Wednesday 10 April 2013

Glazing and First Glaze Firing

Glazing Bird Bowls

Making Glazes and Glazing Pots.

Since my last blog post I’ve been busy making glazes ready to test them out in the kiln. I prefer making my own glazes from scratch using raw materials rather than buying them ready-made. Knowing what ingredients go into each glaze gives me a certain amount of control over the results. It’s also very satisfying knowing you made the glaze entirely yourself: it feels more personal.

The photo montage above features a batch of my bisque-fired pots being glazed ready for glaze firing. Most of the pots shown are my bird bowls in two different sizes (small and large). As you can see the glazes are quite odd looking in their raw state: in fact they’re often completely different in colour to the final fired result. One is my standard white matt glaze - which happens to look pure white in the raw state. But the other one – shown here highlighting the bird-tail handles - has a rusty colour at this stage, which changes to glossy blue/black when fired.

Once all the pots have dried out for a few days they can be glaze fired.

First Glaze Firing.

Actually, I can’t believe I haven’t already blogged about this yet! I did my first glaze firing in my new kiln about three weeks ago. Long story short, it was an incredibly stressful day. Not least because about eight hours in I made the mistake of fiddling with the control panel and accidentally turned the whole thing of! Luckily I somehow retained enough composure to quickly tap in an emergency program to finish the firing before the temperature started to drop. But the less said about that the better…

Well, next day (a full 24 hours after switch off) the temperature had cooled down enough to risk ‘cracking the kiln’. Bearing in mind the ludicrous mistake I made the day before, I was simply incapable of calling it. I decided either it was going to be a complete disaster (glazes running everywhere, pots ruined – the works) or a total success. Luckily it was the latter! In fact I unpacked the kiln muttering to myself over and over that I couldn’t believe it had worked. Every single pot came out perfect! Both of my glazes worked beautifully and I was incredibly pleased with the results. But I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t be fiddling with the control panel ever again!

Cracking the Kiln!

Today I took some new up-to-date photos and listed some of my small white bird bowls here in my Folksy and Etsy shops. Hope you like them!

Small Bird Bowls