Friday, February 11, 2011


Here's Matt. Look at Matt go. It's so helpful to have a guy on your team who's a big hitter. If Free Ceramics were a baseball team I'd put Matt at numero 4 in the lineup. There's no way we could afford to hire somebody to do this, or to afford the materials- which Matt has been squirreling away for years of doing construction jobs. Not to mention he's an alright guy to hang with, even though he is my brother-in-law. Oh and by the way, he's going to take the slip cast world by storm soon. All you slip people better be ready.

The new space is coming along nicely..and we've already booked some soon to be students. It's going to be a fun time..and I have no doubt that after the word spreads a bit more..we'll have a crazy big crew of kids running around. I was thinking of putting together some sort of kids "ceramics camp" during the summer. Maybe maybe... although that's hard to say because the summer is pretty much booked up.

I spent a good chunk of the day mixing some glazes. Tried and true guys, for the most part. I have four that I'm bringing wth me to glaze my pots with before we load. Lets see.. I have..

White Salt.
This is exactly like the classic, Yellow Salt, but without the iron oxide. My variation uses pure rock salt from a specific area of salt flats in Nevada. (totally necesarry) The glaze gives a nice buttery white when used over porcelain. I think it's pretty luscious..although I've never tired it in a wood kiln. I'm going to give it a go. Due to the heavy sodium content of this white salt glaze, extreme caution should be used if using as an ice melt. eye protection is advised.

Karl's Pork Shino.
Another classic, and old-school styley glaze. It's a standard American Shino..with lots of Soda Ash. The one exception, when compared to the rest of the American Shinos... is that this glaze has to have, for every 10,000 grams, two standard cups of bacon grease. It's best if you can use a hickory smoked bacon, but any bacon grease will do. Different types of wood used to smoke the bacon will have different results.

Black Evil.
This is a high silica glaze with a butt load of black copper oxide. In a gas reduction kiln, at cone 10, this glaze is a gun metal black but not shiny. In a salt kiln it will go from black to yellow. In certain cooling situations, a large amount of crystals can grow. It's very reactive to the soluble oxides blowing through a wood kiln. Since copper oxide is one of the coolest oxides out there.. it's possible to get the entire spectrum of colors with this guy..and even more so when you're dealing with fly ash and solubles. It's also evil as hell, too (mostly due to the fact that it isn't food safe). It's so dangerous and so seductive.. once you get a tiny taste, it will totally consume you.

This is a pretty classic Japanese glaze. It's the one used at Utah State in Logan, Utah. My buddy, Perry, told me that it looks pretty sweet in the train kiln..and can have some nice variation in the glaze. I'm taking his word and goin for it. I'm going to keep the glaze line a little higher on the pots with this glaze though..because Perry, said buddy, also mentioned that the glaze runs quite a bit.

Tomorrow I'm off to Missoula to load a kiln for two days. Stay tuned for the best woodfiring adventure in History.

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