Sunday 22 June 2008

None too good

Well that was a disappointment.

I used to mix my dark glaze using Fremington red earthenware from North Devon, sadly no longer available, so the latest batch I had to use Valentines red clay. Well there must be a LOT more iron in the clay, because when I opened the kiln there were many brown pots, most had runny glaze that glued the pots to down, damaging every single shelf and destroying a large percentage of the firing. My glazes won't work in an electric kiln so I couldn't test it first. Maybe I was a bit foolish to have used so much of it.

Poor Jessica, a young girl who is coming to do work experience with me this week, was there to get her first taste of this risky game. At least it stopped me cursing!

However, all was not lost and there were some pots that worked very well, but the spoil heap will be mountainous tomorrow. Every large jug copped it, all the big jars and most of my mugs. In fact, most of everything including that crazy puzzle jug.

Well, the only thing I can do is get stuck in to making again tomorrow and try again. Fortunately I did get a few lovely pots out in the other glaze so I'll have plenty for Earth & Fire next weekend, but I'll need to go for it now to get some more through for Hatfield in August. What a bore.


Ron said...

You mentioned that Valentine's clay substitution to me on the phone last week. That sucks. What a loss and on top of that, shelves to be scraped and chiseled. Well I'm really sorry it happened. The pots up above on those posts look fine. We must all be insane to do this. Take care.

doug Fitch said...

Cheers Ron. Well it's enough to make anyone insane!

The pots above have come out fine, they're the 8lb jugs and the big tall yellow 13lb jugs are good but I made some 21lb jars that now have additonal kiln shelves. Oh well, it's annoying but that's that, it goes with the territory. Make some more and try again. I'll be ok about it tomorrow when I've done some theraputic smashing!
Have a good Monday, thanks for your support

Sister Creek Potter said...

Dear Doug, Well it puts my experience into a whole new perspective. Sooooooooooooooo sorry! But the others above are wonderful. So glad there were those to save the day! I admire your tempered reaction! Fondly, Gay

Tracey Broome said...

I just want to cry when I read these blogs on kiln mishaps. I remember how sad I was a few weeks ago to read about the tinking Alex Matisse wrote about. So sorry for this Doug, but if it's any consolation I will probably be scraping shelves tomorrow at Claymakers, it's my work day and there have been many runny glazes lately. I do love your survivors though, really beautiful.

ang design said...

what a downer eh.. maybe you can try blending the local clay you found with this batch it didnt look terribly dark, is that the same stuff that brad threw?

wow i can't even think of how you can test that with such a large kiln to fire, well get back on the horse doug I'm sure you'll sort it! I just found out a friend of mine is around your area at the mo I'm trying to get in touch with her and hopefully she can drop by..

doug Fitch said...

That's a good plan Ang I think I might try that. Blogger Paul's kindly offered to fire some tests in his gas kiln. Hope I get to meet your mate.

My great great grandfather Redman Goldsack lived in Adelaide - along time ago.

Anonymous said...

Doug, kiln openings are either Christmas or Halloween, sorry it was the latter this time.

Ron's right, I don't know how we keep going but we do. Just hike up our britches and start over.

The good'ns though are really good. I love the green jugs and especially that tall yellow jug. Good work!


doug Fitch said...

Hi Russel, good to hear from you, how's it going? Did Ruth get back to the States ok? How's she getting on? If you speak to her, let her know I was asking after her. Cheers Doug
ps I'm pleased with that one, I got another similar one out that worked well.