Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting Ready to Fire

For months I have been promising myself that I would take a day to make a bunch of mugs. I always found that I had other things on the agenda and the mugs got pushed to the end of the list. This weekend I stopped procrastinating and Saturday was 'Mug Day'. I threw about three dozen of them.

I found that setting them out back on the kiln in full sunlight drastically cut down the time I had to wait until they were ready for handles. No more covering them overnight with plastic, checking every few hours, etc. About an hour or so in the Florida sun and they're ready to go...

It's much less time consuming for me to throw a few dozen mugs, set them outside, and start putting handles on them an hour or so later.

This coming weekend I will be bisquing a full load in the electric kiln. Finding the time to bisque fire is tough for me. I will not leave the electric kiln on while I'm away. Also, I like to monitor it just in case something goes wrong (see my earlier post). I'm paranoid about the possibility of a fire. I might be too paranoid, but I usually play it safe when it comes to having something at 2000 degrees that's pulling 40+ amps. Due to all of this, I have to be home during the firings. This mean I have to find a weekend where I will be at home during the entire firing. That's easier said that done. This weekend my band is playing Friday night and Sunday it's Saturday or bust.

Next weekend I plan on doing a raku firing. Michael Nagy, someone I met at the Charlie and Linda Riggs Workshop, lives in Tampa. He is going to drive up and do the firing with me. He is considering purchasing a clamshell raku kiln (like I have) and wants to see how it performs. I plan to try out the one-step naked raku technique I learned at the Riggs Workshop.

That's all for now. Enjoy your day!


Mr. Young's Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Young's Art said...

I know the feeling well Mike - not having the time to get the throwing done. Luckily classes end in three days, and I should be able to get in a lot more time to throw. Hopefully I can get a good amount done before starting to teach again in August.
Those mugs look like they are pretty good sized, how much do they hold?

Mike said...

I usually throw one pound mugs. When throwing mugs I like them to be a little thicker than most of my other forms. I find that thicker, stronger mugs tend to last a little longer than the think one. I have never measured how much liquid they hold. I think I'll check that I'm curious about their volume. Thanks for reading the blog.

Undaunted said...

Nice mugs :)

I'm totally with you on the firing. It's better to be safe than sorry. I've still not fired my kiln yet but I had it serviced today, which possibly saved us a house fire.