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flat raku breakage/celia

updated wed 23 may 01


Marcia Selsor on tue 22 may 01

Dear Celia,
Just fire as slowly as you can without being too extreme. -say an hour
or so for a raku cycle.
I still lost large flat pieces. Mixed a new claybody last year that was
a complete disaster.
For my best clay body I added two sizes of grog, lots of it plus paper
pulp.-about 20%.
Recipe is at the studio. sorry. But I think the general rule of lots of
grog, two sizes and the paper pulp made a good addition to any clay to
be raku fired.
My largest slabs are 25" x 20". Just built a new big kiln for them and
it worked great. Photos will be online in late June as I leave tomorrow
for my workshop in Italy.
You are right about firing on their edges. I also use a tip from clayart
from about 4-5 years ago. In the raku firing, use a little piece of
fiber fax between the edge and the shelf. This also seems to help alot.
What rez are you on? You may be in my neighborhood.
Good luck.
Marcia in Montana

Celia Littlecreek wrote:
> I checked the archives, couldn't find out anything about my problem.
> I have started making large, flat Raku pieces for wall decoration. I learned a very long time ago, that you never lay them directly on the kiln shelf, but on one of the edges. I have had quite a bit of breakage, that I have seldom had before. I am also using a different clay body and even some of my non-flat pieces are cracking in the kiln also. I am fairly sure it is an inferior body. Are there any suggestions as to what I might do, or firing directions that will keep the flat pieces from cracking? It is too late to go back to my good clay body, everything is bisqued and I am trying to be ready for a show on June 1. I still have time to fire some pieces by then, and would appreciate any help you can give.
> I don't want to send another email so I offer this suggestion about email and archives. Since joining the list there are quite a few emails worth saving. I have a hard time finding what I am looking for in the archives, so I have sort of started my own. I created a folder in my email called "saved mail". Everything in it is something I think I will sometime have a need for, that came from the clayart list. I check there first, then the archives. I hope someone hasn't offered this suggestion before. (this, I didn't check the archives for) Maybe it is so simple that everyone thought there was no need to mention it. I am still (semi) computer illiterate, and I was proud of myself for thinking of it!
> from Rakuer on the Rez, where there is a plague of army worms that have eaten all the green on the Popples. Maybe the 35 degree temperature will kill them before they devour all the Oaks too. So far, my Lilacs are safe.
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Marcia Selsor