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Four of my pieces were glaze-fired and ready to be picked up this past Thursday. The outcome was decidedly mixed.

First, a second dragonfly bowl:
Dragonfly bowl

But now, keep in mind that here's how it looked before firing:
Dragonfly Bowl 2

So, you know, just a slight loss of detail [sarcasm]. I used iron oxide to paint on the dragonfly, and now am wondering whether I should switch over to using a black stain instead. And if so, which one. The underlying problem is that with the firing schedule here, I don't have time for any test firing. Frustrating.

Most disappointing was this bowl, as you can see:
Cracked porcelain bowl

Cracked porcelain bowl

Beautiful, but fatally cracked. I feel like I've been struggling with this porcelain clay a lot, in ways I hadn't anticipated. For a couple of previous pieces, I had problems with glazes running and sticking to the kiln shelf, and observed similar kinds of stress cracks on those pieces as well. Our ceramics instructor says the cracks look to her like the sort of cracks that form during cooling and removal from the kiln shelf. There's no way to fix something like this so as to make it food safe, so this bowl is probably going to wind up in the pile of dilemmas. (other dilemmas: what to do with old chipped mugs).

Also, you probably can't tell that I painted this inside the bowl before dipping it in Klear glaze, as the oxide burned out and the glaze ran down and pooled in the inside of the bowl:
Antlion

I was pretty excited about this watering can, which came out well overall:
Watering Can

The only strange part is what wound up happening with the handle. Somehow it seems to me like the clay for the handle shrank in diameter, so the handle's narrower, but the overall shape of the handle relative to the body of the watering can remained the same size. I.e. the clay shrank more in one direction than in the other. So the handle is a little too awkwardly large for the piece. Still, not too bad. Just, slightly strange.

The most rewarding piece wound up being a porcelain mug where I accidentally gouged the rim while moving the piece around while it was still greenware. It was a nondescript little thing all the way through bisque firing, but then the combination of glazes I decided to use on it did some phenomenal things during the glaze firing. Behold:

Cup

Cup

Totally adorable. I drank my morning latte out of it today.

Not that I need any more mugs. So maybe it's time to clear out the mug collection and get rid of the more chipped/awkward ones. If any of you have good ideas for what to do with old, broken ceramics, I'm all ears.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1235522.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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