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This is a photo at the end of last year during a messy but oh-so-fun glaze day. These items had already been fired in the kiln once, to 1000 degrees celsius. The goal of bisque firing (1000c) is to convert greenware (clay that is dried in the air only) to a durable, semi-vitrified porous stage where it can be safely handled during the glazing and decorating process. The clay is matte and chalky and has to be one of my favourite stages of the process. The glaze then goes on as a liquid, but the water content is quickly absorbed by the pots and transforms in to a powdery finish. It is very important to not touch the glaze in this powdery stage, as you can get finger prints or smudges which can compromise the finished look. These pots went back into the kiln, and were fired to 1280 degrees celsius, which takes about 18 hours for the kiln to get to this temperature - then the same amount of time to cool down!
Opening the kiln is always nerve racking - sometimes it’s is pure joy, other times just disappointment ... but that’s the name of the game! - 45 minutes ago