Friday, September 3, 2010
Shake, Rattle, and Roll! Crystalline Pots!
Shake, Rattle, and Roll!
An earthquake at 4.35am today was enough to rattle blinds, and swing light bulbs, but did no damage here. The earthquake was quite prolonged, and we were still seeing some evidence of it up to 3 minutes after the onset. According to geonet website, the quake was 7.4 and centered near Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, but was fairly deep at 60 km, so..., hopefully, not too much damage done, but there are reports of the City losing electrical power. Aftershocks are continuing, but they seem to be between 3 - 4 on the Richter scale, and we are not quite feeling them here, but... almost seem to be?? Those of you who might be interested in earthquakes, have a look at the geonet website, just follow the link I provided above. I quite like the section of their website, entitled "Quake Drums". This shows the seismometer readings at various NZ locations, and is updated every few minutes.
Here follow some photos of crystalline pots that I took out of the kiln earlier in the week. I was really pleased with progress. I did quite a lot of ones with a copper green glaze as well, and these have turned out OK too, but I want to use some in a reduction firing experiment, so will show before and after photos of them when I have done that.
I was so pleased with this, taking it out of the kiln was like receiving a really precious gift from someone. There is a gentle gradation of colour in the area that surrounds the crystals, that slowly grades from a pale yellow to blue. (It has hardly shown up in the photo.) The crystals seem to float like flowers in water.
This pot is one with titanium, iron, and cobalt in the glaze. I am pleased with how this glaze is progressing. It seems to like nearly 5 hours of time to grow the crystals. My first tests with this glaze only produced small purple blotches on a reddish orange background.
The centers of some of the crystals are like a cross-section through kiwi fruit... but not green!
This pot had a crystal that was much larger than the rest. It has very nice fine detail in the crystal, and a lovely orange flecked surrounding area. You might like to click on this detailed shot to magnify it.
Whilst the colouring is similar in this pot, the crystals have a different character.
In this firing I made several rings in the crystals by dipping the temperature whilst I was in the 5 hour crystal growing period of the firing. The very first photo on this post is a detail of a crystal on the pot above which has very distinct growth rings.
At last...... I have some Prussian blue crystals on a yellow background from nickel. The glaze needs lots more work to be acceptable. It is currently quite rough textured and crazed, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Earthquake Update (Added Saturday 7.45pm)
The earthquake turned out to be far more damaging than was first thought, and a much shallower quake. Most recent figures have the quake estimated to have been magnitude 7.1, and at 10 km in depth. The epicenter was located 40 km west of Christchurch, and aftershocks have occurred throughout the day, three in excess of magnitude 5.
Many buildings in the Christchurch area were badly damaged, some of the older ones collapsed. Two people were seriously injured in the quake and one is in intensive care, many others were injured by glass and falling debris. Parts of Christchurch near the river were flooded, and much of the city was without electric power. Railway tracks were bent into neat wave formations in places, and it is believed that the tracks may be closed for about 3 days. The Central Business area is closed and under curfew tonight, and there is a Civil Defense Emergency. Damage occurred in some other towns. Chimneys collapsing seems a fairly common event.
Some people will have lost their homes and businesses in the quake, and our sincere sympathy goes out to them. It will be an enormous undertaking to repair the worst affected areas, and will take a great deal of time and kindness to put people's lives back together again.