Monday, 13 July 2009
Opening the Box
No matter how cleverly you stack the kiln, or how well you have mastered the firing, the fact remains that the results from a wood kiln are in the hands of nature. You will never know for sure how the pots will come out until they do, actually, come out. It is a matter of faith, of trusting the process of nature. And if you have guided the firing well, the kiln will reward you with exceptional pots, far beyond the limits of your own ability.
My firing on Saturday took 13 hours, so it was fairly fast, but I gave it a very heavy reduction, including a reduced cooling. When I opened the kiln this morning I was surprised by a slightly metallic lustre on the surface of flashing and blue clouding in the black glaze. The pink spot on the rim of the plate is porcelain slip with 2% of Copper Oxide, so it is a good indication of the heavy reduction. In oxidation it would be green. The green slip trailing is also porcelain, but with 2% Chrome.
There was also more orange flashing towards the fire face than usual, which will balance with the heavy carbon trapping from the previous firing when I display them together at my next exhibition.
There were more losses than I've had recently, but that is mainly because of the large number of plates with the black glaze. Just one grain of sand or flake of kiln wash will ruin the whole piece.
Two hundred of the pieces from this firing will be going into my next exhibition and will be available for purchase at New York Takashimaya Home, 10F Takashimaya Department Store, Shinjuku, Tokyo, from next Wednesday, July 15th till July 28th.
I will be at the exhibition on the 15th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th, if you would like to visit while I am there.