Monday, May 06, 2013

Pottery "Bubble" Glazing

Bubble Glazing with the kids this week. Mix soap and water with underglaze. Darker colors on white clay show up best. Use a long straw to blow into the tray of soaped up underglaze, until it builds up plenty of bubbles and suds.  Then, lower the plate into the bubbles and pop them all over the surface of the plate. Be careful not to lower it all the way into the underglaze mixture. Clear glaze over the top and fire. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Angry Birds

Kids classes at my house, we made angry birds.
Clay formed around paper balls, decorated.
Students love to "surgically" remove the paper when they are
leather hard.
Add a slot in the back, and it's a bank!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Campfire Pottery

My last 2 campfirings yielded very different results. I decided it might be fun to bust up a pretty budlight platinum bottle - very blue- add some borax and see if I could get it to melt.
Welllllll... it melted, a little, in chunks. Fused some. But, the mule team borax melted in a nice puddle in one of the pots.  Glaze, actually. But, the pots cracked completely and fell apart. No good.

So, I decided that maybe if I wedged (mixed for you nonpotters) some borax into the clay, it might help it to melt at a lower temp- this clay is very sandy and kind of short (cracky) so improving that would be good, but it wasn't as much my motivation as trying to get the pots to crack less in the firing.

I'm pleased that mixing in the borax actually did improve the workability of the wet clay, which was a pleasant unexpected bonus. Too much borax actually made it too sticky and wimpy, so there is a limit.

The last firing I did yielded some really beautiful orange pots with only a couple of cracks in the rim, and I was pretty aggressive in shoving them into the coals.  I preheated the pots for about an hour at the edge of the fire, and then just shoved them under the logs. They weren't even buried in coals, so I'm wondering if there was a temp. difference which caused the cracks.  I am, however, pretty pleased with the results. 

My next plan is to mix some salt along with the borax into the clay and see what happens. Stay tuned. Camp starts next week!