Squishy Saga: Episode 3: Glazing and firingPosted by nmjunko
And… once the squishies have undergone their first firing, they are glazed.
I missed taking a photo of the first step after bisque firing- the sanding. Each squishy is inspected for cracks or holes and rough spots are sanded down. This is extremely hazardous, as it releases airborne silica dust, which if breathed in, can collect in the lungs and cause silicosis, for which there is no cure. This is why most potters wear a NIOSH N-, P- or R-100 mask when working in any situation that creates dust. I always meant to get around to buying one… so yeah, go ahead and yell at me. I never wore gloves either when I was an animal control officer so I’m used to getting yelled at…
Back to the topic- once sanded, the squishies are rinsed in hot water and left to dry for around an hour. Then the liner glaze is poured in. I use a glossy white glaze on the insides of the squishies. (note- in 2011 I switched to a clear glaze inside my pots) I also manage to get some on me, the walls, the table… as you can see.
Then the glaze is poured out, and I wipe off any drips on the outside and also wipe the rim clean.
After the stray glaze is cleaned off, the cup is set aside to dry for an hour or so. Then the outside glaze goes on! This is achieved by dipping the squishy into the glaze bucket.
Ready to dunk!
This glaze is floating blue. Before they are fired, glazes usually look nothing like the finished glaze, which can sometimes lead to confusion when glazing complicated patterns or images on pottery.
If I’m really careful I can get a nice clean line at the bottom of the cup. It didn’t really happen here.
The squishy is pulled out and I let the excess drip off.
Then any stray glaze is cleaned up off the bottom and the cup is set aside until dry. Glaze dries pretty quickly- usually these will dry in about 3-5 minutes as the clay body soaks the water out of the glaze.
Then the kiln is loaded as before, all the way to the top:
Remember these colors as they will look completely different once fired! The kiln is programmed to fire to about 2200 degrees, and then it holds the temperature for 10 minutes to help the crystals in my beach glaze to form. This takes a shorter time than the first firing, because it does not have to go as slowly as before. Generally the kiln will reach temperature in 9 hours, but it takes a bit longer to cool off than it did before.
Finally, The Squishy Saga: Finished!