Wednesday, August 13

Mug test #3

So, here's the girls from the last test all lined up. Again, some decent stuff, some boring stuff, some puzzling stuff and one possible gem.

This cup above could have some possibilities. However, the white glaze tends to blister and pinhole when it feels like it. I try to be patient with it because I kind of like it, but I'm thinking when I run this huge five gallon bucket out it's gonna go. It's hard to see in this image, but I got blistering where the white overlaps the black, and more significantly, on the other side some major shivering. But I like the graphic quality of the black and white for sure.
This mug above is kind of interesting, in that it is glazed ALMOST exactly like the one below, but I don't like this last one as much. I have figured out a few reasons why, but it is interesting to see what a big change, a subtle difference can make.
This cup above is from the last firing, glazed very much like the one above it. I really like this one.
I kind of like this. Except it's kind of boring. It needs a little pizzazz and I just need to figure out what that could be. But it has potential.

This is my favorite girl of the bunch this time. And standing next to her is my little gem. I am looking for a blue I can use that is sort of turquoisy, durable, not ugly, and works on my body (I have a high iron body and glazes often don't like it). So, I'm kind of diggin it. I think I'll use it in my next set of tests and see what happens. I've tested and rejected a lot of blues.

Today was a long day. Those little cute tiny jars kicked my but. I actually still have three of them left to finish. I never got to the mugs at all. But I did throw the beginnings of maybe eight more pots while waiting for everything to firm up. But still, just one of those days when it doesn't seem like I got a lot done. Especially since the pots I finished are about one and a half inches big. Oh well.


Judy Shreve said...

I like the blue -- it will be a nice addition to your earth tones. I'm thinking of buying a test kiln. Do you think you get similar results using the test kiln? I guess at least you would know it that's a direction you want to pursue.

Deborah Woods said...

I like it too. It's really close to what I've been looking for. I just want to use it as a highlight or liner.

If you get similar results in a test kiln I think is totally dependent on whether you can fire the two kiln the same. If you have computer controllers this shouldn't be an issue if you program them the same. This is what I do. And yes I get extremely similar results. I know I wouldn't if I wasn't able to control the firings as well.

I did a semester of independent study in college using our electric kilns to fire glazes (we only used them for bisque and majolica) and the results I got were NOTHING compared to what I am able to achieve now. I didn't know anything about how cooling affects glazes and when the kilns got to temp I just shut them off.

So, seeing as I've done it both ways I'm a big believer in the way I'm doing it now. Once I reach cone 6 it takes almost five hours for me to get back down to 1400 degrees again. I'm thinking about dropping it a little slower and holding at some point to see what happens as well. Always experimenting!

Judy Shreve said...

I slow cool. Do you hold a peak temp too? I hold for about 20 minutes. Val Cushing suggested holding for an hour. I haven't tried that yet. I'm thinking I would have to lower my peak temp holding that long -- heat + time, right?

Yes - that blue will be gorgeous as a liner and highlighter.

One more question -- do you switch one controller between the test kiln & your large kiln?

Thanks -- too many questions lol.

Deborah Woods said...

I only hold for a few minutes. I hold for a few more minutes in my larger kiln but mainly because my smaller kiln takes a little longer to get to temp, so if I held for the same time I would over fire a little in the test.

I bought both kiln with their own controllers. I know you can get an aftermarket Skutt controller that mounts on the wall. I'm not sure, but I don't think you could share kilns with it, because I think it is wired to your kiln, but I could be wrong.