Thursday, September 8, 2011

The first firing adventure

First of all, the kiln with its mere 4.5" in height sure became HUGE for me as I was expecting to only be able to fire maybe three figures at a time, now I see with careful positioning and depending on the size of the figures, I may be able to fire a dozen at a time! I also learned that the witness cone needs to be in the back right so I can see it easily when checking... I also need glasses to filter out that molten light!!!

Above is a photo of the kids all fired up, I am beginning a notebook on all firings to see what works, what doesnt, and to get a better sense of temperature and time with this manual kiln which since its not digital, I have to do all the work and sort of baby sit it, but I like being in control, when I get my next kiln it will be a digital one :)

Just a comparison how the material changes so much when bisque fired.

Okay so now I am ready to glaze.

The photo above shows the figures glazed, I was primarily using them as test tiles to see what colors the glazes did, how they reacted when thick/thin, and if they ran at all when properly fired to their cone. I did learn one thing which I had forgotten since leaving City College. I hate low fire glazes. I used to try and try and try and even formulated my own, only to end up using clear for all my needs, I feel this will happen with this new era of figure making as well.
underglazes work much much better for my purposes and a nice thin clear coat will keep the figures from getting too obscured by the thick glass. While the underglaze will allow me to control the colors and add lots of detailing and painting work... expect lots of underglaze looks for the next firing.

The pic above is the figures fresh out of the oven... I have since added some gold to the far right girl and I took her into work to show people. I must say for the first bisque and glaze, things went really well, totally perfect, but I just dont like the results of low fire glaze so again, I will be using lots of slip work in the next batch which will have more than three figures in it. :)

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