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copper mat

updated thu 30 mar 00 on wed 29 mar 00

Here are some tips on achieving the copper mat. Apply the glaze evenly.
Experiment with thickness but I have found that a nice thin coat works well.
Fire the ware to approx cone 08. I don't use cones but that is the approx
maturing cone of my raku glaze palette. Remove the ware and place in your
reduction container. The container should be as small as is necessary for the
pot to fit in. Reduce with your material of choice. I use coarse sawdust or
woods havings. Allow the ware to smoke for about 45 seconds to a minute.
Remove the lid (be careful of the delayed and subsequent sudden burst of
flame). Watch the surface of the ware as the flame licks. remove the ware and
cool with a spray bottle to "freeze" the effect.

Now.............Here's my two cents on copper mat. The effect has it's merits
and can be interesting but has become commonplace. It's fun to experiment
with and a good learning tool for sure. Try for more interesting surfaces
using combinations of glazes including so called alligator and patina glazes,
and more complicated surface texture in your clay. Don't rest on your
laurels. Push the process and advance your personal repertoire!

Steven Branfman