Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kiln Alchemy :)

Just got some work out of the kiln that I am really excited about! As you may recall, I was not getting a lot of results that I was super crazy about w/ the recycled clay I was using this semester. After seeing some results a classmate had using a darker (but more expensive) clay body, I figured I'd give it a go. I had actually used this clay while taking a class @ Santa Fe Clay last year & had liked some of the results, but never achieved results like this. FYI~ these were all fired in the soda kiln, which is also a new experience for me... & I find the results quite intriguing.

Laguna Dark Brown Clay- Spotted Shino inside, Coleman Teadust outside, Salt Fired, Cone 10

It's my favorite piece of the semester so far!

Check out the inside surface- It is truly Alchemy!

I tested it on one of my little bears too & thought it made for an interesting surface.

I ended up making 32 of these little guys. I was going to glaze them all like this, but I changed my mind. While I'll definitely glaze some more like this, I also wanted to test some other glazes. I currently have 12 still drying, 10 in the bisque kiln & 9 glazed & awaiting firing.

Interestingly, this bowl was dipped in the same glaze as the top one, but 2 dips instead of one- the effect came out totally different. I like it o.k, but nearly as much as the top one.

This was a test cup. The glaze was made in my glaze calc class from mixing 1/2 of the slop from my Satin Mint Triaxial & 1/2 of the slop from a classmates triaxial (Peach Bloom Glaze- modified.) It's a little drippy, but I like it for inside surfaces. (I also tested this clay on one of the bears w/ the dark brown clay- can't wait to see how it turns out!)

More test cups- using Ann's Soda Clay, flashing slip, Purple Haze liner & dip.

Ooooh, I also got all my new triaxial tests back, minus 1 tile that went MIA. (It's like the 1 sock that goes missing when you do laundry!) I retested the Ann's Soda clay body on the left, and High Hills on the right. 

Out of the 21 points on the triaxial, these 3 were my favorites. I hope to use a combo of these three to glaze the big bear, which has been patiently waiting on my shelf for the past 6 weeks or so! We are quickly coming up towards the end of the semester- just when I feel I'm getting into the swing of things. I've been super busy, trying to get as much done as I can... because the more I do, the more I learn... and that learning is just good stuff!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Just got a fired piece out of the kiln yesterday, and I'm pretty excited about it! I made this bear back in Feb, but have been working on testing glazes in my glaze calc class & wanted to come up w/ something cool before I glazed it.

Soda Fired Bear, Satin Mint Green (modified) glaze.
Height 3 1/2" Width 5" Length 8 1/2"

 This glaze is actually the same glaze (Satin Mint Green "Slop" in which the glaze recipe was modified w/ added copper carb & rutile) I was testing on my previous post. While the test bowl & cup which were soda fired on a recycled clay body did have the elements of green I was looking for, the bear (which was made from Ann's Soda Clay) came out totally different than the test tiles. Not what I expected, but I have to say, I quite like the results!

I've added several different angles just to show the different color variations attained w/ the same glaze. I believe this is partially due to the properties of the glaze itself, but also due to the varying thickness of glaze poured over, as well as effects from the soda kiln. The darkest color on the feet is simply the color of the clay body when soda fired.  From my tests, I found that this glaze is quite drippy, so I left about 3/4" of the feet unglazed, and I still had problems w/ the glaze dripping off, in a rather inconsistent manner. This may be an issue when I when I fire the big bear, but I hope to remedy this by spraying the glaze on lightly. 

Speaking of which, I did a another full round of glaze testing last weekend (the campus was actually closed- so I mixed my glaze recipe last week & took it home to do the triaxial.) I'm retesting the Ann's Soda Clay & testing the High Hills clay body, of which the big bear is made.

They're going in the kiln this week & should be out Monday, along w/ about 13 pieces from my wheel throwing class~  Iooking forward to seeing the results!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Glaze Test Results & Other Clay Stuff

 We just got our test results out of the kiln for the triaxial glaze tests we did a couple of weeks ago... and let me tell you, I found the results pretty exciting! It is totally amazing to me that just very slight variations in color combos give such a wide range of results and totally change the effect of the glaze.

The tiles above were fired in the gas kiln. The top tile is the base recipe for "Satin Mint Green," while the left corner is the same recipe w/ copper carb added, & the right corner is the base w/ added rutile. All the tiles in between are variations of the three.

We fired 2 sets of tiles~ gas on the left, and the soda kiln on the right. (My soda tiles 4, 16 & 21 went MIA, but I'm hoping they show up when the next soda kiln is unloaded.) Click on image twice to enlarge to see detail in the test tiles & how the same glaze gets totally different effects in the soda kiln.

Above is a line test that I did w/ a classmate. We took the "slop" (mixture of the three color points on the triaxial) from each of our glazes & mixed various percentages of each~ Satin Mint green on the left & Easy Red on the right. Pretty fascinating, eh?!

This bowl is the result of taking the "slop" from my Satin Mint recipe & applying it to a piece. The tiles are great for testing, but it is nice to how it looks on actual work. The glaze went on really thick, and did run off the pot a bit in the soda kiln, but I love the effects!

This piece was also glazed w/ the Satin Mint Green (dipped in point "C" on the bottom, "slop" on the top, and point "B" in the middle- from the triaxial test) & soda fired~ it really ran off the mug! But, I was not dismayed! The reason I picked this glaze to test is that I am trying to come up w/ something cool for my larger bear sculpture. I chose to dip the mug in various percentages of the glaze tests to see how it would react... and I am thinking the results are turning out really cool! Problem is, I made the larger piece on a different clay body... which changes everything, and so far my test tiles on that clay body look totally different than the effect shown here. Will have to run more tests!

Recycled Clay, Spotted Shino~ full dip, then Bailey's Red over

We also got some work back from my wheel throwing class. Out of 6 or so pieces, this was the only one I liked! Most of my bowls were thick & clunky, and I am having difficulty achieving consistent results on the recycled clay I am using. For example, the Spotted Shino you see in the middle stripe above has also turned out almost pure white, orangey satin & gray! 

More bowls... after I finished the last bag of recycle, I switched to a dark brown clay that I've used in the past. I still have quite a few recycled bowls to glaze, but I am hopeful that I'll get some cooler results w/ the rich, dark clay body.

And, yes, the bears are still multiplying.

I figured I'd do ten, which turned into twenty-three... so far. One of the guys in my class suggested I do 100! Don't have time for all that presently, but should get 30 or so done & ready to be fired in the next couple of weeks. Keeping busy, to say the least, & am really enjoying my classes this semester!