ER Visit & Kiln Openings, What do they have in common? ….ME!

This pottery journey has had so many ups, it’s only fair that it has a down or two!

When I say down I mean…down & out. As some of you know who watch the daily videos on youtube, I had a little ER visit & some down time. If you’d like to know exactly what happened, here’s a link to the video (no sense rehashing it all in print form when you can just hear it from the horses mouth..wait..did I just call myself a horse 😉

So….what about 365 DAYS OF CLAY CUPS

That little incident set me back in cups, which caused me to re-structure my little 365 day project.

The original plan was to make a cup a day for 365 Days, this unfortunately hit a wall when I did 🙂 Now, reaching that “specific” goal is no longer an option, yet I am still going to be making 365 Days worth of Clay Cups! In fact, I’m right back on the horse, catching up with my cups and approaching the project from a slightly different angle!

Making Time More Effective
I’ve rescheduled throwing, handles & glazing into a flow that works for both time & creativity..(creativity…something I felt I didn’t have adequate time for before).  You won’t notice much of a change with the vlog except slightly different intro’s and throwing clips…but I am making my shop time more productive and this has been a big plus!

Kiln Openings – The Good ~ The Bad ~ And the Stuck!
Note to self…kiln wash is like deodorant, you gotta use it for it to work!
For the most part it was a successful kiln opening. I was able to get a good test on some glazes that I’d had in buckets and couldn’t recall what they looked like…it was almost like a grab bag! It was real pleasing to see the colors that came from these buckets, the down side was I didn’t realize how much they would run. I waxed the bottoms of the cups, but it just wasn’t enough to hold back the flow. Live & Learn!

Here’s the Kiln Opening Video

Photo Gallery Updated with Before & After Pics.

That’s it for today! If you have any suggestions for me I’d sure appreciated hearing from you….Thanks so much!!

5 thoughts on “ER Visit & Kiln Openings, What do they have in common? ….ME!

  1. Hello Tammy Jo. I just joined your blog/vlog. I am very interested in your work and the directions you could take in this journey of yours. Rtorres

  2. Hello Tammy,

    I’ve just stumbled across your site. Congratulations for your work so far on your ambitious project.
    From the video above (opening a kiln March 15, 2011), I believe you are over firing your glazes – the pinholing, excessive running and high glossy are all symptomatic of this common problem. Am I correct in my understanding that you are working with commercial glazes? While I do not work with commercial glazes, some of my students have in the past and their work also seems to have similar issues. A few suggestions and thoughts to try out if you haven’t already:

    1) try a test firing at cone 5 instead of cone 6 – many of my glazes work more reliably at cone five rather than six (be sure to test for durability if this is a concern for you)
    2) put your ‘runniest’ glazes on your bottom shelf (tends to be slightly cooler in electric kilns)
    3) monitor your time as well as temperature (perhaps you already know, but glazes and clay mature through both temperature and time, also known as “heatwork” – in other words, a cone six reached in 13 hours is quite different than a cone six reached in 8 hours)
    4) be careful about layering glazes – the different fluxes used can often create a ‘eutectic’ effect in which the melting point for the overlap is actually lower than the individual glazes. (ie. one cone 6 glaze over another cone 6 glaze may in fact be creating a combination that matures at something closer to cone 4 or 5) Sometime this faster melt will ‘push’ the glaze below the overlap down the side of the pot more than expected.
    5) try a slightly thinner layer of glaze on your pots (from the video, I don’t actually think your issue is caused by application but its worth a try)
    6) check that the “rutile blue” glaze you have is actually intended for oxidation firing (I was very fortunate to have the chance to study glaze chemistry with Robin Hopper and from my understanding, rutile blues are really only created in reduction firings). It could also be a misleading commercial name, referring to the intended look of the glaze rather than the actual materials being used.
    7) cut a channel between the foot and the bottom of your pots – this is frequently done for pots using crystallized glazes as they also tend to run excessively.

    Anyway, hopefully something here helps. If you don’t mind I may direct one or two of my more ambitious ceramics students to your blog – they may be able to relate to the successes and issues that you are having.

    Best Regards,
    Andre Gogol

  3. @Andre…WOW! Thank you so much for all this information! I don't know why, but it I just today found your post in my blogs 'spam' folder…(still learning how to work this blog and didn't even know I had a spam folder 😉 I just read through it twice and am making notes for my next glazing and firing. Thank you again!!

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