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Stoneware

Posted 10/7/2022

 

Back in May I attended a stoneware glazing course and loved it!Tall backer during paintingTall backer during painting
I was so excited to bring stoneware back to Ladybird and start running workshops straight away. The first couple of people signed up and we got painting. The second firing of stoneware is very different to earthenware (the pottery we sell normally in the shop is earthenware). Mug before firingMug before firingStoneware is fired to a much higher temperature so I was rather nervous about the first firing. I've seen photos of the disasters that can happen when the kiln isn't programmed properly. For 
Tall backer after firingTall backer after firing
example earthenware fired to stoneware temperatures can completely melt, turning the kiln shelf into a fantastic piece of abstract art, but no use as a shelf any more.
 
With the first stoneware firing complete I couldn't wait to open the kiln, unfortunately it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. 
Mug after firingMug after firing
Although I made sure all the bottoms were wiped clean
 of glaze, most of the pottery still stuck to the shelves. I'm seeking advise so to avoid next 
Wide bowl before firingWide bowl before firingtime, but I wonder if its because I mostly use earthenware glaze and there could have been dust from this left on the shelves?
 
Wide bowl after firingWide bowl after firing
 
Deep bowl before firingDeep bowl before firing
Anyway the mugs and bowls were mostly ok and i was able to clean the foot of the pottery to a smooth finish, so they are still usable. The kiln shelves also came up well, but they are due a Batt Wash....Deep bowl after firingDeep bowl after firing
 
The last photo is how the shelves cleaned up this afternoon, I'm happy they got this clean, as I only had a hand tool to clean them. The shelves 
have to be covered with a mixture called Batt Wash. Traditional batt wash comes in a powder, you mix it to the desired consistency, then paint 3 coats on each shelf. Approx once a year all 3 coats need 
scraping off every shelf ( I have 5 shelves) and reapplying, its exceptionally difficult to remove all the old batt wash, so no one likes doing it. 
Tall backer bottom has stuck to shelfTall backer bottom has stuck to shelf
However this year I've discovered a new product that comes in liquid form and once applied never needs to be removed, only reapplied!! Now all I have to do it remove the old batt wash so the new batt
Kiln shelves after firing, before cleaningKiln shelves after firing, before cleaning
 wash can adhere to the shelves. I'll work on them this week, needless to say; with an electric tool!
Kiln shelves after cleaningKiln shelves after cleaning

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