These beauties came out fresh from the kiln. They've been through 1300 reduction firing in the top hat. Now headed to Gaffa for a show curated by Jasmine Zhuang Jia. Opening tomorrow night 6pm, along with 2 great artists, Bethan Cotterill & Benita Laylim!
Firing the top hat at the SCA, about to reach 1300 in reduction!
I've always had a love for reduction firing, maybe because it is a little like cooking. You pack the kiln with your already glazed ceramics after a bisque, then you light the first burner overnight. The next morning, you light the other burner and you watch the kiln all day. Keeping an eye on the temperature, putting the kiln into reduction at the right temperature. Look at that beautiful flame coming out of the kiln showing that my firing was on heavy reduction. The trickiest part is the last hour or so, keeping an eye on the cones inside the kiln to make sure that it is being shut off at the perfect temperature.
Why are cones so important? Aren't there pyrometers? Yes, but once the kiln has reached over 1000 degrees, pyrometer is not so reliable. Therefore, in order to achieve the best effects in both the clay body and the glazes, temperature must be perfect. Which is the biggest challenge, checking the kiln often enough the last 25 degrees or so to make sure it is not under fired or over fired.
The best part is opening the kiln to see the finish product. Take in record and understand how something was achieved, also to gather experiences. If final effect was not achieved, understand why and try again next time. Failure is part of the process and during that process we find ourselves.
So a big thank you to Jasmine for having me in her show, Find Myself.