Monday, December 15, 2008


I went to the Irvine Fine Arts Studio again on Saturday to finish glazing the last batch of cups and bowls that I had thrown. At a big studio like that they take forever to get out of the kiln, which means a long lagtime between throwing and getting the finished product.

This first photo is the container that holds the wax resist that you put on the bottom of high fire pieces to prevent the glaze from staying there, so when it melts (glaze is largely glass) in the kiln, it doesn't stick to the kiln shelves and ruin very expensive pieces of kiln furniture.

Then I have some of my cups and bowls all turned upside down ready to get waxed! After you throw a piece, it gets fired once (at roughly 1800 degrees f) and then when it comes out it is considered "bisque" - you rinse it to get rid of any refractory dust, then wax the bottoms, and glaze!

I always have so many pieces to glaze that glazing has never been an exact science for me. A lot of people keep very, very close track of exactly which glaze with which clay and which oxide, etc. that they use. I always start out with good intentions, but by piece 45 I am tired of it! I figure part of the fun is the random surprise joy of seeing what you made after it comes out of the glaze firing. So these are some pieces after they've been glazed, but before they've been fired for the second time. For stoneware, the second firing reaches over 2300 degrees f. This is a photo of the gas kiln used to fire pieces at IFAC. My pieces are actually IN that kiln in the photo - I watched the lab tech load them, then I took the photo.

So anyhoo, such is the life of a piece of clay. I will be picking up some of my pieces tomorrow night, and the rest next week sometime! Yay! I can't wait to post photos.

I am still thinking about Danner, but it's a strange kind of sadness. It doesn't occupy my every waking moment in pain or anything, but I cried myself out one night and now I just feel contemplative. But I am feeling this contemplativeness pretty consistently.


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