Tuesday 25 June 2013

Kiln Opening

My studio is situated on the ground floor of our old three floor stone house. When you look at the house from the outside, it may look quite spacious. But since its old stone walls are quite thick, we lose a lot of space and the rooms are actually small. The good thing about these walls is that they keep the temperature balanced. When the outside temperature gets high, there is still some cool inside the house. 
Last few days we had extremely hot days, so I wasn't sure if I should fire up the kiln, getting my cool studio hot, or wait for some colder days. I have decided to postpone the firing. The decision was very difficult since I did a lot of glaze testing and I was so curious about the result.

I didn’t have to wait long for the bad weather, so yesterday, at 5:30 AM I was tiptoeing down the old squeaky wooden stairs to the studio to open the kiln – finally. 

This firing gave me a few gems, but also some disappointments. My opalescent glaze experiment was a complete fiasco. I glazed two small cups with the transparent glaze as thick as I could. Nothing happened. I mean the glaze did what it was supposed to be doing: it stayed clear, shiny and transparent. 

But something did happen. I had a vase that was waiting to be glazed for years. I was not really happy how it looked and I wanted to destroy it several times. Somehow I never got around to doing it.

Vase, wheel-thrown stoneware, 15,5 cm in height.

What do you think I've found in the bottom of that vase? There was a small milky, opalescent lake. I will have to give this experiment another try, I guess.

The bottom of the vase.