Potters & Sculptors - Making Rock from Mud
So I have a curious question for all you cone 6 firers out there. I recently refired a few pots and the glaze was completely free of microdimples. I have really good surfaces on most of my glossy glazes but there are always really tiny dimples, you can't even see them unless you hold the pot about 8 inches from your eyes. However on these refired pots, they had no microdimples!
So it got me thinking about trying something I have never tired before.
Firing to cone 6, dropping to 1940F then firing to cone 6 again. Of course the glaze I am using doesn't move at all, so I am not worried about it running off the pots. I am just curious if anyone has tried this method before or something similar. I am super particular about bad surfaces on my glossy glazes, if this solved it I would be happy to do it as refiring all my pots for a better surface seems a bit crazy.
I was looking at commercial ware at a local shop and I noticed almost all of their pots when held up close have microdimples as well, so maybe I shouldn't worry about it too much, but I just can't help to try something new to see if it works.
Anyone? Any Ideas? Comments?
Top end holds might accomplish what you want. If you fire to cone five and then hold that temperature for an hour, you end with a cone 6 firing that has a lot of time to smooth out the surface. If you fire twice to cone 6 then you are probably doing the heat work nearly equivalent to cone 7. Another option would be to simply try a cone 7 firing with that particular glaze as a test. I have seen many cone 6 glazes look better fired higher.
My standard firing profile was cone 5 with a 60 minute hold to cone 6 (verified with self supporting cones). This did wonders for my surfaces, however I am working with one glaze at the moment and I am firing it to straight cone 6 with a decent hold, which is pushing close to cone 7. I don't mind going to 7 as my body can handle it and so can the glaze I am using. I guess I will just try it out when I have some test pots glazed next firing.
Welp. I am firing the test right now. Currently going to cone 6 then dropping to 1945, then going back to 2232 at 200F, which is a little under cone 6 at that rate, then dropping at 175 to 2100 and holding for 15 more minutes, then cool naturally. It will be interesting if it works. It's double the work on the elements per firing, but if it makes my glazes perfect glass I am willing to use my elements up because elements are cheap when your selling beautiful pots!
Results are in, the firing to cone 6 twice showed no real difference in glaze smoothness compared to cone 6 with a 20 minute hold approaching 7. I might try this again later with different glazes but for now I am done testing.
Well it was an interesting experiment - thanks for sharing. I know you are done testing for now but in the future it might be interesting to play with the flux both amount and type as well as different clay bodies to see if you could achieve the ultra smooth feel/look you were after.
I am going to setup a currie grid test for that exact reason down the line. Right now I need to get wares back on my etsy and into some local galleries that want to carry my work.
So somewhere in the next few weeks I will setup the grid test. My glazes are super smooth and look very slick, its just when you hold them really close to your eye you can see microdimples. I don't particularly like it, but even most commercial ware and famous potters have these dimples.
I will fix it eventually though!
Beautiful results! It is fun to get the glaze just so but obviously it is lovely as is. Will you add the link to your Etsy site? I would be interested in seeing more of your work.
Cool. Thank you :)
NP. Thanks for asking about my work. I always appreicate feedback as well, so any negatives or positives feel free to PM me them.
I am sure I will eventually try this experiment again with my stoneware glazes once I get back to them.
Have a good weekend.
I need to replace my elements and install a pyrometer so I can get going on some glaze testing. I want to see if I can translate my high fire slip glazes to cone 6 with any degree of success.
Nice chatting with you Joseph. You have a good weekend too.