Saturday, September 4, 2010

Newest kiln firing

We spent last weekend firing the kiln. We rented one chamber, the salt one, and Paul and Lily put a months work in and it was finished on Saturday.   I wasn't there for the opening, because I took Lily back to school that day.  I was anxious to get home and see the results, though, and it didn't sound good when I got home and talked to Paul.
"It's different" Paul said, right then there was that dreaded feeling.....And always in the back of my mind I rattle off every possibility! Two plates were sitting out and they were indeed different. Our slip had a blue halo around the lines that was mysterious, and it was also really melted, some pots had just a melted blob, and the slip had a gunmetal look on some pieces.  As we went through the hows and the whys, it was concluded that the last batch of black slip must have been mixed wrong, or too strong.  It wasn't until Paul went to find the stain to make a new batch of slip, did he notice that instead of cobalt free black, our packet was chromium free black! 
 I relate this story  because there is a bright spot.  Among the worst of the results, I saw some little things I liked, something that would be a new avenue to pursue.   And the ones that didn't melt away had a kinetic energy to them ,  adding to  the action of the animals, not distracting from it.   I also liked a lot of the blues , and told myself  to start adding some blue slip to the mix again.
On some, the melting enhanced the drawing, and gave it energy

Some  of the pieces stayed black, but had a gunmetal sheen.
some had a blue halo around the black lines
If it had been the "old days" of the production pottery(any production pottery) this would have been considered a disaster, and the dramatists of the group would have had a field day.  I am so glad that I work in an environment , now that allows for a mistake to lead to something new, and not be looked at as a "disaster". 


  1. Beautiful! I love your work, thanks for sharing your process:)

  2. Drinking my morning coffee out of my bunny mug. Glad there were some good surprises in the firing!