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terra sig at high-fire temps

updated tue 26 dec 00


vince pitelka on sat 23 dec 00

> Knowing that terra sig is primarily a low fire technique, has anyone tried
> at cone 10 reduction? We have a friend that does terra sig at cone 6/7
> beautiful results.

Dorothy -
The end result at cone 10 depends largely on the clay used to prepare the
sig. As I mentioned in another post, a red clay sig will turn to a glaze at
high-fire temperatures. Some ball clays have a fair amount of iron, and
that will also cause some fluxing. Generally, the high gloss possible at
low-fire temperatures cannot be retained at mid-range or high-fire, but you
can still get a very nice satin sheen which is different from any glaze

One of the most interesting uses of terra sig at high-fire temps is on the
areas we normally leave unglazed. On high fire wares I hate to see anyone
ever glaze the foot, or on covered vessels the lid seat. It just feels all
wrong to put the lid on a covered jar and have that glaze-to-glaze contact.
I have strong opinions on this, and I know there are others who disagree,
which is fine. I love to see the claybody showing through at the foot. I
want to see the clay somewhere on every clay vessel, unless there is some
compelling reason to conceal it. I really like to feel the clay on the
foot, and I like the feeling of the clay-to-clay contact on a covered vessel
lid gallery. If one wants a smoother surface on these areas, it is a simple
matter to make a terra sig from the same claybody, and paint the lid seat
(both surfaces) and the foot. This will give a very nice satin sheen. Your
customers will love it.
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Home -
Work -
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

JODO96@AOL.COM on mon 25 dec 00


Thank you for responding. Your response contained much of what I had
surmised. Thought that it might look interesting as a decorative point. It is
worth a try.

Happy Holidays to you and all Clayarters, we have enjoyed you all over the
year. May 2001 bring you all the best of everything especially great pots!

Dorothy and John Weber
Manakin-Sabot, Va.