Saturday, June 5, 2010

Three Down and 72 to Go



I unloaded my first batch of foot-soaking bowls this morning. I can only fit three in my electric kiln, so I've got to start firing a kiln every day as soon as possible. I'm waiting on a new kiln to arrive to help out with this.

I fired this load of bowls a half-cone higher to try to get the bottom of the kiln a bit hotter. It seemed to work. I noticed a couple of spots where the glaze crawled just a wee bit. I'll be more careful to blow all the dust off with pressurized air before spraying the glaze on next time. I think I can touch up the spots with a Magic Marker.

The first prototypes I fired had ugly white feet showing where I wasn't able to get a nice line between glaze and clay, so this time I sprayed the bottom (including the foot) and scrubbed off the glaze when it dried. I also took someone's advice and laid a dry towel down and set the piece on the towel, twisting it back and forth before setting it in the kiln. The scrubbing is another time-consumer but worth it.

These bowls will be placed in every room at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York, a luxury boutique hotel built by Hyatt and designed by Tony Chi. You can check out the hotel here. The foot bowl you see in the pictures is an original made of enameled copper.

While I can only fit three of the bowls in the kiln, there is space surrounding each bowl, so I'm also firing a few smaller items around the bowls, such as this soul pot, glazed with an Alberta slip glaze containing black copper oxide.

I love the glaze, but I'm not sure if its food safe, so I'm using on the outside of functional ware and on decorative pots.
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