Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stains, slip and test cups

Yesterday was pretty productive for just an afternoon of studio time. Got the little test kiln fired remixed some slip slip and got the last little pot slipped, pugged some clay and rolled out some slabs, and mixed up a 500 gram batch of pea green slip to use as a trailing list. Straining it will be this morning's first job. I love the look of a light green trailing slip over black which Ron Philbeck's been using on his wonderful earthenware pots lately. It's a striking combination; and works just as well over white, cream or yellow I suspect.I tested chrome and Mason pea green stain and I liked the pea green version the best. I think that may have been discontinued, so I should probably see if it's still available somewhere and get a few pounds.

I re-fired a nice little mug and found that the glaze blistered a bit. That's good to know in the future. It needed an under glaze touch up on the handle (that worked just fine); but the glaze wasn't happy on the body of the mug. That could have been because half the kiln was filled with bisque. The firing was slow, so  that wasn't the problem. I may re-fire that mug in an all glaze firing in my big kiln with a long soak and see if that works. There is still so much to learn about this journey into earthenware.

 My other job was to go through all the test  tiles in search of all my black slip tests since the last tests were gawd awful. It turns out that the best one was a base with 15% additions of two different Mason black stains - 6600 and I think the other was 6650, so I'm going to go with that for now. There was not much difference between the two. Both were a rich black and the clear glaze looked fine over it.

As soon as the studio warms up I need to pug some clay and throw some small test cups. I also want to weight out about 5,000 grams of black slip and get that mixed and sieved. If my slabs firm up, I'll make my templates. I ordered a piece of 5" thick upholstery sponge this morning which I'll use for those small trays and dishes. I used to have a piece, but it's another one of those things that went walkies during our move. 

Time to grab my notebook and head to work. We had our first hard freeze last night, so I'm hoping the studio has warmed up enough.

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