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the clay monster has morphed - again and i have a new sculpture pr=

updated mon 26 apr 10


Deborah Thuman on sun 25 apr 10


Mel's book arrived, and I decided to do a little experimenting with my
firing yesterday. I fired faster, and the outside of the kiln never
got warm. Hmmmmm....... I think Mel has something there with that K
factor thing. Next, I took what I've been doing and expanded it a bit.
When I got movement at ^6, I would shut off the inner burners and turn
the outer burners to about 1/2. I was holding it like that for 30
minutes. My theory was that if I could slow the cooling of the kiln,
I'd get better results. This time, I held for an hour. Jim will be
unloading the kiln later today. We'll see what I have created. I'm
also looking forward to some glaze experiments. I had glazed some
bowls that I had made from a mold (please don't start, I can't throw
for beans and I don't particularly want to learn right now). They
looked kind of lonely with just one glaze on them. So.... I grabbed
the commercial alabaster satin Jim had bought and did a little
decorating. I may get subtle decoration. I may get definite
decoration. I may get a glaze that runs towards the bottom of the bowl
and makes for a cool glaze.

Next, Jim grabbed Mel's book when I wasn't looking and started
reading. And so Jim decided he had to fire the raku kiln. Jim had
never fired a kiln before. He loads but I fire. I had never fired that
raku kiln, but I'd done raku. Ah the joys of a kiln with burners that
blow out with the slightest breeze. Part of the burners were fenced in
with corrugated metal. We blocked the rest of the area with metal.
That kept the burners lit long enough to get up to bout 1600 to 1700.
Jim's results are on the blog. My work will be posted later today. Jim
loves what he created so he's now Raku Man.

Meanwhile, I started a new project. I dearly love the jars in which
the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and I was astounded to discover how
huge they were. I'm guessing here, but I suspect that they were coil
built. In any event, my jars are coil built. I figured I'd have to
make a few of these before I got what I wanted. The first one has
petrie dish shape but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. The
second one is going much better although I haven't gotten to the top.
I need to pay more attention to how I make the neck and how I make the
cover. When I get my skill level to where I want it, I have a special
jar I want to make. I'm still working out details of this jar and I
need to decide on a size. I want to do some gold accent on it and I
need to be able to fit it in an electric kiln. Yes, I could do ^19 in
the gas kiln.... and suddenly I can't think of a good reason not to.
Okay.... forget size considerations. As long as it's not more than 42"
tall, it will fit.

I also want to get to the point where I'm deciding how tall the jar
will be rather than just letting the jar work itself out as I build.
This could take a while.

I'm also using ^6 Anasasi clay. I like the color of this clay when it
fires, and I'm thinking it will be an interesting clay in reduction.
If not, I'll fire the jars in oxidation.

And so the journey continues .......

Deb Thuman