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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy warm day!

We laid some mulch down in the yard and this fool had a blast out in the warm sun today rolling around in it. Loving this warm weekend! I fired a ^6 today, so stay tuned for more profanity and irritation :) just kidding, I'm not expecting much, this is just a small test of some glaze color combinations, I'm sure there will be pinholes, so I'm ready for it.
I'm sure many of you have this book, but it has become my bible. If you don't have it and you are mixing your own glazes and firing your own kiln, go get it! I read back over my firing log, and I guess I was trying to get some dinner going between 5pm and 6pm the day I fired my last bisque because I didn't check the kiln at the very crucial 1100 degree mark and the kiln went on to 1450 without me and without a soak. I also shut it down at 1700 because I had some terra sig burnished pots and I have read to not fire them so hot. Well, I should have thought about firing the things that were not burnished in a different load, and I should stop being so impatient to shut the thing down, because I'm sure that is where the problem lies. According to Mr. Hopper, I didn't fire the bisque hot enough, and to prove it, I broke open a couple of the pin hole pieces and sure enough there was a distinct dark layer of carbon present. I broke open a piece from a successful firing and it was solid white inside. That firing had a soak at 1100 degrees and fired around 1800 so I know what went wrong and how to correct it, I think!
I worked outside doing some hand building today, just could not stay inside on such an amazing day. Awhile back my friend Barbara McKenzie talked me in to going to Asheboro to see a woman that was selling a bunch of ceramic molds. Barbara has this idea to gather some molds from the 60's and Raku fire some funky ashtrays and vases and things. Well, this lady had a bunch of molds that were more like Santas, rabbits, turkeys, and stuff that you would see at a yard sale. Not a lot for us to choose from, but I did pick this mold up and forgot about it until I cleaned up last week. I made some little dishes with it today and then put white terra sig on them. I think I like them. Not sure I like the stamp though, I may just leave them plain. They are quick and easy and perfect for those that don't want to spend a lot of $$ at a festival.
my cat was not amused by any of the goings on around here today and basically slept through the whole thing. I like to call her my decorative accessory, she looks great laying around here!
I am watching UNC TV while typing this and they are doing a story on Ben Owen down in Seagrove. Bless his heart, he is being so nice to this lady that is interviewing him, and she is getting on my last nerve! She shows up at a pottery in black slacks and a cute little pink jacket to see a wood kiln firing and a potter throwing on the wheel. The anchor in the studio is even worse. She actually suggested that you could hang one of his pots that had small decorative loops on the sides. Wouldn't you just love to walk in to someone's house and see a vase that cost hundreds of dollars swinging on a chain from the ceiling! Most of my friends are artists so I forget how little the majority of people out there really know about how art is created. Sad.......
Oh well, have a great rest of the weekend, Wesley's school mates shared some vile cold thing with her so I am taking care of her this weekend. She has had a rough year with the Mono and colds. Hopefully now that it's warm, she will get back on track.

10 comments:

Bert said...

It's warm here too, but only because I have a fire going while snow flurries are going on outside. Clint Eastwood movies are showing again though.lol Have you tried the book "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes"?

ang said...

what a great day trace and so much going on, interesting about the carbon and so glad you checked them to see what's going on it's all solveable!!..

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Bert, I heard about that snow in Texas briefly today but thought it must be a joke! What is going on!!! I really don't want to master cone 6 glazes so no I don't have the book, but have read it and I think it is very well done. I'm just trying to get a black and a white liner glaze to work for me right now:) YAY Clint!
Hey Ang, loved the Raku video over at your blogggggg!!, yes, busy day as usual, no rest for the wicked ha!

Peter said...

Really good to catch up with your blog again. What a lovely cat you have! My Ginger fellow is snoring contentedly on my lap as I attempt to type this! They can be a great comfort. I do like the look of that glaze book, I will probably try to get it here via Amazon. I am pleased that you may have tracked down the cause of that pin holing. I tend to fire my bisques quite slowly these days just to give time to burn out the nasty stuff. It was fun to see those raku glazes on your side of the world. The copper one really lustres up a treat with lots of reduction. Sometimes there seems almost enough copper on the glaze surface to make circuit boards for electrical appliances (maybe I should build a working clay computer!! It would be almost a crazy enough project for me to get Arts Council funding for!). Glad that you are getting some warmer weather now, you've had a tough winter on your side of the world!

Linda Starr said...

nothing better than a dirt bath, what a great mold, never saw one with a cut out at the bottom, that's handy.

cookingwithgas said...

I spent most of yesterday in the sun- helping to grade papers with my DIL- she teaches 5th grade.
Loved sitting outside!

Judy Shreve said...

I'm glad you examined your bisque -- and determined the cause of your pinholes -- that work was so luscious & hope you try again with the same glazes -- after a proper bisque! I can imagine how difficult it must be to bisque in a gas kiln!!

Love the picture of the dog enjoying the warm weather -- I did the same thing yesterday - played in the dirt -- cleaning up my flower beds.

Hope Wesley is feeling better!!

jimgottuso said...

well i don't want to tune in for irritation but for profanity, count me in. i've thought about getting that book many times before but haven't pulled the trigger. i've been bisqueing to 1925. sorry to hear about the cursed pinholes, had a big problem with them in the past and it drove me nuts. i ended up abandoning the clay body. the big coiled pot that you pit fired came out fantastic... too bad it doesn't have loops so you can hang it from the ceiling on brass chains.

Bert said...

I found my copy of Ceramic Spectrum at Half-Priced Books for around $10 if I remember correctly. I know it can be a hit or miss situation, but might be worth a try.

cindy shake said...

I think you and I may be in a parallel firing universe -ha! My ^6 pods o' glaze are in now....

The book looks good -I'll Amazon it. There must have been so many smells in that mulch that the dog probably thought it had hit Nirvana!! We're still knee deep in snow but have a bunch more light at least ;o)