Friday, November 7, 2014

The Glaze was a bit Runny On These Bonsai Pots

Now, don't go getting the idea I have failures all the time!  Mostly things do go to plan.

It's just I'm one of few that will admit to them publicly, hoping that by sharing my mistakes/failures that someone else will learn from them.

Some potters give you the impression that everything they make is perfect, all the time, it's so not true.

My latest excitement came when I opened up the glaze firing yesterday and had another ooops moment. 
There was only a few inches of glaze left in the bucket.  It was a little thick, but I thought it would be ok.  I've put it on a little thinly in the past and ended up with a disappointing glaze colour.

This time it went on too thickly.  When the glaze melted in the high firing kiln, it decided to run off the side of the saucer and pool around the bottom.  It didn't look to bad at first glance until I went to lift it off.

There was plenty of silica sand as well as kiln wash on the shelf and it managed to stick to both wouldn't budge.  So with a bit of a yank, it lifted off.  Unfortunately the pooled areas stayed on the shelf, not the saucer.

The glaze colour was quite beautiful though, there was pinky coloured crystals on the thick area inside the saucer.  
 This saucer is ruined.  On the next shelf down the same thing had happened to a small bonsai pot.  It too pooled on the bottom of the pot.  To selvage this pot will take a lot of grinding, hardly worth it I suspect.
 The glaze, silica sand and the kiln wash all came off with this one.
 My daughter and her friend made a couple of wee pots and I also glazed them with the same colour.  Although I did put these on a bit of broken kiln shelf just in case. They stuck as well. 

Of interest is the fact that they all ran on the white clay.  The one heavily grogged clay pot didn't have any runs at all on it.  Which makes me wonder if the white clay body had a flux that reacted with the ingredients in the glaze to make it run a little more than usual.  Could be a combination of both I suppose. 

I must make a note of that for the next batch of glaze that needs to be made.  Along with all the "extras" I've put in that weren't in the original recipe.  I'm sure there's a note somewhere, just got to find it.