Studio Update: Week of 1/16/23
The goal of this week was to work through the glaze tests that I made recipes for last week. I took the two new recipes and mixed up a 1,000 gram test batch of each so that I could distribute the base out with colorants. Since the original recipe only pinholed when colorants where added I wanted to cover my bases and test all the colorants I am interested in using at 5% and 10% additions. I dipped the top half of my tile and painted on the bottom half so that I would be able to see if the application of the glaze made any difference. I loaded all of these into the test kiln, which I am now a pro at since my first firing with it last week for the test tile bisque. ( Though the kiln sitter was nothing new to me after being at the bray, the auto-advancer threw me for a loop and I accidentally ran through a 2 hour preheat and the kiln shut off. I learned manual is better. Not to brag but now I'm a pro.) So anyways I glaze fired the test tiles and eagerly waited for them. I am actually very pleased with the results! I need a little pat on the back and a golden star. Both tests successfully got rid of most, if not all, of the pinholing on most colorants. One version ended up being glossier than the other, as I had expected when I was working through the glaze calculations. The most notable difference was in the pink colorant. It was not even compatible with the original glaze, where it bubbled and got crusty. This time it fluxed evenly and smoothly into a useable glaze! I think firing with a small hold in the glaze firing will just be the icing on the cake to make sure all the issues are at bay. My undergrad professor had told us that if we reworked a glaze down to the chemistry like that then the new version is officially ours to name. The original glaze was Sue's Clear, so let me introduce you to Sarah's Clear! The next step in this process is to glaze 2 mugs with my new recipie and fire them in the test kiln. If these come out the way I need them to then I will proceed forward with this as my new glaze. If not then I will have to troubleshoot a little more. Unfortunately, the test kiln does not have a hold option, as far as I know, since it shuts off when the cone drops. Meaning that when it reaches temp it shuts off and I can not hold it at the highest temp. Aside from the glazing mania, I also worked on some more mugs this week as well as finishing up another cup set to be bisqued. I also sat down and ran through some ideas and sketches for things to make for an upcoming cone 6 residual soda. My plan is to make some serving bowl sets. I think these will take up more space in the soda and be quicker to accomplish than individual mugs. Plus they are a step towards creating a wacky, silly, stupid little table setting.
Image 1: glaze testing
Image 2: glaze test tiles before putting them in the glaze firing
Image 3: after the glaze firing
Image 4: one of the mugs I made this week
Image 5: prepping for wacky serving bowls