Lovin’ that fire

A few members of the Greenbelt Pottery Guild, myself included, did a reduction firing down in Mt. Rainier a few weeks ago and just got the results back on Wednesday.

You can see a slightly larger photo here.

We had no idea what our glazes, designed for oxidation firing (electric: think an oven that can get up to 2,200 degrees F for two days and that’s pretty much it) would do in a reduction environment (with no oxygen, flames actually lapping at them, and so on). It was glazing blind, essentially – but we had to submit enough pieces to make a full kiln load so that the “official” glaze testers we submitted could also be fired. So we just shrugged our shoulders and called it a sacrifice. I had a few of my new style of mug lying around, along with three graduated mixing bowls, and I decided to glaze each of them in a different color. (I’ll post pics of the mixing bowls when they come out of the dishwasher). -grin-

Clockwise from top left: Riverstone in oxidation, Riverstone in reduction, Waxy white, Shino, Copper red, and Shino again with a green ash glaze on top (that someone else put on without asking when they saw a chip in the glaze -grr-).

As expected, we got some fabulous, some so-so, and some disgusting results. The Alfred Blue was the star of the day; a glossy, somewhat boring turquoise in oxidation, it turned a rippled blue-purple with dots of red and violet here and there. The copper in it blushed as it will in reduction, but enough of the cobalt remained so that it stayed mainly blue-toned. The Caramel Apple went from a matte brick-brown to a startling and lovely palette of earth reds tinged with purple, with a metallic overlay. The Nutmeg – a personal favorite for which I had high hopes – turned to baby snot. -sigh-

But I love the Shino best of all. The Shino mug is my absolute favorite mug ever right now, though the Waxy White has such a luscious feel to it that it’s hard to put it down. I wish I had a reduction kiln in my back yard!

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