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Glaze finishes

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Glaze firing

I've been producing to stock, ready for the fingers-crossed Plan A at Royal William Yard. ...more meetings still to happen before it's decision time!

So this week I have mostly been firing the pots I threw and prepared earlier. Here are three about to come out of the kiln / furnace. The one at top right has been prepared with a slip-resist.

In this second shot you can see the slip resist peeling away from the front surface. That's ok and is actually part of the design. Using a slip-resist technique can give great texture, colour and pattern.

So what's all the wood shavings about? This pot (below) is destined for a lustre finish and for this type of glaze manipulation you need what's called a "reducing" atmosphere (also applies to the slip-resist technique mentioned above).

This simply means that the atmosphere in which the pot sits is starved of oxygen. The only available oxygen comes from the glaze itself (metal oxides always form the base for coloured glazes) and when a metal oxide has some of its oxygen nicked it can give a huge variation in the colour you get when plenty of oxygen is around.

And the smoke from the wood gets to the areas I've left unglazed to give a nice overall patina finish.
Next post will be photos of the finished product - when I can get the hang of doing my blog all by myself!