Monday, 23 July 2012

Wood firing in Sheffield

The weekend before last I was in Sheffield, helping to fire a smokeless kiln with the Manor Stokes Wood Firing Group. A very enjoyable experience, which was mainly thanks to the hard work and excellent preparation by the group organisers...a big thank you to Penny and Sarah for making the whole thing possible.

This was the second time the kiln had been fired and apart from the temperature sticking a couple of times, it went very smoothly and all the cones were down after about thirteen hours. Pots on the bottom two layers of the kiln received plenty of ash and I'm guessing the temperature must have gone well over 1300 centigrade as a few of my pots started to bloat in places. I need to remember next time to put pots made of recycled clay higher up in the kiln where the heat isn't quite so intense.

Most of the glazes came out beautifully with very few faults, especially the tenmokku on porcelain which was fabulous. Some of the shinos also came out wonderfully well with rich oranges and reds and some nice ash deposits. Here are a few of my results, I will add some more later:

Bottle vase with fen slip, dug straight from the ground

The earthenware, fen slip almost came out like a tenmokku!

Bottle vase with ash glaze, approx 7 inches tall

White slip brushed on under the glaze has added variation in colour

Sake cup with shino glaze

Sake cup with shino glaze
Vase with shino glaze, approx. 7 inches tall

Tea caddy, glazed by fire and ash, approx 4 inches tall

Sake cup with flashing from flames. Shino on the inside

shino on this light body came out very orange indeed!

Shino beaker with under-glaze brushwork

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Oribe, oribe, oribe.

Here are a few pieces from my latest firing on Friday June 29th, which mainly contained oribe-glazed pots. I was pleased with the matte orange colours I achieved on a few of them, which complements the green glaze nicely. I wasn't so happy with the number of craters and pinholes on the larger pots (not shown here)...they were fired to cone 9 with a half hour soak and I suspect the the top half of the kiln developed some severe hot spots. Most of the pots on the bottom shelf were perfectly fine.

Perhaps cone 9 is the temperature at which bubbles form, as this glaze has worked very well at cone 8 and cone 10 in the past..or maybe the soak was too long and the kiln over-fired..hard to know. I'm thinking that the soak must have raised the temperature considerably. The cone was bent half way over before the soak, and after the soak it had completely slumped flat, so there was alot of extra heat work applied. I'll refire some of the pieces at cone 8 and see if that cures the problem.

Bottle-vase, approx 4 inches tall

Mug, mapprox 3.5 inches tall

Vase, approx 6 inches tall

Cup, approx 4 inches tall

Glaze run on cup above

Miniature vase, 2 inches tall

Vase with ash glaze, approx 3 inches tall