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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 you fire periodically like I do. It's crucial to  seal the base of the reduction bin with earth- burping the cannister after  15 minutes.  So is watching  the copper matte surface begin  to "bloom" it's colours -not too much- then  re- sealing for between 8-10 minute.  Finally whether to reseal or not- and  expose to the air. Sometimes this develops the fabled golds and pinks.

 That's all there is to it. Even so I still  managed to cock up!   Despite this some nice pots have emerged.

Note: Some of the glazed raku has worked well- I even managed to achieve some gold...


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