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cone 6 reduction????

updated wed 25 aug 04


Lois on tue 24 aug 04

On 8/24/04 9:18 AM, "Snail Scott" wrote:

> ^6 in recent years has become almost synonymous
> with oxidation firing, due to the rise in the
> respectability of electic kilns, but there's no
> inherent superiority in it. It's just different.
> Many people fire ^6 oxidation because they have
> no option but to fire electrically, but would
> envy the opportunity you have to fire in any
> atmosphere. ^6 reduction can be great! It seems
> a shame not to take advantage of it.
> -Snail Scott

I would like to know more about cone 6 reduction...
Any one on the list doing it? Would love to hear your results and about the
glazes, firing schedule, any info greatly appreciated.

Lois Sharpe
in Durham NC

Snail Scott on tue 24 aug 04

At 11:21 AM 8/24/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>I would like to know more about cone 6 reduction...
>Any one on the list doing it? Would love to hear your results and about the
>glazes, firing schedule, any info greatly appreciated.

I used to fire to ^4-6 in reduction, and plan
to return to it soon. I find that most of the
glazes I use in oxidation are the same ones
I used in reduction. Some juicy brown glazes
turned army green in oxidation, and of course
copper colors shift, but you may find that
many glazes work equally well, though perhaps
differently, in reduction and oxidation.

It's possible, I think, to find nice glazes
for any firing type and range; for me the
real appeal of reduction is in its effect on
the clay. No oxidation firing can match the
rich surfaces that reduction can induce in
bare, unglazed clay. I'm no fan of glazes for
their own sake. Glazes, shmazes - give me the
lovely depth of a reduction-fired, bare clay
body! Glazing over it just seems like a waste.

As for firing schedules, I think there are
as many reduction schedules as there are
reduction kilns. Some folks do an early body
reduction (^01 is popular) with a later glaze
reduction. I generally drop the kiln into a
light reduction after about two or three hours
of bright red heat (when single-firing), and
let it ride all the way to the intended cone.
I'm not a fan of fussy surfaces. Your glazes
may prefer something different; I can't say.
The wide range of favorite firing schedules
indicates to me, however, that although there
may be an optimum system, most of them work
well enough.

The one basic change I made when shifting to
oxidation was in my firing temperature. My
old reliable clay body, high in iron, was
nicely vitrified at ^4 in reduction but needed
^6 to achieve the same maturity in oxidation.
White clays are less affected by the fluxing
of reduced iron (of course), but red clays,
wihch respond so strongly to reduction, may
need a somewhat cooler firing temperature. So,
if you are committed to a particular range of
glazes, a change of clay body may be needed

-Snail Scott