Friday, January 27, 2012

behind the scenes...

Throwing pots is so enjoyable and fun, and yes, it is like Christmas morning every time a kiln is unloaded... but there is so much more work that needs to get done in order to have those fun times.

Like grinding and washing kiln shelves.

We have been lazy about that since moving to Seagrove. My NH kiln was much larger than our new one so I had lots of extra shelves... then add Jeff's kiln furniture to the mix and I think you get my point. Unload the kiln... oops a stuck pot, set the shelf aside. No need to grind and clean right away, we have LOTS of shelves!

**warning - if you have been firing kilns for years, you may find this post boring - newbies might learn something**

Eventually the time comes when the job HAS to get done. We need to fire the kiln and we're going to be short on shelves. We are having great weather so we set up our work outside. Jeff did all the grinding (electric side grinder) while I mixed up the kiln wash. We use equal parts silica and kaolin, mix well and add enough water so it is thick like brush-able slip.

Some of our shelves were left with craters after grinding

I went over all the scarred areas and applied kiln wash with a brush, trying to fill in the craters.

Since we had so many shelves to do, we decided to apply the kiln wash with a roller. It was fast and we are hoping there will be less flaking after firing.

Look at how pretty they look now!
We let them dry overnight and today we will wipe the edges with a sponge so that we don't get any stray wash falling into the pots as we fire.

Today is loading day, we have lots of pots glazed and ready to go... back to the FUN stuff!


  1. Oh they do look so nice after coating. soon i will so mine, what do you grind them with. Mine don't have craters but some speckled rough spots, but thought I would scrape them with a metal scraper and then recoat.

  2. my shelves could NOT be crustier...and I have brand new ones that I am afraid to use, because they are so clean! ;)

  3. we craters because we use some ash glazes that love to run off pots. jeff used an electric side grinder for the heavy duty melt ons. these shelves have a tendency to chip off, hence the craters. some spots a scraper works fine. we also have this coarse block of rock like material with a handle to scrape off crud. you can buy them in the masonry section of home depot.

  4. I like the idea of using a small roller for batwash


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