second february firing

it was so cold last week that the glaze bins had half an inch or more of ice in them. I managed to drag the blue and the green glaze bins into the workshop and got the ice to melt, so this firing has only those two glazes. the kiln fired in exactly the same amount of time, and the pack was the same as the firing before, but the reduction looked different; less flame and smoke, although I was doing the same things as before. so the pots are a bit different.

because the barium glaze was frozen I thought it a good idea to put two more of the black scored shouldered bottles in with no glaze. but I was disappointed to find that the mix of black and buff clays didn’t fire black as I expected (due to others’ advice). I am buying some more of the black clay and will make another batch in unadulterated black.

the blue glaze worked really well, whether it was this pale version, over porcelain layering

or on the buff clay as almost black

or on the powdery texture of china clay on porcelain layer.

and in the bottom front of the kiln the green glaze went black on the porcelain layer, most unexpected in this context, though I have had black before when it’s been glazed thickly, here that was not the case as it is rusty orange over the buff “school clay”.

the green glaze was mostly very pale and delicate on the porcelain; I am not sure if this was due to glazing more thinly than before, or something to do with the firing, possibly slightly less reduction.

rich blues and oranges

this is one of my favourites; the blue breaking to brown is very subtle.

and this one has the spiral imprint of a millipede – they get into the workshop, die, and turn up in unexpected places. the china clay powder on the porcelain has worked well again with this glaze.

a slightly flamboyant little pot, the contrast of the porcelain with the buff clay, and the way the porcelain layer cracks open as it shrinks more than the base layer …

funny polka dots linked by cracks in the porcelain …

this new shape is not so easy to carry off – it looks great in the photos, but one of the seams opened up in the firing.

even though the green is paler than I expected, I think it rather suits these pieces, and the freckling is lovely.

here the copper is trying to change to copper red … only on one side of the pot.

and again this black has arrived … I think it looks great!

you can see the rest of the pots here

now I go back to making more pots again, and I have ordered some new clays to try out.



One Comment

  1. i love looking at this beautiful work. i am new to ceramics. i’m looking into pit firing at the moment and experimenting with encaustic on bisque fired vessels. your work is inspiring.

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