Talk and Tips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPictured – large jug 45cm tall, local clay and ash glaze.

The end of the summer marks the start of the pre-Christmas making cycle which is followed all too quickly by a run of weekly retail shows (see website for details) which takes me up to the first week in December. One disadvantage of a UK autumn is that pots dry slowly; I have a dehumidifier that can take a gallon or so of water out of the air in the workshop overnight but it is not enough to fully dry the pots.

If the pots are still a bit damp especially on the base they can be fired by doing a pre-fire the day before. Just pack as usuall but if you have some thick based pots raise them on pads of clay or small 5mm  props. Start the kiln (gas or electric) and raise the temperature by 15c per hour untill 45c is reached, then go 20c per hour to 100c followed by a soak for 20 minutes. Turn the kiln off and leave overnight with any vents open. If you want to peek in before firing the next day your pots will be still warm and bone dry.

If you have followed a previous blog you may have seen that I designed a sail for a floating art work. My design came from a machro image of some glaze detail – so potters unite and vote for my sail which is number 16 , follow this link.

Tip Potters use all sorts of ways to judge if their glazes are thick enough, at college it was stir it by hand and see if the hair on your arms is still visable – not very scientific! especially if you have no arm hair.

Try stirring well then pour glaze with a jug into a narrow necked bottle to the top. Weigh the glaze within a gram and record the weight. After firing if the results are good then continue with this weight, if too thick add water, if too thin remove water before stirring which can be done with a syphon tube or if a small amount use a turkey baster.

If you need any tips or have problems (ceramic ones that is) please contact me.

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