone 12, because the cone 11’s I had on the shelf there were over and melting.
the barium glaze came out really well in this firing – quite greenish. I think you could fire this to an even higher temperature and it would still be dead dry matt. So I am pleased with this tall cone-shaped pot. the clay body is the reclaim clay – so some crank and some old reduction St Thomas, a very dark stoneware clay.
this one is glazed with Ian Currie’s crawling shino, which consistently works well. it was on the top shelf, but in the corner away from the flame, and may not have reached 1050C before I started reducing, as it has a lot of carbon trapping (all the grey and black in the white glaze). I really like this. where the glaze is thicker from the double dip the glaze has actually crawled off the pot, but it leaves such a lovely rich red surface behind I think it is no problem. I like all the lacey grey pattern of the carbon very much.
this small pot was right next to the flame on the floor of the kiln, and got some excessive heat. it is quite a different clay body, but the same shino glaze, the pretty peachy tones of the clay work very well with the glaze. this clay is called ash white, it is a comparatively low temperature porcelainous stoneware, which is very odd to work with .
and lastly, this small pot has the copper/tin dolomite glaze over porcelain, which has been pasted onto the crank body with a knife. I call it overlay, as opposed to inlay. I got this effect on one pot in the last but one firing, and tried it again this time. I think it works very well, and the wood ash/clay glaze on the lower dip gives an effect rather like ancient cracked leather.