Here are some before and after views of the firing:
Front Stack After
Back Stack AfterI succeeded in loading the kiln looser this time, and increased the soda amount I sprayed in to help it cover the drier areas, however some pots got way more soda than I prefer. But I'm learning that I have to go a little heavier on the soda so that it will save the pots on the drier side. You win some and lose some, but you can't win them all.
This is a little cutie. It has such a great firing on it, but unfortunately it is only about 3 inches tall! It's a little cup / vase doodad, great kiln fillers between bigger pots.
Bark Trays, positioned on sea shells that leave their effect on the clay...I wrap wire onto the backs of these so they can be displayed on the wall.
Brave soldiers, taking on the raging storm of 2300 F heat, stacked right on the bagwall. They actually are a little too spicy for my taste....I call this tiger soda peel, or maybe it's more leopard?
Nice flashing here with a helmar based slip that I use right on the fireface side.
Overall, I think it went well, although I'm still absorbing in all the pots. The cycle of making and firing and then unloading the results is like being on a roller coaster. The past two days, while the kiln was cooling, I was heading up to the top peak of the roller coaster, wondering what the top would be like. Right now, after the unloading, I guess I'm sailing down, but I don't feel like I'm quite on solid ground yet. "It's never what you think it will be, expectation is beauty and the beast, "says potter Michael Kline who recently described the usual potter's blues after an unloading in his recent post right here. I completely agree with him and often feel the same way. Given time to absorb, the pots begin to create new levels of understanding, with some reaching your expectations, and some not at all. I find that when I pick out my best ones and shoot images of them in my photo booth, I see them better. Looking at them closer in that way helps me realize the strong and quiet parts about the pots.
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