Sunday, May 15, 2011

Today's Kiln Firing was Both a Success and a Failure...

The failures:

Most of the procelain doll pieces blistered.  My kiln was too hot.  So, I have to get some witness cones and not rely on the pyrometer in the future.

This piece was/is for a mannequin.  It blistered too but I rather like the effect on this piece so I plan to use it anyway.  I guess this one is a fail because it blistered but a success as well because I like it.  :)

I forgot to take a picture of the 3 pendants that fused together before I threw them away.  They had slid into one another and fused.  The color was perfect but all 3 pendants that I glazed that color fused together.  Doh!  So, I'll fix that glitch in the process next time.

The successes:

This is the only complete doll I got out of the 4 dolls I fired.  It was in the very center of the kiln (furthest from the heating elements) so I guess I shut off the kiln before the blistering occured on this one.  There are a few blisters on the torso but I think it will still be perfectly usable.

This is a sampling of 3 of the 5 pendants that made it.  The blue glaze is a bit darker than I'd like so next time I will only do 2 coats instead of three and the tan one came out perfect.  None of the pendants blistered.

So, tomorrow I will bisque fire some more pendants and try again.  Once I get the temps straightened out and the number of coats for the glazes, I'll start firing in the bigger kilns with much bigger loads.

I have to admit, even though this process has been frustrating, it's also been kind of fun.  I'm in no way discouraged and I will keep banging away at this until I get it just right.  I hope I don't bore the crap out of you in the process.  :/



Mary Ann said...

The first one that got blistered...can't you do something with it....use the torso for mermaid/creature, alien?

yoborobo said...

I think all the dolls will be perfect for some wonderful assemblage pieces. I really love the last doll, with the rusty color on it. Keep everything!!! LOL! And the pendants are lovely. In a few more firings you will have it all mastered. It's exciting to watch! xox Pam

Luthien said...

i actually think it's all success. success becos now you know exactly what the temp should be and success becos i actually really like the blistering effects on the dolls!! i dun think you can even repeat that ... it's ooak ... and looks gorgeous!!

Georgina said...

How I envy you!! My discipline in art during my college years was ceramics...and I actually remember what you're talking about!! LOL I loved working with working with butter. I loved throwing on the wheel and free-hand stuff. I wasn't much into making molds..hated it, but loved the results!

Opening up the kiln was either a "Wow" moment or on "oh sh***" one!! LOL I recall my prof did me a "favour" of firing 1/2 a semesters work of greenware because he wanted to conserve energy and included my stuff with the baby students. He had it set at ^6 and I told him my stuff had to be fired at ^4, but he insisted this would be ok. After the glaze fire of my work, well, you can imagine...if people had used my works for eating, they would be spitting blood forever!! I was soooo pissed!! I showed him and told him I knew what I was talking about and he agreed he made a huge mistake and told me to get back to work and catch up!! I'm still in the process of forgiving him and it's been 4 years since I graduated and he is now chair of the department!! LOL!!

I think it's best you get some cones...I have a few boxes still plus, I have a slab roller which is now a catch all for other stuff and my potter's wheel just sits there and mocks me!! I have an old kiln at my mother's garage, but no place to put in here in my home or out, for that matter...someday I'll get back to the feel of the clay and that moment of opening up the kiln!!

Have a great week.