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Showing posts from April, 2015

Kiln firings in April.

I 'm nearing the end of a batch of firings of some new work. There's been some urgency on my part  to supply  3 galleries asking for work- and another wanting replacement stock. A nice problem to have- but a problem nonetheless when you've got no work left to sell.

Once again copper matte has proved as frustrating as ever- but I am confident that  I know exactly what I am doing- and what I am doing wrong! This time- the pyrometer played up.  Two kiln firings went "kaputt"- the pots went too hot* (above 1050) -(*soaked too long in the kiln) and the copper matte begins to burn out or flux too much- too low- and the reduction happens too quickly and drab colours result in reduction.  The pots need to start showing a very slight sheen - this is a good sign. Too little- and the colours are unstable and drab- too much and the colours will also be drab and burned out.

For me 1030-1040 gives the optimum result. I keep stating this- because its so easy to  forget when yo…

Fire up the Quattro! (err sorry kiln.)

At long last I have found time to start a new batch of Raku firings. It's always filled with trepidation- as you know the score - results are so unpredictable. Even when you're an old hand like myself.

Anyway some reasonable results have occurred- I'm firing the copper mattes quite high to about 1045/50 degrees c- and sealing them up for 15 minutes before allowing for a short burst of re oxidation- the another 10 minutes reduction- before re oxidising and assessing.

With a fair wind- it works. If you muck up your timings or are having a bad day....copper mattes do tend to frustrate!

Anyway I start the firings early now- with the kiln going on at 8- I do 2 or 3 firings a day. It's much more manageable that way- and far less tiring than firing all day like I used to. If things are not going your way it's best to survive and live to fight another day!