My pottery creations on and off the wheel.

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Are you a potter too, can you help?

Are you a potter? Can you help me work something out? Or let me know if I am on the right track?

I am starting with a terracotta that vitrifies at 1150C between cone 01 and cone 1, and a glaze I have tested before at cone 04 with colorant combinations I like so will use that, expecting some difference at higher temp. The glaze will go from cone 04 to cone 02.

With the test I did in previous post, I think the probe is reading a bit lower than the heat work the cones actually had. If I take it to cone 01  and it ends up with more heat work I could end up with a puddle of clay and will likely have a puddle of running glaze.

To be safe on both counts I have decided to go with cone 02, what I am questioning now though, is whether or not I should go closer to vitrifying with a higher firing glaze, and what the impact is of not doing so is?




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Woodfire with Duncan and Charade

Just amazing to be part of this wood firing, and in awe of the process and I thought my firings in my little electric kiln were labour intensive!

This was the culmination of work the pottery club did at Charade’s Candlestick workshop a while back using a white sculptural clay. It was a nice grogged clay to work with for hand building and just might use it again.


After the workshop I also made my “all about the heart” sculptures and small carved masks and mini Buddha heads out of the same clay.


Saturday was all about applying the glazes by brushing and dipping and slip was sprayed onto the pieces that have had their first bisque firing done. Some of them here waiting for loading.

glaze done

Then between us all, each with our little jobs from rolling balls of wadding, attaching balls to the bottom of each piece and passing down the line to be loaded into the kiln. Charade  waiting for the next pieces to load, camera shy but you get the idea.

charade loading kiln

The inside of the kiln is a work of art in itself with all the glaze, soda and ash (I think) from previous firings coating the bricks ! Can just see my little kiwi candlestick facing the front I wonder how it will fare with his wonky beak?


The masks and all about the hearts going in.

This view is from inside the throat of the firing chamber where we put the wood in, into the main part of the kiln.


Now the kiln is full Duncan temporarily covers the entrance with mud and bricks. Then a final covering ready for lighting this morning.



Kay and I were first on the roster this morning to light the kiln.

No pressure 🙂

My first job, appeasing the kiln gods with a bunch of flowers then cutting a wheelbarrow of kindling.

for the kiln gods

Well at least I didn’t embarrass myself, I can still light a fire!


One more to light and once they got going it was time for the next shift and some lunch, I wonder how they’re going?

lighting the chambers

Opening in a few days time!

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Workshop part 2 with Charade

Duncan and Charade today at the pottery club explaining to us their glazes for the wood firing of our candlesticks. All inspired again and hoping to sneak in my new little masks for fun!

Looking forward to some happy accidents with the slipping, glazing and flashing. Wood firing seems to have a more organic life of it’s own with the flames and atmosphere that you don’t get with electric, fascinating, plus I will get to be a bit of a firebug.

This will be my first actual wood firing experience, so here’s hoping I have the energy to keep up 🙂

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Normally i can count to six :-)

Well not tonite !

I toodled off to the shed with my number of pots that matched my number of glazes, to try out the replacement mini airgun but when I came out of the shed I only had 5 pots and 2 extra glazes.

The gun sprays like it should so that’s a plus but I am confused and obviously cannot count. Oh well maybe tomorrow things will add up 🙂

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Spraying ceramic glaze

Playing around with the spray gun today. Slowly getting the hang of it after leaks and blockages and the adaptor hose popping off and realising my DIY spray booth doesn’t cut it. One of my messier experiments 🙂  Am starting to remember why its been in a cupboard for a couple of years!

The experiment went pretty well I think!

Just need to work out a better way to see glaze coverage, was so fine I can’t see it going on, maybe the gun tip is too small?


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Testing for cat plaques done!

Still need to play with the red but with a mix of 2 commercial glazes, stains and clear with oxides added and a drastic temperature change, I’m happy 🙂  Not only did I come up with glazes I would be happy with for you Cush but I think I have found a solution for my pierced bowls.  Just crossing fingers that if the cone hadn’t fallen over “again” it would have come close to a full bend 🙂


Plaques and a bowl in now heating away, fingers hopefully crossed for a good result!

Kiln off now, excited by this one but have to wait overnight to cool!

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Notes, scribbles and glazing today.

If they dry in time i might load and fire but at the rate i’m going with my scribbling i doubt it 🙂

She has a few cracks but then so do I :-) Trying the bronze oxide on this one.

She has developed a few cracks but then so have I 🙂 Trying the bronze oxide on this one.

Trying out some rutile in the clear this time to see how it reacts with the cobalt etc.

Trying out some rutile in the clear this time to see how it reacts with the cobalt and hope it gives a bit more depth.

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Visual notes

Thought i would try something different today- taking some visual notes of glazing that i cant lose as i always seem to with scrappy bits of paper. Unfortunately with re- constituting old glazes and changing some of my glaze containers to ones that i don’t need a crowbar to open, this has taken me all day to do 🙂

So glazing is now put off to tomorrow but at least i will know where im starting from.  Glaze might be on the thin side but i think the finger test is reasonable for dipping (except for the gardeners nails), and i have a habit of putting it on too thick so will see how it goes this time.DSC02013 DSC02010 DSC02014