Happy glaze

Sea dapple large dish (approx 28cm dia)

A few posts back I mentioned… ‘I’m just looking forward to the day when I open my new kiln and I’m delighted with everything. Does that ever happen?’

Well, I opened up Bertha after her maiden glaze firing and I’m really, officially delighted. OK not everything is quite right, and there are still some issues to be sorted to do with the clay colour, but I’m so relieved. I feel like I’ve made a massive step towards being able to sell things. Just a little bit more road testing, clay research and throwing practice…

Roll on the New Year.


14 thoughts on “Happy glaze

  1. That dish is beautiful – I can’t believe you aren’t selling yet, if that is your wish. I know the commercial side is only part of what we do, but if you wait for perfection before hitting the market it will never happen. Maybe you seek a kind of industrial uniformity and blemish free product? These days a lot of people want a demonstrably artisan product and will even delight in a little irregularity and signs of a hand rather than a machine.
    Forgive me if this sounds a bit pompous. It’s your work not mine, and you have to believe in it before you sell it. I’d buy that dish though!

    • Dear Pete, thank you for your lovely comments and advice. Not at all pompous. I’m definitely not aiming for perfection, but for the artisan product you describe. My main issue is still with the clay I’ve been using which is creamer than I was expecting and slightly speckled, probably due to some additional iron deposits. I’m hoping to do some more testing in the New Year and get my head round putting together an online shop… slightly apprehensive about that, but in a good way. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

      • I wonder if you kiln is firing a little higher than you think, and oxidising the tiny amount iron a bit more? I know from using cones that my kiln has an effective firing temperature about 40 deg C higher than the controller has been set when I’m using stoneware. I fire slowly, and with a good final soak (30 or 45 mins). My rickety and poorly insulated old kiln wasn’t like this, but when I started using a new ‘Northern Kilns’ 9kw kiln the difference was startling.

      • It’s interesting that you should say that Pete. I did a slow fire, but no soak and I think my new kiln is firing a little hot (It may need a new thermocouple). I did a test fire with witness cones before anything else and the guard cone was bent more than it should have been. That said I had the same results with my old kiln, though I think she struggled to reach temperature, and was giving more of a long soak. I’m hoping to compare fired results with someone else who uses the same clay in the new year. Then hopefully I can decide whether to change clay, or ask for the supplier to give me a different batch.

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