Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
A few hours later [and having been admonished by son Gilad that I'm not keeping the blog up to date] here are the still-too-hot-to-touch results. It looks like a version of tenmoku called "tea-dust",and would be quite attractive if not for my inept decoration. I shall try to make more pots for the next firing [probably in the new kiln,which has arrived on these shores and is awaiting the pleasure of the Customs folk] and to leave them alone when it comes to decoration.
So here are the aforementioned tenmoku bowls,fresh out of this morning's unpacked glaze kiln [not a bad kiln,fairly even,not quite enough reduction,a few glass drips on shelves,one cup stuck to the thermocouple- but then it's been a while since I did damage to a thermocouple]. Now I'm going to put them in a fast-ish firing to 950 [with maybe a 10-min. soak] in the electric kiln,and we'll see what happens.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
But first- one of the better teapots from a pretty successful salt firing.
Now- it takes quite a lot to blow me away ceramically these days,but Sydney managed while we were unloading the salt kiln. He showed me a striking piece- a tenmoku [dark brown breaking to rust on edges] glaze that had been refired in a bisc firing,revealing beautiful and surprising shades of ochre yellows,oranges and browns- rather [in technique] like the struck silver nitrate crystal glazes I occasionally play with. I didn't have any tenmoku pots in my studio- I love the glaze,but,despite the fact that it shows of food well,people are notoriously reluctant to buy it [apart from other potters,especially those with electric kilns who can't do tenmoku] so I took this bowl of Netzer's [for those of you who know Netzer] and fired it in the next day's bisc.It's a hard glaze to photograph as well,but I hope you can see the rather dramatic transformation. Today's glaze kiln has a couple of hastily-glazed tenmoku bowls in it- more before-and-after shots,doubtless,to come. I'm impressed.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Another great day with Mr. Rosenstone,cleaning [the sweatiest part],glazing,loading and firing the little salt kiln that could- in 7 1/2 hours to cone 10 [1280-ish] with a scant 4 kilos of salt,which nonetheless yielded very respectable test rings. The kiln was very responsive,doing exactly what was asked of it - I suspect because of the smaller number of larger pots in it,freeing up the airflow. Yahel,my most recent apprentice,has built a gas kiln in Lotem and had trouble getting to temperature in her first glaze firing earlier this week,so Sydney and I spent a fair part of the day discussing flow in kilns,teapots and gas lines,trying to understand what is happening in Yahel's kiln before we drive over there later on today [after opening our salt kiln] to help her unload and sort out the problem. Failed first firings are the rule rather than the exception in the world of kiln-building: it's a form of paying your dues,builds character,and is generally a Good Thing. If you just want years of reliable firings you need to buy a Laser kiln [like mine].