Some disappointment and a few nice surprises

After my excursion from Wednesday to Friday I went to my aunts place right away to unload the kiln. Kinda crazy after riding the train for so long already, I know. But I HAD to know how it had turned out. It was already dark when I got there and the thrill of anticipation couldn’t have been bigger. After all it was my first glaze-fireing and who could’ve known what would happen in this black-box???
Atelier_51So I opened the kiln and was surprised at how the glazes turned out. Most of them I didn’t like too much. Because I didn’t have big buckets of glazes and had mixed 300g batches of the test-gazes I had to brush on some of the glazes to the teapots and mugs. That, however, didn’t turn out as expected since the glaze was mixed more liquidy for dipping stuff in it. So it got patchy. The effect is cool on some pots but different than I imagined it to be. And the glaze I was trusting would turn out like Yellow Salt became totally brown and looked horribly grandpa-like. So that was a disappointment. But it got even worse when I came to unload what I was really super curious about: My crystal glaze mug. The glaze, so the author, would develope crystals even without special cooling-procedure. Well, it did but it also peeled off the mug completely. I had put the mug into a flat bowl, because I heard that crystal-glazes run a lot and I didn’t want my kilnshelves to be damaged. It was a good idea anyways, since it caught most of the glazeflakes. I guess that is a typical example of glaze and claybody not fitting each other.

On a brighter note I also unloaded a ton of testtiles with layering-combinations of glazes. And boy, did some of them turn out nice. Like really, really nice. One might say even gorgeous. I had mixed a glaze that was supposed to be reddish but turned out rather brown and boring. Layerd over a green matt glaze though it ran and exposed a beautiful golden teadust-surface. So even though the glaze is not so nice I’m going to mix a bigger batch of it since it creates this nice effect when layered.
Yesterday I spend all day analyzing the glaze-tests and figuring out which ones to make in bigger batches and how expensive they are (most of them are 20 bucks for 6 kg of dry glaze). So now I know what I need to shop for.

Also just in case anyone wondered: Yes, I managed to get home on Saturday night, so I could have all sunday to sleep and recover. Which is why I am able to write this entry today. Next week I need to power through so I can hopefully fill another kilnload of bisqueware till I go on my next excursion to Kassel the week after. I have a class meeting and talk with my prof the week after that. Due to work there’s no time to do it in between. But it would be cool to have some porcelain branches to show, so I hope I can manage beforehand. I started missing the community studio space at university too. It was nice to hang out and talk to classmates. Though I love my studiospace for ceramics it is sad to miss out on cool stuff in Mainz all the time. But that’s probably the price you have to pay for having your own studiospace someplace else…


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