Monday, August 31, 2015

Oh oh, kiln mishap last week

First glance doesn't look too bad, but it's sure waaay too shiny for matt black.

And you can't pick it up off the shelf...completely glazed to it...as were several other pots.

The kiln had new elements in it, and when our studio manager re-set the firing sequence, one of the numbers was wrong, so it held for too long, turning the glaze, and the clay to glass.  After hammering it off the shelf, (which had kiln wash on it) the base was ruined.


Inside the glaze was thicker, but had boiled into an ugly mess.  Getting the lid off also meant the clay of the rim shattered.  Clay against clay had fused.


I kept the lid to remember my first attempt at Mishima.  Then Charles put the pot in the trash and hammered it (upon my wishes) to shards.  I also retrieved the handle.  It wasn't made all that well, as seeing the cross section told me.

I'm just grateful to have another chance to work on another teapot.  I've got 2 waiting to be glaze fired as this was written, and one of them will be in a show next week at Black Mountain Center for the Arts (Sept 10 opening) of "What's the Buzz."  I'll be showing you what it looks like when it's finished.  There are also some little tea bowls and honey pots.

Today's Quote:



When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
Helen Keller

18 comments:

  1. oh no what a disappointment, next time that happens use a propane torch to try and remove the pot from the shelf, heating up the glaze spill till slightly molten and then give the pot a tug sometimes you can save the pot that way. I have separated two pots stuck together that way and a bead that stuck to the side of a pot when wire I used sagged.

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    1. Thanks Linda, we don't have a torch at the studio. I would be surprised to try to torch it off the shelf, that would mean getting it up to 2200 degrees F and then the rest of the pot would also be pretty darn hot. But it sounds like it's worked for you.

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    2. You are only getting the glaze slightly hot enough to release the glaze, I doubt it gets up to 2200 - check out the blog post. one person holds the torch and waves it back and forth so as not to get one spot too hot and the other person prys the item loose, It might not work with your teapot since the whole bottom was glazed to the shelf but it might work with smaller pieces - worth a try anyway, Gary did the torch part since he's used it before for other things

      http://bluestarrgallery.blogspot.com/2010/09/more-firing-and-glazing.html

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    3. Oh I see how it works on spot connections. Yep, the teapot wouldn't have responded, way too much hard glaze that had melted at higher than regular cone 6 temp. That was an interesting post, thanks for giving me the link.

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  2. So sorry about the mishap... but barring that, it's a darling teapot.

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  3. So sad. It looked so nice, even though it was glossy and not matte.

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    1. Thanks, Michele...I know the glaze was not meant to go that hot. Glad you liked it.

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  4. Barbara -- Next pot will be perfect -- you have now ironed out all the possible mistakes that can be made (hopefully) -- will be fun to see the new pot. -- barbara

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    1. Thanks Barbara! Perfect is a long way away for me, but going in that direction at least.

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  5. A learning opportunity! (I hate it when that happens) I'm glad you saved the lid.

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    1. I did learn a lot about my construction of that handle, when we hammered it apart. Will make the next one better!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Gary, let's hope another one will be as good (or better?)

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  7. ouch! what a disappointment... its scary what a kiln mishap can do... good luck with your show.

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    1. I love when BMCA has a topic for a show and invites artists of different media to display...this time for bees.

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  8. What a shame to lose such a wonderful piece.

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    1. Thanks, I'm kind of surprised I'm not more emotional about it...there have been times when I would cry about this kind of work being lost.

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