Glaze - Lessal White (LESS - AL)

People have asked how I make the Winter Blue set of mugs.

I have to admit it was by trial and much frustration to find the right effect. For those of you who want to try the recipe on your own grab pen and paper or better yet save a tree and cut and copy!

Lasalle White cone 6
Custer Feldspar 30
Silica 22
Whiting 22
EPK 11
Zinc Oxide 7.4
Titanium Dioxide 7.4

If fired over cone 6 it can turn yellow and run. If fired less than cone 6 it can turn blotchy so it is a finicky glaze. Have a go at it and let me know how you did.

Porcelain Dress - Any one for Tea?

When it is Tea Time you are expected to showup in certain dress.

Well it looks as if Artist Li Xiaofeng has done it again, any one for tea?

li xiaofeng is Beijing artist who creates clothing piece made from traditional Chinese ceramics. He makes the clothing from ceramic shards coming from the song, Ming, Yuan and Ging dynasties, which are sewn together on a leather undergarment. Some of his projects include a suit jacket and tie as well as a number of mid-length women’s dresses. In xiaofeng’s studio, piles of ceramic pieces sit in bins sorted by date, colour and shape 

Porcelain vs China

Moby’s not the only one who put porcelain on the map. So did China hence why some dishes we use are called China. Porcelain can informally be referred to as "china" in some English-speaking countries, as China was the birth place of porcelain making  

Porcelain is a ceramic material fired to temperatures between 1,200 °C (2,192 °F) and 1,400 °C (2,552 °F). The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain arise mainly from the formation of glass and the mineral mullite within the fired body at these high temperatures.

I have heard that throwing porcelain on the wheel is much like attempting to make a bowl out of a stick of butter. But I think it may just be the next step or evolution of the Naked Raku donut sculpture I am currently working on.

Accidents happen....

What does Thomas the Train say - Accidents happen now and again
Sometimes just by chance. You gotta pick yourself up and dust yourself down. Put it down to experience.
Lesson # 105.1

What to do when your hard efforts blow up in the kiln.

Time to reflect and say SLOW DOWN!

It was, and is still, going to be a great learning process for me. I have never fired a raku kin for a piece this big before. Maybe I am just crazy but the final imagery that I see in my mind has to be brought to fruition. I can’t stop thinking about it.

You see, when clay or green ware is ready to go into the kiln for a bisque firing it needs to be 100% dry. I thought my sculptures were dry. It had been a week but perhaps they needed two or three to dry completely. If they are not dry you run the risk of having your pieces explode and take out other pieces in the kiln.
I will move on and make another round of sculpture circles/donuts out of high fire clay and let them dry completely this time. I hope you can learn from this over eager beavers mistake! Thanks for sticking with me and I promise you a final product by the end of summer!

Naked Raku

I am about to embark on something hot and naked. No it’s not what you might think! What I would like to introduce to you is an art form from the Japanese ancients. Naked Raku!

So what is Naked Raku?

Naked Raku is the random action of a resist medium (Liquid Clay) combined with the heat of the fire and the kiss of smoke against the clay provides the magic that is "Naked Raku".

A specially formulated thick and gooey medium, the resist, is applied to a previously bisque-fired pot. Immediately placed into a hot raku kiln the medium begins to shrink and crack as it heats and dries. Upon reaching the desired heat (between 1400°F and 1500°F) the pot is removed from the kiln with long tongs and placed in a reduction chamber containing sawdust.

The resulting flames and smoke are contained and controlled by covering the chamber and the pot is permitted to smoke for a few minutes. Then once more the pot is moved----this time it is plunged into a tub of cold water. The medium separates from the pot and the resulting pattern is visible.

Wish me luck and stay tuned for a video post of the final work.