Triple Red Success!
February 3, 2010
Preparing for ‘Red: From Alizarin to Crimson’, at Columbia Arts, my second attempt at the red bowl was a success. Not that I had any doubts, of course, as I returned to my usual drop ring style instead of a bowl mold. ‘Red Cells’ is a shallow bowl, with a one inch drop.
The detail shot shows 22k ‘cells’.
If you remember from my last post, the first Red bowl blew a very large bubble right in the center while slumping, so I put it aside and started over. Usually it’s easier and faster to just start over than it is to try to repair something.
I also had a second piece, ‘Plan B – Back to Square One’ underway, cutting squares to assemble into a bargello design. Plan B came out of it’s first firing with devit. Drat! I had cleaned and dried thorougly, yet all of the dark red opaque squares were devitrified. Plus I could see marks from the klyr fire (a glue for glass), a first for me, as I’ve always had klyr fire burn out cleanly.
Instead of a quick fuse & slump, I now had to mask the devit and refire. Most people choose an overglaze for this task, but I advocate the use of clear powder. Dusted with a fine layer of clear powder, back into the kiln it went. At the same time ‘second attempt ‘Red Cells’ was slumping through a drop ring in another kiln.
Once ‘second attempt’ (as I fondly called it) was in the kiln for it’s final shaping, and Red plan B was in the kiln for it’s second firing, I turned my attention to the failed piece to see how I could resolve that big bubble.
Instead of letting heat and gravity flatten it onto a kiln shelf, where I might then have to grind the edges again into a perfect circle, I decided to place it into a shallow mold to see if I could get away with only one firing instead of two.
Firing slowly at 100 degrees per hour, I had to schedule it so I would be there viewing the bowl at process temperature. There I was at 10pm monitoring it’s progress every five minutes, ready to reach in and push the bubble down if necessary (suited up with protective gear for the task). After 60 minutes at 1200º, it had slowly slumped into the platter shape with the large center bubble finally settled snugly down into the mold.
So my success is threefold: My second try at the red bowl, ‘Red Cells‘ turned out and was delivered in time for the show; a second piece, ‘Back to Square One’ turned out quite well, although not in time for the show; and my first attempt, which became ‘Red Cells II’, was saved and delivered just at deadline but still in time for the show!
If you’re in Hood River for February’s First Friday (Feb 5), do stop in & say hello!! Columbia Arts, Cascade and Third; from 6 to 8 p.m. Oh, and wear RED! Red ribbons and red prizes will be awarded for “Best of Show” and “Best of Dress.” Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy creative red refreshments!! Hope to see you there!