Opening the kiln…

I loaded the kiln last Wednesday, but had to wait til Saturday to fire it. Some covered jars, a couple of very big vases, some medium vases and – most exciting of all – eight glaze tests. Three were new green glazes – I am still looking for a green that fits with my work. The other tests were small cups that were glazed and then oversparayed with Steven Hill’s two Strontium Magic Crystal glazes. Lots of potential – for success and perhaps some disappointment – you never know until the kiln is unloaded.

Here is the top shelf of newly-glazed pots, waiting for the great bath of heat.

And this is the one pot left over – sorry – no room for you!

Waiting patiently for the next firing....

I also wanted to try a new way of cooling the kiln: firing to  1225 C, then cooling to 926 C, letting it cool slowly (or “soaking”) for an hour to 870 C, then cooling naturally overnight. The theory is that soaking at this critical stage will allow the glazes to melt more slowly and completely, with the expectation that they will look more mature when the kiln is finally opened.

I awoke Sunday morning, very excited. But the kiln was still too hot, so I had to wait. Finally, just before noon, I opened the kiln and began unloading. Here they are, all the pots, hot from the kiln.

Too bad you can't hear the music of the glazes pinging as they cool.

The greens that I tested just didn’t work out. Too weak and wishy-washy. Oh well, I’ll keep tweaking the recipes and will try again next firing.

These five jaunty little cups were all tested with the Strontium Crystal Magic, and I am very encouraged by the results. You can’t see the glaze effects in detail in this shot. But believe me, they all have some very nice highlights. I’ll be using some of these new glaze effects over the next few firing. Stay tuned.

Five jaunty cups

Here’s a big jar from – if I may humbly say so – a very successful firing.

A big oval jar, with Iron Red Slip under the Ash Glaze.

And another oval vase. This one has already been claimed by Anita.

Big oval pot with mouth-shaped rim, glazed in Ash and Obsidian glazes and dusted with copper carbonate.

Here’s a covered jar basking in the sun.

Squatting covered jar, with Matte Cream over Nutmeg, then oversprayed with Ash and dusted with copper carbonate

And one more – another big oval jar.

Another big oval jar - black slip under Ash and Obsidian glazes.

There are more photos from this firing, and I will post them soon.


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