Thursday, April 18, 2013

My kiln shed at night... A New Crystalline Glazed Vase by the Sea!

The photo of the inside of the my kiln shed is a glimpse of my night time work environment. This is the place that I visit at very frequent intervals through the night when I am firing crystalline glazed pots. When a kiln is firing, I take advantage of the heat of the kiln exterior to dry pots.

My little studio gets filled up with buckets, bottles and sieves when I am glazing pots.

This is what a freshly glazed pot looks like. This one has a crystalline glaze applied to it. "But where are the crystals?" you say.... !

When I am glazing crystalline glazed work, I often start by dipping or pouring glaze, but then I build this up to a much greater thickness of glaze with a brush. The glaze needs to be up to 3mm thick in the top quarter of the pot, and progressively reduced in thickness towards the foot of the pot. Brushing the glaze helps me control the glaze thickness, and this is quite a long job on a big pot.

The crystals range from about 1 inch to 2 inches in size.  

Here is a close up of a vase that came out of the kiln on Wednesday Morning. Before it was fired this glaze looked rather like the one in the photo of the freshly glazed pot. This glaze contains lots of zinc oxide, and, with so much zinc in the glaze, the crystals happen naturally. As the crystals grew they collected some cobalt carbonate from the glaze and turned blue. When the crystals were growing, I held the kiln at about 1075 Celsius (1967F) for three hours, then raised the temperature to 1135 Celsius (2075F) for a further two hours, this gave the crystals a dark blue centre surrounded by a paler grey.

Vase 380mm high (15 inches) by 250mm wide (8 inches)

I like to create a deep pool of glaze somewhere on a pot, and letting the glaze overflow like this really shows its liquid nature.  Even at room temperature, it still looks wet!

My latest pots feel at home by the sea.


Linda Starr said...

the pot by the sea is wonderful as is your first photo, almost black and white. my there are a lot of bottles for glazing, how come so many of what look like water bottles in the background? Hope you and Laura and the cats are doing well.

Michèle Hastings said...

So much science involved in crystalline glazing! I understand very little of it and admire you for taking the time to figure it all out.
Beautiful pots.

Teresa Evangeline/Bayou Summer said...

They certainly look at home... :) Absolutely stunning! I love the image of your shed at night...

Teresa Evangeline/Bayou Summer said...

Peter, May I use your bottom image to accompany a new micro-poem I just wrote for my new blog?

Attribution would be given with a link to your blog.

cookingwithgas said...

I want to be that pot by the sea. So pretty.
I have been thinking of melted cheese all day. It is worse than having a tune stuck in your brain.
What is it about show food that makes people line up to eat things that you would never eat at home?
It is worse than crack.
We are having some lovely spring weather here.

Peter said...

Good to hear from you, the water bottles in the background of the photo are bottles of glaze. When I'm doing crystalline glazes I often only make up a 1.5 ltrs at a time as large quantities of crystalline glaze doesn't always keep that well.

Hi Michele,
I'm not sure that I understand the science of crystalline glazing all that well really, but the little glimpse that I have of what is going on is really fascinating, and it does also open my eyes to what is happening in "regular" stoneware glazes too. It is wonderful how a little science can actually make the world more miraculous!

Hi Teresa,
I would be delighted for you to use the photo to accompany one of your poems. I had been thinking about asking you if we could collaborate on a poem/pot, but have been so busy getting pots together for another deadline that I haven't got around to asking you yet. So you've beaten me to it!

Hi Meredith,
Mmmmmm M-e-l-t-e-d c-h-e-e-s-e!
I'm with you in your pain! I am about to try an lose a little weight, and M-e-l-t-e-d c-h-e-e-s-e is something I won't be able to have much of..., but it doesn't stop me thinking of it!

Teresa Evangeline/Bayou Summer said...

I'll let you know when it's up. Thanks ever so much!

Teresa Evangeline/Bayou Summer said...

Hi Peter! The poem with your image will be up tomorrow. :)

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see the process.
An involved process with a beautiful result.
Your work must bring much satisfaction and delight.

Doespins said...

What a transformation from the white pot and it looks wonderful photographed on the beach. We've had some bright sunny days so far this Autumn. Worth coming back from wintery UK for. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog and sorry it's taken so long to reply to you.
Cheers, Doe

Peter said...

Thank you so much Teresa, I love your poem. It is delightful to see the photo and poem together like that. How fortunate we are to be able to make creative links like this from both sides of the world (does the round/pear shaped world have sides?)

Hi Sue,
There was a song that I recall (that my mother sang to me...?) no, not that one (the yingtong song). "Magic Moments....", that's the one, and "Magic Moments" describes making art, music, or pots very well. Such moments are joyfully celebrated when they come along, and do make it all worthwhile!

Hello Doe,
Good to hear from you, and no problem about the wait, you will have been very busy getting back on your feet again after your time away. April - May are often my favourite time of the year in this part of the country. There are days of tranquil beauty, and those full of drama and threat of winter. And I see we have some Autumn colours this year!

Angie said...

So behind with everything as we have just got back from the wedding in Ireland.
How wonderful your post is explaining about the glazes ...and the result again is magnificant is the setting and backdrop for the photo. xx

Peter said...

Hi Angie,
Really nice of you to comment, as I realise that you have had a very busy time.
The wedding looks to have been a lovely occasion, and I was most impressed that the cake had a Dr Who theme!

Anonymous said...

I like that your mum sang the yingtong song to you. She sounds like fun :)
Celebrate your successes and high moments. They happen too rarely to be overlooked (generally speaking)

Peter said...

Hi Anonymous,
"There was a song, that I recall, that my mother sang to me..." was a quote from the intro to the Ying Tong Song (as sung on the Goon Show). However, it is true that such things were sung and hummed by various members of my family! And the Goon Show was one of the radio broadcasts that crackled its way to us from the BBC in my childhood. Ah, those were the days!!

Anonymous said...

Oh I see... well must've been way before my time (haha!)
I have heard of the Goon Show...but wasn't exposed to it growing up in small town NZ. (Maybe Mark listened to it.) I remember my mum listening to Aunt Daisy though, and some other radio plays.
Were those really The Days though? Would we want to return to childhood?

Peter said...

Hi Sue,
Ah, you missed out on the Goon Show, probably just as well, look what it did to me, or maybe I should blame that on Enid Blyton! :)

Anyway, childhood, mmmm. There are definitely some ages that I would return to happily, and quite a few years that I would avoid. I think I liked being somewhere between 5 and 8 years old the best! That was a time where adventure and make believe was still very real, where the edge of the world was only just over the horizon, and it was possible to dig a tunnel to the other side of the world (I started one!).

Anonymous said...

I loved Enid Blyton! Famous Five...yeah. LOL

I would return to the parts of childhood when it was school holidays and weekends...loads of free time and the liberty to wander, wonder and explore; much like yourself.
I still like having liberty to wander, wonder and explore.
We really don't change all that much, do we?