So many things have been happening! Here’s some of the highlights:
My glaze tests came out! Layering the matte glaze over clear does indeed change the texture… it’s now all smooth and glossy, with a little bit of speckling. Cool. Glaze test 2 (the second glaze with chrome and tin for colourants) didn’t come out pink, or even purple, or even grey. It’s a nice variegated white, but there are cheaper ways of getting white. I think that bit of experimenting is a dead end. The third glaze didn’t substantially change colour, except in the area layered over clear (where it looks really faded and weak, unfortunately), but so far there’s no cracking, so I’m leaning towards using this one on its own, with maybe a few different colourants, on the Small Comforts.
The next bit of news is that the latest batch of Bug stuff was bisqued, and most of it got glazed. Here’s what the black stoneware looks like when bisqued (when it goes through its first, low-temp firing):
Aaaand here’s what it looks like after the glaze firing:
This particular kiln load was overfired, which means the blue came out darker than usual, and some of the pieces even have brown highlights here and there. My theory is that the brown comes from the high iron content in the black clay. Normally, it doesn’t affect this glaze (except to give it a dark background), but when you fire clays higher than they’re formulated to go, they melt, offgass, and otherwise get more reactive than they should. I think the iron leached out of the clay and into the glaze, creating the brown patches.
Speaking of overfired clay, here’s what happens when you overfire waaaay too much:
That puddle used to be a couple of test tiles. Someone accidentally used low-fire clay instead if high-fire clay to make them, and they completely melted away, off the shelf, and into a puddle at the bottom of the kiln, taking the glaze with them. There’s no way to remove the puddle without an angle grinder and a lot of elbow grease, and *then* the bottom of the kiln needs to be cleaned up. If we fire the kiln again without cleaning up the mess, the puddle will re-melt and, very probably, eat a hole through the insulation brick and drip out the bottom of the kiln. Ack.