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updated tue 30 apr 96


Don Jung on tue 30 apr 96

Autumn Downey wrote:
> Good morning!
> Are you all smoked? I find it always lingers in the brain long after one
> gets cleaned up.
> Yes, please, we would like to hear what you and the Prisma people say about
> the shelf wash. Is there a temperature it is good to? We fire cone 6.
> So you met my buddy, Esther! She wrote about your raku. There seem to be
> many subtle variations when it comes to reducing, materials and everything.
> We keep experimenting, but with a largish group, sometimes the control (as
> in experiment) isn't there to ever reproduce the good results. Do you
> notice any difference from sunny to cloudy days? It might for us, just be a
> function of judging the kiln differently under different light conditions.
> How do you do it?
> Autumn
> Yellowknife, NWT, Canada

Hi Autumn and also fellow Clayarters,
(there may be a couple of tidbits that would interest
others as well so I've sent this to the list too)

yes, Esther came by and surprised us. It was really great to get
together with someone who knew of us through the pottery email
connection. I'm still pooped out from the raku. There were millions (it
seemed like) of pots. It went well, with only a few breakages in the
bigger or non-grogged pots.
I've tested some reduction techniques and the one that works for me is as
-fire as usual up to temp (We look for a glassy surface or wetness on a
glossy glaze, the matte glazes can't be 'looked' at since they don't
shine, so we usually put a glossy glaze pot near the top...or use a cone
^06 to judge if temp is reached. I also find it easier to judge the
surface in cloudy or shady conditions. I recommend using safety glasses
to filter out UV. Welding glasses would be best, but judging shiny is
-tong the glowing red pot into a metal container filled with some
newsprint. We use individual small metal cans instead of the good ol
trash cans...more control.
-toss some more torn newsprint balls in...flames careful
-after about 5 seconds cover the container with water soaked newspaper (a
stack of about 10 pages is good)...must cover container top completely.
-a lid or board can be applied to keep it closed. We keep hosing down
the exterior of the metal container and soaking the newspaper stack on
top until the metal container doesn't steam anymore.
-It's an option whether you want to plunge the piece in water, I don't
since it may promote breakage, but some like it for the 'experience' of
steam/noise and more likely, to get their hands on the piece sooner.
-after what seems like a long time (15 mins or more to cool)...voila,
raku pot.
This works consistently well for the copper colors that everyone seems to
like so much. It's fairly forgiving since a little sloppiness will
introduce a bit of air and get some color variation. If it's done really
well and the reduction is really good (no air gets in), the copper turns
out just that, a nice shiny copper color. A bit of air will create some
blues, purples or variations. The wet newsprint creates steam and forces
air out for a nice reduction...usually air is pulled in simply by the
cooling/shrinking action of the air and we get an 'interesting' green.
Let me know if it works for you.

As for the kiln shelf liner...I'm going to pick up a quart for $12 and
test it out. If it works, I'll cost it out and let you know...
I've received numerous other kiln shelf suggestions and thank everyone
for their contributions and will consider them all, try them out and see
how it goes.

Time to go...Thanks a bunch

Don and Donna In Vancouver, Canada where it's trying to decide if we've
had enough rain by teasing us with a day or so of sun.