Kiln Work and Experimentation

In every new craft, there’s a learning process.  Tonight, I learned that my eyesight isn’t so good!

These are thin porcelain buttons which we fired last week.  I spent a few days glazing them with “Peppermint Twist,” which is supposed to be a pink color base with white speckles on it.  Peppermint Twist is designed to fire at cone 06 (this is a temperature setting).  The label has this information in a very, very tiny font, so tiny that I didn’t even realize it was text!  It looks like a random logo thing in faint grey lines.  Underneath that, there’s a warning in larger, bolder text that starts out “Cone 6.”  Cone 6 is hotter than cone 06.  I fired these buttons to cone 6, and did not in any way get pink base with white speckles.


If you look closely, you’ll also see that I failed to poke out the buttonholes on a few of them.  I thought I’d done it – but clearly my eyesight failed me there, too.

The last problem is that when taking them out of the kiln I dropped the top middle and lower middle ones and they broke.  That’s just me being my usual clumsy self.

Well, we had also made a few little test pieces like tiny vases, or whatever, and I had glazed them with my “Seawind” glaze (cream base with teal and caramel speckles).  Guess what?  Seawind is also a cone 06 and I fired to cone 6.

Side view of lopsided Seawind test pieces.
Side view of lopsided Seawind test pieces.

Still, they got beautifully glossy.  I’m happy with that aspect of it.

Lastly, here’s a drying piece I’m making from White COPPRclay, a metal clay.  I rolled a texturizing rolling pin (it has paisleys carved into it) over the moist clay, and then cut out the teardrop with cookie cutters and assembled it this way.  I need to remember to sand the edges before firing, but it needs to completely air-dry first.  When it is ready for the kiln I’ll put up a picture if it actually looks different, and when it’s done firing another pic, and then it has to go in the rock tumbler for a few hours before it’s totally done.  I find it hard to believe this will turn out white, but who knows?  This is my first-ever piece with White COPPRclay.

Air drying before firing.
Air drying before firing.