Friday, September 12, 2014

It Almost Brings Me To Tears, Cracked Bonsai Pots

There's only one thing worse than opening the kiln full of bisque pots and finding cracks, its opening a glaze firing and finding them.

I guess things had been humming along quite nicely over the last year as I'd finally found a clay that could withstand the stress and strain of drying and firing.   There had been very few bonsai pots that had cracked during the firings.

However, over the last month there seems to have been a bit of an issue with my larger pots once again.

I'd fired 3 larger oval pots in the kiln last week.  Because of their size it is difficult to add extra pieces to fill up the gaps in the kiln.  As a result there is a bit of empty space inside and the kiln tends to cool down quicker than if its really full.  Usually I pack small bits of shelf offcuts and kiln props into any empty area to hopefully hold a little more heat for longer.  For some reason it didn't work this time!

This was the result
Yes, it looks fine in this pic.......but take a look from the top.!

The crack goes through one of the large drainage holes and a smaller tying in hole.  If something is going to crack it will go through the weakest spots.  This happened on 2 of the 3 pots. 

There were a few "choice" words muttered........ but all is not lost.  This pot was still in one piece even though it had a nice large crack, so yesterday I got the Araldite out and filled in the cracked area.  The pot is still very useable, just a wet looking mark down the back of it.   I've planted it up already with one of my bonsai.  They don't go into exhibitions or anything like that, so it's just fine
for me. 

My daughter pretty well summed it up in the pic she created the likeness in the unhappy middle photo!!