a firing and the completion of new work

I have had a few month’s break from firing, though I have slowly made a new breakthrough with my work, and now most of it has been through the process of glazing and firing


and I have had to get used to how it looks now rather than when I was making it. for this sort of work that is a big transition.


so I opened the kiln with the usual trepidation …


no accidental runs sticking pots fast to shelves. my first impression was a lack of drama


no bidori droplets, no glaze half peeled off, no thundercloud black glaring from underneath the glaze


I had put the oxides on with a very light touch apparently


and in the case of these big pieces, the slip had gone on thickly, no visible oxide watery marks


plus I had used fine-grained St Thomas white, and reduction St Thomas – where I didn’t, as in this little gourd shape, the clay sang through all the layers – this was pink grogged stoneware – like a red clay crank.


where I have combed the wet clay and put less slip on, the oxides show through and the chun glaze becomes transparent blue


I managed to balance the firing between overdoing and underdoing it quite nicely – this one would have developed elephant’s feet bidori if it had melted much more – it would have been bluer too.


I double-dipped it in the glaze and then added a little extra at the top of the grooves – I wanted this watery flowing feeling – Lunan Water 2


next time I will add some new to the slip – its crackle has completely gone.


Lunan 1 I double dipped sideways, so that the centre section has a thicker layer


and some almost bidori drips ….


from above you can see the little bit of oxide bleeding through the slip


to the headland 1 has a crack. this happened to two more pieces, but I didn’t glaze fire them – this one I didn’t notice it at all and it has just opened up a little.


I think I boosted up the bisque firing too quickly. I actually think it doesn’t matter too much on this piece – the drawing I did on it is very similar, and that has got lost under the slip.


another one of these, which came out absolutely fine, quite bluey on one side.


this was left glazed but unfired in April, so I popped it in, you can see how much thinner the slip was, you can see the oxide through it


I would have liked this one to have had more drama. I am going to work on the idea (the ploughed lands) in the next batch.


to the headland 2 has more going on than you see at first. again, thinner slip would have brought it out more


but on most of these pieces the thick flow of opaque pale blue across the white is very lovely, and exudes a calm feeling.





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