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The day before yesterday, I finished glazing enough (real pieces and tests) for a full kiln and got the thing on pretty late.  If you’ve read our “About Us“, you know we fire up to cone 10 and it takes around 24 hours.  The kiln went on around 8pm, and we could finally crack it about 11pm last night.  I had about 60 test tiles in this load and couldn’t bear to wait.  I had really high hopes.

As I was pulling stuff out of the kiln, I got more and more depressed because the actual glazes did not meet my expectations – as they never do.  For some reason, I always start imagining the greatest chemistries are taking place in my little personal volcano, but the reality is typically less impressive.  So, I pulled them all out, left them sitting in the studio and went to bed.

This morning, we brought the tiles in, and Rob said that he didn’t think they were as bad as I might have presumed.  So, we went through them and there are some (I think) pretty fantastic new glazes in there after all.  I didn’t get the blue I wanted, but there’s a nice blue-green in there, a better version of our old Mossy Mahogany (richer, darker, with gold crystals on top), a waterfall green (same as last kiln, just re-tested), a silica white (again, same as last kiln, just second testing), a pale variegated cream that I didn’t expect, and yet another saturated iron glaze which I can only describe as a cross between hare’s fur tenmoku and tea dust but with gold crystals scattered over the surface.  I love iron.  It never lets me down.

So, the moral of the story is to not open the kiln late at night when you’ve had to force yourself to stay awake.  You won’t like anything that comes out of it and you’ll just be more exhausted the next day.  Also, I reiterate, taking pictures of shiny glazes is really really hard!  You HAVE to click on / zoom into these pictures.  The thumbnails do not do them justice.

I’d love to hear suggestions for names on the blue-green and waterfall green.

For more information about glaze colorants, see the glossary I wrote here as well as my article about saturated iron glazes.

For those of you who are interested, there’s also a picture of Isosceles sleeping in my butt.  Lovely. 😛

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