Sunday, January 23, 2011

I just about opened the kiln last night, but it wasn't cooling quite quickly enough - it was still sitting at a toasty 280 degrees about 10:30 PM, which is, incidentally, aslo my bedtime.  So I wen to sleep instead.  But, first thing this morning I did get out to the garage to take a peak at my little treasure chest.  Here's what I found:

This was actually the middle shelf of the kiln, but it's sort of the same effect for every shelf.  Top shelf merely got unloaded before I got the camera out.  Here are the pots that were at the top of the kiln:
Overall it was a pretty good test firing, and I guess I have to keep myself in check of the fact that a test fire is all I needed it to be.  That is to say, there were more disappointments than excitements, I think.  Or more, one big disappointment: turns out I'm not so sure I like my clay.  I really enjoyed working with speckled clay over the last couple years, so the Mid-Range Clay with Manganese Specks was an obvious clay choice for me, but apparently these specks are pretty pervasive, and not in a particularly pleasant way.  There were a few other glazes that also just didn't perform very well, period.  But that's the way it goes, and that's why I didn't stock up on 20 gallons of anything.  I'll check back with further thoughts after I've lived with these pots for a few days -I'll likely have a more positive outlook later, but no promises.  I don't have a whole lot more to say, specifically, but here are some more snippets/snapshots of some of the pots from this load. 
Most of the loot.  Got some pretty nice blues and red/brown tones going on, so that's nice.
Some vases.
More vases.  I like the bleed/interplay of the glazes around the lip of the bud vase on the right.
More blues and reds.

Apparently I need to use 3+ coats of rouge red to get anything more than a ghost of color.  Good to know.
Big fan of: the way the glazes play together in the bowl on the left.  Not a fan of: mild dalmation bowl on the right.
Trying out my glazes for the inside of these bowls.  Guess which one I like?
That's the firing in a nutshell.  I guess it's back to the wheel to crank out enough pots for another load.  I'd really like (optimally) to get another load of test pieces before I make a move on firing any of my mountain vases.  I'm thinking that maybe a batch of mugs would be good - something that doesn't nest well, so as to buff up the usage of space in the bisque firing, or a bunch of really bulbous vases.  Bulbous pots also take up a lot of space.  More reaction later perhaps.  For now, pretty decent first firing, I guess, with some negative surprises but also a fair share of pleasantness.

That's it from me - have a great week!


Anita said... least the kiln worked! We can praise God for that AND it didn't burn the house down!! :)

Liking the red/green duos I see going on there in some of those pictures. Blue is pretty but I'm into the red/greens for my kitchen stuff!!

Sounds a bit like a nightmare keeping track of which glaze is which on which pot etc etc. Have fun!!

Mr. Young said...

I kinda like the mild dalmation bowl on the right. Adds a little character... Lets you see that it's handmade.