Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Glaze Making

Yesterday I bought the final items I needed in order to begin making many of my own glazes: a gram scale and some final common glaze chemicals. I decided that any glazes I made would not be toxic, so I have no toxic materials such as lead or barium.

For now my glazes will only be applied to my beads. In the kiln right now are beads which have applied to them a clear glaze that matures at cone 1. This is a once fire glaze that my professor at college let me copy out of one of her glaze recipe books. It's a simple recipe. The problem is that my glaze scale does not weight 'half' grams. I had to estimate. I'm considering taking it back but I'll see how this batch comes out first.

In the small kiln are three types of clay bodies which all mature at cone 5: a porcelain, and two stonewares, brown and red. These were all greenware beads, meaning they had not been bisque fired first. However, in the interest of experimentation, I also put in some beads of the same clay body that were bisque fired. I wanted to see what kind of difference there is, if any.

I have the kiln programed for a medium fire with a holding of 10 minutes after it reaches temperature. Because my kiln sits outside, weather is often a factor in how things turn out, so I have begun keeping a record like the one below in case I have a certain glaze that I would like to turn out similar:

Current weather and moon phase in the DFW area:

Temp: 74°
Dew Point: 58°
Humidity: 57%
Wind: South 21 mph
Visibility: 10.0 miles
Pressure: 30.01 in. -
Sky: Scattered Clouds
Moon: Waning (new moon was on the 18th)

Tomorrow about this time I will be opening the kiln to find out and will post the results here. Now I'm off to take photos of some more pottery.

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