Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stormtrooper Mug and Glaze Testing

My grandson pulled his first mug (Stormtrooper mug) from the kiln today.   He made it all by himself, loaded it in the kiln to bisque,  picked out his own glaze, glazed it and loaded it in the glaze kiln.   He did a fantastic job!  He was pretty darn excited when he pulled it out of the kiln.

Most of my test tile results were bad.  The tiles are not worth the time to photograph and write about. Bummed.

Glaze chemistry and glaze testing is going on the back burner for a while. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

37 Test Tiles in the Kiln

Gorgeous Iron Oxides

Just look at those colors!  The Crocus Martis is an iron oxide.  In the chemical state it has a rich raspberry hue.   The Spanish RIO is more orange and reminds me of terracotta.  I mixed up a few cone 6 iron recipes, plus a few with revisions. To get the nice rusty orange/red results in oxidation, a slow cool is suggested.   I decided not to program a custom cool down because my kiln is pretty big and it cools slow naturally.   Also I didn't want to chance messing up my other glazes.    If the reds don't happen in my current firing schedule, I might try a programmed slow cool at a later time.   I would really love to have a small programmable kiln for testing and small loads.  I checked out a new little L&L and about fell off my chair when I saw the price.  I'll just keep watching craigslist. 

Labeled and ready to dip.  I only have one Mason Stain in this test run.  I'm more curious about arriving at colors with oxides and other chemicals.   I love being surprised.

There is just something really beautiful about test tiles.

Firing today.  Hope these tiles will result in some glazes worth keeping. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Removing wax resist from bisque

When applying wax resist to bisque, smears and drips can happen.  Re-bisque is the best remedy for wax resist mistakes.   If the smear isn't too bad, I remove it with rubbing alcohol and sandpaper. 

I can't say this wax removal remedy will work with all wax resist, clays and bisque.  I just know it works for me.  My clay is porcelain and stoneware blend.  I bisque to cone 04.  I use Laguna wax resist diluted 50% with distilled water and several drops of food coloring.    

I start out with scrubbing the unwanted wax with a alcohol saturated cotton ball .  Try to keep the scrubbing contained only to the area of unwanted wax.  The wax will break up and the sheen of the wax will become dull.

I then use a 150 grit sandpaper on the area to remove any wax that might remain.  Don't over sand and deform your pot.

After the pot is completely dry, I look for any sheen evidence of residual wax.  If I see more, I continue sanding the area.

Before glazing the entire pot, I test out glaze on just the wax removal area to make sure the glaze absorbs well and coverage is good.  

I've had good results with this technique.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mugshot Monday

Vintage Bubble Gum Machine Mug

I designed this mug to be playful with a cartoon style illustration.  Mishima with velvet underglaze, clear gloss finish.

Sorry, this mug is sold, but you can see more of my pottery in my DirtKicker Pottery Etsy shop!

All designs and photos are intellectual property.  ©Copyright Cindy Gilliland 2014.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bringing Attention to the Cause with Word Tile Props

I was trying to figure out a way to get more attention for my St. Jude charity piggy banks, and this is what came to mind. I made little tiles with positive words on them.   Here are a couple examples.

Hula Girl Piggy Bank

"CARE" is the perfect word for my piggy banks because I give 100% of the sale proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  

Rainy Day Mug

I think they're pretty cute.  

All designs and photos are intellectual property.  ©Copyright Cindy Gilliland 2014.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Glaze Test Tiles are Fired

After firing this mish-mash of test tiles I have decided on three base glazes for further testing.

The base glazes I selected are from MC6G. Next I'll run some simple line blends.  

Below are photos of the random recipes that I mixed.

The recipes with % are Mason Stains mixed with different MC6G bases.  The others are well known recipes available online.     

Interesting.. the tile for "Blue Hare" looks very similar to Potter's Choice "Blue Rutile".  

More adventures in glazing to come.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Glaze Recipe Test Tiles

I love the colors on these tiles and they aren't even fired yet.  

When ever I see a cone 6 glaze recipe that interests me, I pin it with intentions of one day testing it.   Months go by and the collection grows.  Finally I get around to testing and while sorting through these glaze recipes I ask myself.. How do I know if these are food safe?  This question is the main reason I'm committed to learning more about glaze chemistry.  I hope to one day be able to read a glaze recipe and based on the ingredients have a good idea if the recipe is food safe or not.   

I'm learning that glaze testing is much more than finding a pretty color and beautiful surface. Making glaze for functional ware comes with a huge responsibility.  Many things to be considered. 

I need to be sure that my pots are 100% safe for food use. I'm learning all I can about leach testing, freezing and boiling testing and dishwasher testing. 

Have a great glaze day!