Tuesday, 4 February 2014

First disappointments                                    

I have just opened a kiln after a first glaze firing. It was a test for the kiln as well as the glazes. Firing went ok and the kiln has reached the temperature (1210oC) without any problems, but when I opened it, glaze didn’t look the way I expected it to.

I don’t mind the crawl surface, but it obscures all textures underneath.
Not what I wanted. I have spent so much time creating those textures, I don't want to lose them.
This is what I expected, as I used the same combination of glazes as on the Gateway arch:

Why is it happening? Is it due to the change of raw materials? (Very likely as I witnessed problems with other high feldspar glazes)  Did I make a mistake when mixing? (Not likely as I bought just enough raw materials for two glazes, and had no unexplained leftovers)
So what else can I do? I can’t quite picture the sphere in any other glaze. First reaction is to test whatever is immediately available in the studio: test glazes separately, test clear glaze and very thin washed out application of dry green glaze, just in the crevices. I also want to see what it looks like without the glaze. 
So I used broken bits, applied glazes and put them back in the kiln. Restarted it......and instead of a click that announces heating has begun, there are sparks and silence. Controller looks dead.



Studio still has working lights. Press a few buttons on a controller – no response. Fuse has short circuited. And that is the limit of what I can do. Except call kiln electrician.

What was that I said about patience?


  1. I love the glaze texture, the result of that on top of the one you created in the clay makes it very complex and rich. Show us an example of the glaze surface you intended to achieve please?

    1. Ah, I forgot to mention....intended glaze is what I used on the arch ( Gateway 21). will post picture soon

  2. Yes, I like it too .....but yes, pity about losing your textures underneath .... glazing (for me) is always a case of 'expect the unexpected'.

    1. That is very true.....especially now that some materials are sourced from different places.