Ready, Aim, Medium Fire!

Hello friends! I am hoping this publication finds you well this steamy, summer night. For any of you following along on our Facebook page, you may have noticed the post regarding our transition to mid-fire clays and glazes, and what the heck does that mean anyway?

Well.. let me share some info with you.

I’d learned all about high fire clays while studying pottery UCF, and that was what I was used to using. It was familiar. While researching the feasibility to have a studio in the garage, mid-fire kept coming up in the topics, but not having used it, I started with what I knew. We made things and tested glazes based on high fire methods, but in an electric kiln. We completed 3 rounds of glaze testing and our results were pretty good, but we weren’t quite where I wanted to be.

After reading some more and researching more we made the decision to transition for a couple reasons.

  1. Affordability – Cone 10 is typically the most expensive to fire, as the kiln needs to reach about 2350º for a glazed batch. Cone 6 tops out at about 2190º. You may say that that’s only about 200º difference, but it can be quite an impact. It’s all about the amount of time the kiln needs to reach that maximum temperature. Lower temperature, means less time. It’ll save us a few bucks in the long run and every little bit helps!
  2. Color – Many colors don’t make it to the high fire range, as their compounds simply can’t take the heat and burn out, leaving mottled streaks and messy spots on vessels that you want to look *good*. Switching to mid-fire products will allow us to use color and not worry about losing any of it during the firing process.
  3. Did I mention COLOR ?!?!!! I love working with colors and mixing colors to see what I get when I paint. I want to be able to create works with colors that put smiles on the faces of the patrons eyeing our stuff.

We decided to go ahead and transition before we became incredibly attached to the glazes we were working at testing. Today was the first day I threw with a new clay body I picked up from Axner. It’s a stoneware blend and OMG.. does it throw amazingly! And it is so forgiving as you work with it. I’m looking forward to making a few of our little sculptural animals with it as well. The description on the order page says it ‘throws like a dream’. They weren’t lying!

Over the next few weeks between school starting and our job-jobs, we’ll be continuing our tests. I’m going to loosely say that we’re hoping to have some items for sale between the end of October and Thanksgiving.

That’s the plan. I’m crossing my fingers. Cross yours too!

As always, thanks for keeping up with us!

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