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unstable pots in electric kiln firing

updated sun 14 nov 99


Alisa and Claus Clausen on wed 10 nov 99

I am about to glaze pots I will mount on stone bases. The feet of the pots =
unusually small in relationship to the mouths of the pots. Although they =
stand, they are extremely unstable. I have considered not glazing the lips =
standing them on their heads for stability in the kiln. However, I can see =
would prefer to glaze the rims and stand them on their feet. If they can =
independently on the kiln shelf, can I risk firing them without them falling
over? Is there anything happening during the firing in an electric kiln
atmosphere that could cause them to tip? If so, is there a way to support =
without maring the glaze surface?

Alisa in Denmark.

Cindy Strnad, Earthen Vessels Pottery on thu 11 nov 99


I've had slightly unstable pots fall over during firing in my electric kiln,
so wouldn't recommend it. Can you create a temporary base for the pots using
a ring of clay or something of that nature?

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
Custer, SD

Richard Ramirez on fri 12 nov 99

Just make a bisque ware stand for them. An impression of the base, maybe
set down a bit to make sure they won't tip over. Could be brick or tile form.
Hope that helps. " The Clay Stalker" Richard Ramirez, Sacto Calif.

Russel Fouts on sat 13 nov 99


Leave the very edge of the pots unglazed so you can fire them upside
down and do one of the following:

1. If you have a smooth body and like the body color to show don't glaze
the rim.

2. If you like the body color to show but want it smoother, burnish rim
(on the wheel).

3. If you like the body color to show but want it even smoother, make a
fine sieved slip of your body.

4. If you like the body color to show but want it even smoother, burnish
the slip.

5. If you like the body color to show but it's still not smooth enough
for you, make a terra sig out of your body and use this on the rims.
Apply be for you glaze and wax (or wipe)

6. want it shinier burnish it.

7. If you want it another color, start with a white slip or a white sig.

Are you seeing a pattern here? ;-)

If you use your body for the sig or the slip it should go to your normal
glaze temperature, fit the body well and still have some sheen (if you
want to burnish). If you go to a white sig or slip you may have fit
problems but with a high fire ball clay, you shouldn't lose much sheen
if you want to burnish it.

Note: I use "sheen" rather than "shine" because at higher temps the
"shine" of slips and sigs can be reduced to a "sheen" (or disappear) but
in any case will be smoother than not burnishing. You'll have to test.

All of the above can also be applied to foot rims, galleries, lids and
even to a ring in the bottom of a bowl (which would enable you to stack
them one inside the other in a glaze firing!)

In any case, try it! Has worked for potters for thousands of years.