After my excursion from Wednesday to Friday I went to my aunts place right away to unload the kiln. 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??? Continue reading
So yesterday was the kiln fireing. It is still cooling down. But it already has cooled down to 200 °C and even though my plan was to drive home today in the morning I couldn’t. There was still a mold to be made and one to be filled. So stayed and read the text i had to read for university in my studio between slipcasting and kiln-checking. I just worry a little about my trip to Münster tomorrow since it will start at four in the morning. But I’ll manage somehow I guess. And in the end I’ll at least have earned my weekend by then. It also means I increased the number of slipcast porcelain-branches a lot. And since I plan an installation of them it can’t hurt to start off having a couple of them. Also the mold now has time to dry out over a few days so I will be able to make another load of branches when I come back.
Also I made new testtiles. I already used up most of the ones I had for all the glazes I mixed while the kiln was cooling down. But since I recently read a cool article about copper reds chemically reduced by adding silicon carbide to the glaze, I needed more testtiles. Silicon carbide usually is used as an abrasive and comes in different grain sizes. John Britt mentions using rit 600 or 800 but other sources say the finer the better. So I ordered 800 mesh and 2000 mesh and will test away with that. I’ll also try to mix some foodsafe glazes from the transparent glaze I bought ready made at Carl Jäger and adding colorants to it. They said it was still food safe afterwards and I won’t need much colorant since I plan on getting the look of a celadon.
I did it! I fired my own kiln. Two days ago, on thursday. On my own. Well… I got some help loading it by Skylar. It was great having him over at my studio and being able to ask him all the questions I had. He seems to know everything =D
So we loaded the kiln and set a program. I did a slowish heating cycle of 6 hours to 650 °C and then a faster heating to 1000 °C where it soaked for an hour. I started the kiln in the morning around 9 and it was finished at about 6. The electricity usage went up drastically of course. The kiln almost used 150 kWh…. And although it cooled down all night it still needed another day and another night to come down to 120 °C. I was very patient though and waited till it had 60°C to crack the door open a little bit. The fear of distroying something after all the efford I put into it and the power used was too big. I tried to distract myself by making texture stamps and mixing tons of glazes. In total 14. Only to always wonder if my coppercarbonate was too coarse. Well turns out it actually IS too coarse. But nothing I can do about it now. I glazed stuff for two days and made testtiles with all the glazecombos I wanted to know how they turned out. I also glazed mostly the pieces that were a little too thick or not as centered or had other flaws, so it doesn’t bother me as much if the glaze turns out to be ugly. That said I did not really use a lot of my newly mixed glazes but mostly the four bought ones I know will work fine and at least not run. The kiln was loaded again on sunday and fired today. I am really, really curious how everything will turn out, especially because of the too coarse coppercarbonate. I imagine it will get green spots instead of an even distribution of the green in the glaze.
The past week I spend almost four full days in my studio. Did go there directly after work on tuesday and stayed till late friday. It was amazing! I managed to throw a teapot and learned that spouts are super tricky, especially the thin part on the top. If you throw it too thin it will twist around itself and though that can look pretty cool it usually is just very annoying. I suspect it is a combination of letting the wheel run too slow, moving up too fast, colaring too much in too little time and throwing too wet/ too thin. That said I produced three to four spouts for one teapot because I crashed one, twisted a second and wanted a fourth just in case something happened to the third. Anyways, I had a ton of spouts in the end but only two teapots to put them on. Continue reading
So on tuesday after work I took the train and the bus and went to my new studio. I was tired but that didn’t stop me from making a pasterbat to dry the clay on if it needs to be recycled. I also made a dampbox by pouring plaster inside one of my big storing boxes. And they got to use immediately afterwards. Because on wednesday I started throwing again. I did about 7 mugs out of my Carl Jäger 9/SF clay which has about 20 percent of grog and immediately sanded my hands. But it was a good feeling and I think for starting to throw it was the right clay to not get frustrated with. Continue reading
So this weekend I worked fulltime on my new studio, with my mom and dad. We made very good progress. Now everything is almost perfect. I installed the shelves for bisqueware and glazeware on the walls as well as the shelves for the glazes themselves. We also set up one more of the workbench-shelves to have more space for all the plaster molds I am going to make. My aunt owns a ton of bought molds, but most of them are veeeeery old and start cracking up. Not sure if I can still use them. Some are also still very dirty from being flooded with mudd-water. I will clean them up, let them dry and see how they work I guess. Continue reading
Oh boy! It has been a long, long week. Thanks god it’s semester holidays right now. If I would have to set up a studio, work at my parttime job and attend classes I would probably not sleep at all. This week I spend most of my time at my aunts place trying to get rid of junk, sort out things and tools that you can still use and those you can’t use anymore, driving to the trash station, buying heavy duty shelves, painting, cleaning,…. Continue reading