I have been busy using up the bag of Audrey Blackman porcelain, and made a small army of little bottles, using different textures impressed on them, with brushes mostly, and generally getting the feel of working in this medium.

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today I made this piece in the David Leach porcelain, which is yellower and probably not as translucent.

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I’ll work through this bag of porcelain as well, before I go back to stoneware, or the Extremadura terracotta. which, by the way, I fired some scraps of, in this week’s cone 10-11 firing, and I think it will survive stoneware temperatures, although it has changed in the same way as the terracotta crank does.

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this batch of bisque fired pots came out of the kiln on Saturday and a good bunch of them went back in for the glaze firing.

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the kiln in its new incarnation fired well, though as I set the bricks on the top of the flue for reduction at 1020 degrees Centigrade and went back to bed for two hours, the early reduction was a little heavier than I had intended. it cooled quite quickly as well. here it is at opening this morning.

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you can see patches of black soot – it had got really sooty when I got up again! but no harm done, and the strong oranges from the reduced copper are great on the tall bottle in the front.

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there’s an interesting superficial crack, well covered with glaze – it had already started when I glazed the pot – on the side of this one. its deliberate, because I bound together two rather different clays – the craft crank, and the superwhite stoneware on top. the white stoneware shrinks a little more than the crank.

a rather different category of crack occurred on this black  scored cone vessel.

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this clay is Valentines black extra textured clay, and I have discovered it is not meant to be glazed. they don’t tell you that though! I rang them and asked for suggestions as to why it had cracked – with several loud bangs, making me jump, and also sent little pieces of black flying around itself as it cooled down. I used the barium glaze on it. I have glazed the smoother textured black with no problems, but not this stuff, the only other piece I have made in it was the tall cone which was in the eight day anagama firing last summer – with no glaze on it. it was for Salthouse, but I do have a similar piece which I can fire with no glaze. it’s a shame as the barium looks good on it.

I also fired two of the paddled bowls, and they have come out really well. they were difficult to handle in the glaze bins, but it’s worth the struggle.

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this one I ladled a small quantity of the glaze into and turned it around until it had all been absorbed in the bottom, that’s why it has the extra texture there.

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this has the barium glaze and then another layer of the shino over it, which gives the lavender  grey with the orange veining. I was expecting the shino to flake , but the barium probably wasn’t thick enough. the lavender colour was a surprise too. I painted a wax resist in the centre of the inside and put some shino inside as well, but no flaking there either.

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another surprise was that the crack on this porcelain bottle got no worse. this is the copper matt glaze in its black version, and I think its rather elegant on the porcelain. I don’t think I like the coloured glazes so much, they are too pinkey-mauvey for me, although pretty in their own way. the barium is probably the best bet on this stuff. the shino is rather horrible. you can see all the photos of the pots in this firing here  here

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the Audrey Blackman porcelain is very beautiful, you can see the translucency on the edges of the neck on this bottle.