22 Feb

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reposted from my old website

What a beautiful warm day to do a firing in February!  The weather really cooperated. The next two days were freezing, I could have never fired then, so thank you! 

I made 3 goslings and 1 goose to fire using the obvara method.  I tried a few new things, so I thought I would share.

To give my goslings a yellow tint, since baby geese are gray and yellow, I sponged on a light yellow underglaze when they were bone dry in a blotchy pattern.  I think that was effective.  I wanted the beak black, so that’s a black under glaze.  To make the gosling look alive, I used a cone 06 gloss black glaze and also applied this when it was bone dry. I bisque fired to cone 06, which made the black gloss eyes shine and kept the under glazed areas flat.  Then I fired the geese in the raku kiln and gave them a dunk in the bath of water, yeast, sugar, and flour.  The babies survived just fine!

But I did learn something with my adult goose. Because of the size of my adult geese, I make the body and head separate and epoxy them together later.  That leaves a large opening where the head attaches.  When the body was dunked in the bath, water got inside the form.  Because it was awkward, about an inch or two of water remained in the body.  When I went to put the goose down to cool, it cracked all the way around the body, right at the water line. (I know this, because after the goose cracked, I could see inside and I saw a black brown line inside, right where the water had been.)

So I have to assume that the water in the body was just too much of a temperature difference for just too long.  The thermal shock, for an extended period of time, created a crack.  

So, the next adults will have to have their heads attached, so there is no place for the water to be able to get in.  My concern is  getting them to fit in the bisque kiln and the raku kiln, but I’ll have to experiment. Maybe I can figure out a different way for them to get dunked in the water for the magic to happen.  A friend suggested throwing the water on instead of dunking.  That would change the patterns made on the geese, and but it will also keep the water out.  I have to try the next warm day.  I’ll keep you posted.  

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