Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Red Raku Glaze

Finally, after a year of trying new glazes, firing them, experimenting with them, and modifiying them, I have found my Raku red. Call it lucky? A one-time red? No! Call it Cabernet Red, and its been tested and tested. The tea bowl ain't too bad either.

This was my first successful Cabernet Red tea bowl. There is very little smoke-filled crackling on the exterior of this tea bowl, but the inside has a nice faint crackle pattern throughout. I think this was the result of being over anxious and pulling it out of the reduction chamber too early. In any case, this bowl has become my favorite piece of pottery that I've made.
Last night I fired some more tea bowls just to make sure this wasn't a fluke . It was no fluke. This bowl has a beautiful smoke-filled crackle pattern inside and out.

To get a better smoke-filled crackle pattern I placed the tea bowls into the reduction chamber filled up with torn up newspaper, placed the cover on it and let it smoke for 5 minutes. Then I uncovered the container, and using tongs, pulled the pieces from the chamber and waved them around in the air, one at a time of course. You should have heard the crackle (it was pretty cold, about five degrees). After the "pinging" and crackling, I placed the bowl back into the reduction chamber, replaced the cover, and let it smoke another 5 minutes.
Now that I have my beautiful Cabernet Red I am going to experiment with some other decorating techniques using oxides, slips and wax resist.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Raku In 'Da Winter

This seems like Ground Hog's Day. The picture is one year old but, once again, last Sunday I was Raku-ing in the snow and cold. I was wearing the exact same snow gear, standing in the same amount of snow under a bright blue sky and wearing the same sun glasses.
The only difference being it was only zero degrees last Sunday, rather than sub zero temps, and my raku kiln is a bit more broken-in (rustier).
I've been testing and experimenting with new glazes since last year. I have compiled about a dozen that I really like but this Sunday I found my favorite. It is a beautiful burgundy/maroon. I'll have a photo to post in the next day or two. I want to use a different camera. Currently I am using an antique 1 Megapixel HP ('gonna have to invest in a better camera). Anyway, I should have the results of my firing posted soon. So, Please stay tuned.