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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Preparation for glaze-firing

Today I have done the first glaze-firing of the year. Preparation for glaze-firing is a long job. First I file and grind all rough bits and then sand paper here and there. Then I wipe the dust off. This sounds quick and easy, but it usually takes a couple of hours or longer for my little kiln to be fully loaded.

We are tiny test pieces.

Then I paint oxides and underglaze. Mixing underglazes to make different colours is not easy, because the colours change so much after firing. Lots of testing will be needed. I also mix oxides and underglaze, then it's anybody's guess what colour it would be! Again more tests will be needed. I make a sample and send for firing to see the resulting colours. Next, I paint wax for the parts I don't want glaze on. It is usually tiny and delicate parts, and I am definitely cross-eyed during this work. That would be about six to eight hours. A good dog walk would be a great break, after this!

The smaller mask has wax around her face  - Lower shelf
Now it's time for glazing. I stir the glazes, and remove dust from surface of the bisques again. I stir the glaze again, to make sure that it is now homogeneous. Then glazing. I dip each one in the glaze bucket. After they are all finished, they usually need a touch-up. And then I clean up spills on the surface and wipe the bottom. About a four to six hour job.

Several test pieces on this top shelf

I finally move them to the kiln shelves and then to the kiln. Measuring the height and adjusting the positions takes about one hour!

To fire today's bisques, I have worked three days to do all these jobs. During firing in an electric kiln with a controller is an easy job. I can relax and do other works.

I truly hope that they come out nicely! : ) I will see tomorrow lunchtime.

Somehow this kitten became Yoshimoto Nara-like! :D I had to change her eyes after the photo was taken!



  1. I hope they come out nicely too! Thanks for showing your process - so intensive! So beautiful...

    1. Hi Marigold. Thank you! I am about to pop out to check the kiln! Yes, it is labour intensive! : )