So far everything is going more or less well. I really need to start working on my portfolio though, for which I need to take photographs of stuff that hasn’t been fired yet. The test-plate that I painted with overglaze turned out quite well though. It did wrap a little too, unintentionally. I guess I need to use more tripods underneath it so it’ll be more stable and not wrap/ sink in as much. Also I probably shouldn’t fire them as hot as I did, since the overglaze can only just stand 1230 °C. I was wondering if I could fire it together with the bisqueware though I am not sure if that is hot enough. I’ll probably just try to place the plates on the cooler shelves in the lower part of the kiln. That way I can still fire them the way I did. And maybe I’ll also decrease the hold-time a little to give the plates less time to wrap around the tripods. The day before yesterday I made big batches of new glazes I wanted to glaze with. One is the copper red that worked so well in the test-fireing. The other two are Pike’s purple and Selsor Pink which should be pink but turned out rather purple in my testfire. All the selsor-glazes tend to run so I will need to find a way to apply them in the right way. I looked up different techniques and will try dipping the whole thing in for a very short time, then dipping twice to the middle and then a third time only at the rim. Since copper reds need enough glaze to turn red it is a twosides blade. Because it will run if you want the copper red and turn just plain green-grey if you don’t put it on thick enough although it won’t run then. I also tried applying porcelain slip to my thrown mugs to give them a lighter surdface. It worked on most testtiles and I am sure it is depending on the thickness to work well or not. A thin layer is best I think. I tried different thicknesses and measured with my digital calipers. There’s also some that I decorated with the slip by putting on several layers and letting them run a little. So now the Mug has drops of porcelain on them. Looks quite beautiful now but I am anxious to see what will happen in the bisquefire. They might just chip off because they have different shrinking rates. That is at least how I can explain some glazes working on the porcelain, but not working and chipping off the stoneware body. There will hopefully be a tepot-mug-set that will turn out bright-red due to the porcelain. I decided to show one of these sets at the thesis-show because it is a big part of my research here and I poured my heart in it.
I also still work on the slipcast branches. They’re getting more and more. The pause I made was good for the molds. They were really dry and am going strong for almost three days now. I found the sweet spot of that wicked slip that I made and am able to release the branches from the mold without distroying them. I also casted a little thicker than I did in the beginning which probably helps too. I am now focusing on making different varieties of sizes so I can choose later on. There’s still plenty of molds to be filled and plenty of branches to be cast if I want this to be a room filling installation. I also thought about applying small pieces of slipcast bark to the wall. Only tiny ones, nothing big. But I need to try this first because I am not sure about the application method yet.
In between slipcasting I am throwing more mugs and bowls or try out new decoration techniques. There’s one thing that I wanted to try out since my teacher told me about it. You imbed rice into the clay till it pierces it. During the fireing it will burn off, so there will be little holes in the clay. Afterwards, when glazefireing, the hope is, that glaze will close the holes again and create a seethrough pattern.