I'm very pleased with this glaze firing. The test tiles fired great. No visible signs of crazing or pinholes. I plan to test the tiles further for stability using Ron Roy and John Hesselberth's techniques. The following pics demonstrate how the kiln was loaded for this firing.
NOTE: The following points apply to any media I may be working in. I can see that I'll be repeating them often in the future! This info is intended for those of you who:
- are very new to ceramics who may not have the advantage of taking workshops or classes (hopefully you have taken at least a few classes in ceramics) and want to see examples of how someone else fires their pieces
- maybe you are familiar with ceramics but, like me, you enjoy seeing how other potters work, no matter what their (or your) level of experience. Each of us has our own way of doing things and this is just my way of working through/solving problems in 'the process' of creating. I'm a strong believer in 'there's always a better way'.
- have no experience with ceramics what-so-ever, but just enjoy reading blogs on the subject!
As you can see, I have a teeny-tiny kiln. But I like it and it's all I could (and still can for the time being) afford at the time I bought it. Anyway, a larger one wouldn't fit my kiln room. I need to purchase about two or three more shelves and I'll be able to fire more jars and other items that don't take up too much space vertically.
Below are some pics of my test tiles. I held the firing for 30 mins. at 2185 (^5 temp.) degs. Far. which took my kiln (every kiln is different, so always use 'witness cones' to know exactly how high your firing actually went) to a little past ^6, almost to ^7 - maybe too far for the Ardvark clay, which is a ^5 clay. However, it didn't seem to hurt the glazes or clay at all. No blistering of glazes or slumping of the bisqueware.
Unloading the Kiln:
Well, that's all for now. All of the glazes, or most of them are from Mastering Cone 6 Glazes, by Ron Roy and John Hesselberth. A good source if you're interested in ^6 firing. Later...