Tuesday, February 28, 2006

St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Yesterday I got into the studio as soon as I got home. First I added the last ingredient, the Copper Carbonate, to the live glaze batch. Then I organized all the pots from 1 to 100 to see what was missing if any. I had two pots that I had used for testing so I had to take 2 from my reserve and add the sequence number to the bottom and put them out for drying. I have another 8 drying that are replacements for some that had to be used for testing and 3 more where the wax got on them in the wrong places that I will re-bisque for a total of 13 pots that are waiting to be re-bisqued. I have one that I used Sunday in the test glaze firing which is okay and is finished. I then started glazing 38 of the pots. First I had to pour the glaze into each of the pots then pour it out while swirling it around to coat the inside of each of the pots. Then I dipped the top part of each pot and then went back and dipped the bottom part, then the top again and then the bottom again to get 2 coats on each pot. It took until around 7:30 to get all of them glazed and to wipe off any excess glaze. I started the firing at 7:40 which meant that it would be 11:40 when I set the switches to high and could go to bed. I will check the ones I fired last night when I get home because they were still too hot this morning and it will take most of the day for them to cool off. I took about a 30 minute break to warm up and eat a bowl of chili. Then I went back out and then glazed the 48 remaining pots. I finished those just before 10:00. Those will get fired tonight if the ones from last night are okay.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Feb 27- St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

The test from Thursday night came out okay. The areas that were double dipped came out like i had hoped they would so I did another test Friday night this time dipping each pot twice. These had cooled by good by Saturday morning so I check them and they came out just right. I took those pots to Mrs. Ricks of the committee and she liked they way they looked so it was a go full steam ahead from there. After returning home I loaded the kiln with the remaining 60 pots for a bisque firing and then trimmed 10 extra pots I had thrown during the week. Then I waxed the bottom of the 40 pots that had already been bisqued and then brushed on the glaze to the logo area of each and then waxed that area so that it wouldn't be too thick after the rest of the glazing.

Sunday first started out as a nightmare. When I checked the kiln Sunday morning the firing rod hadn't dropped. I checked inside the kiln and one of the shelves had blocked it from dropping. Did that mean that the bisque firing was over fired and that all the pots in it were ruined. They looked okay but the only way to tell was to fire at least one of them and see what happened. Then I started making a 5 gallon batch of glaze for the real firing. As I was ready to add the last ingredient which was a colorant I noticed that I was about to pickup Copper Carbonate. I looked back at the recipe and noticed that it called for Cobalt Carbonate and that confused me. Which one had I used when I made up the 3 test batches? The only way I could tell was to make up a test batch using Cobalt Carbonate and then fire a pot with it and one with the previous test batch. That meant I couldn't finish with the 5 gallon batch so I made up that new test batch and glazed two more pots of each and also used two of the pots form the previous night's bisque firing that may have been over fired and then I fired them that afternoon. I did go ahead and add water to the 5 gallon batch and mixed it up good and got it to the thickness that I wanted. I will add the last ingredient tonight when I get home. Then I waxed the bottom of the remaining pots that were bisque fired Saturday night and then brushed on the glaze to the logo area of each and then waxed that area so that it wouldn't be too thick after the rest of the glazing. I finished working Sunday around 5:30. It was a long sunny cool day.

During the glaze test firing I did on Friday night I also fired this batter bowl. It came out pretty good and was pre-sold.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Feb 24- St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Wednesday night I was up to 11:30 doing a bisque firing for 40+ of the commission pots plus a batter bowl I had thrown recently.

Thursday night I waxed and glazed 4 test pots and the batter bowl. I thinned down each version of the Emerald Green glaze and made them where the specific gravity of each was different by a couple of points. The specific gravity measures the or weight or thickness of the of a glaze. You take a bottle with a small neck, in my case an old plastic Sprite bottle, and get the weight of water and then you weigh the glaze in the same container and divide it's weight by the weight of the water and that gives you your specific gravity. Doing this and keeping up with it will tell you where the glaze fires best at. I double dipped each of the little pots twice on the top and just once on the rest of it. I got the firing started at 7:30 and was up again last night at 11:30 to turn the switches to high. I won't know how they came out until I get home this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed.

Feb 22 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

The latest round of testing was a little better. This time the pots were a little over glazed. There was one difference between these pots and the ones used in the first two test firing. The pots from the first two test firings were bisque fired using the long bisque firing schedule and these latest were done using my regular bisque schedule. The difference in time is about 3 hours. I loaded the kild this morning with around 40 pots and will do a bisque firing tonight. I will fire these as long as I can but it might not be the whole 9 hours

Feb 20 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Sunday I was in the studio by 12:00 and worked until 5:45. I finished trimming the last of the pots and then made two versions of another emerald green glaze. I also did a bisque firing and tonight I will glaze and fire the 5 test pots. One of them better come out okay or I'm in deep dodo. I'm sure I will have to throw a few more pots because I will probably mess us at a few of them glazing. If I had more time I would have chunked a few of the pots I threw but I have to go with what I have as long as any of them don't get messed up in the glaze firing. If everything goes all right with the glaze firing then I will probably do a bisque firing Tuesday or Wednesday night, then spend the next night waxing and glazing then try a live firing Thursday night. Then I will do the final bisque and glaze firing over the weekend.

Feb 18 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Whew! I just finished trimming another 30 plus pots. I got started around 9:30 and worked until just after 12:00 before I broke for lunch. I was right back out there within 30 minutes. The weather was warm enough for a while that I could keep the doors open then it started raining around 3:00 and the temperature dropped and I had to shut the doors and turn on some heat. Tomorrow I will make another test glaze and start a bisque firing and then try to finish trimming if the remaining pots are dry enough.

Feb 17 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

I was able to throw another 15 pots last night but wasn't as successful as the night before. I had to use 17 clay ball to get the 15. I have now thrown 114 pots and will use about 5 of them for testing and 9 left over to be used for replacements if I mess up in trimming or if those last ones just look better than some of the others. I'm hoping that will be all the throwing. I have a lot of trimming to do and will get started on that early in the morning. I also have one more glaze recipe to try and I may make a batch of that for testing. Sunday I hope to bisque fire some more pots for testing and maybe do another glaze firing Monday night. I only have 11 more days to finish this project and I've got a feeling it's going to take every one of those to get it done.

Feb 16 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Yesterday morning Frenassee Doughety and I taped a segment on the Pam Green show on channel 35 here in Dublin. We talked about the art guild's upcoming St. Patricks art show to be held at the new famers market on March 18th, about some of the artist and about our month guild meetings.

Last night I worked in the studio from 6:15 to 9:45. I threw 15 vases and didn't mess up even one of them. I now have thrown 94 and will still need to throw at least 15 more to have enough for the 100. I hope to be able to throw the rest of them tonight then I can continue on with trimming and then doing a bisque firing and another test glaze firing when I get enough dry pots.

Feb 15 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

Sorry I haven't updated in so long. I've been working every night during the week and most of the day on weekends on this project. I have now thrown just over 80 pots.

Last Saturday afternoon I made up 5 test batches of 2 separate emerald green glazes. I remade the original glaze using 90%, 80% and 70% of the colorants and a new glaze using 100% and 80% of the colorants. I fired 8 pots using the test glazes on Sunday afternoon. I used the last of the test pots I had thrown earlier using red clay and 4 tumblers made with white clay. The new glaze didn't look good at all. The old remade glaze looked okay on the white clay but were not thick enough for the red clay so I will test again using a thicker application of glaze as soon as I can get some dry pots bisque fired.

This week I have been trimming some of the pots that were dry enough. So far I have trimmed just over 40 pots and also 4 or 5 that I will use for retesting the glaze. I still nned to throw about 30 more pots and will start back on that tonight.

I feel like I am coming down with a chest cold as my chest feels tight. I don't have time to be sick right now since I am supposed to be through with this project by March 1.

Feb 6 - St. Patricks Festival Committee Pottery Commission Update

The first picture is the first test of the little vase or pot I made for the St. Patricks Fesival Committee. The second is the first 34 pots that I threw this past weekend. I am going to try to throw 40 this week after work and another 40 next weekend. That will give me plenty of extras to work with in case some get messed up when they are stamped, trimmed or glazed.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

Last month I was awarded a commission by the Dublin Georgia St. Patrick's Day Festival Committee to produce 100 small vases similar to a sample vase one of the ladies had. The vases will be 3" high and 3" wide. I threw 10 test vases with those dimension, glazed them with an emerald green glaze I made and fired 5 of them this past Tuesday night. The vases shrunk to 3" high and 2.75" wide and the glaze was a little to dark. On Wednesday I showed the two ladies in charge of the commission the test and they agreed abut the size and the glaze and gave me the okay to cotinue on with the project while making them a little larger and making the glaze lighter. I have to complete this project by March 1st and hope to get a lot accomplished this weekend. We'll see how it goes.