|pieces being unloaded (hot) from the under-fired kiln|
The last firing seemed to be taking longer than usual, so I shut it off before the kiln sitter dropped. The kiln sitter is the part in a manually fired kiln that holds a cone. The cone melts at a certain time and temperature (referred to as a cone). When the cone melts, the bar that rests on top of the cone falls, causing the kiln sitter to shut off the kiln.
on the left, my half bent cone; on the right, a correctly bent cone in the kiln sitter
|finished, fired commission pieces|
I also had a few pieces that developed cracks in their bases during drying or firing. One cracked during drying, but I forgot and fired it anyway. The others have minor cracks, but I won't send them for the commission.
|finished, fired commission pieces with stamps visible|
For almost all of the pieces I threw for the commission, 51 pieces, to be exact, I used the same set of stamps to mark the pieces. One stamp says Rotary Yakima, the other has a gear symbol with S/S inside the gear, representing "Service over Self" the Rotary motto. These pieces also have my signature stamp on the other side.
|The stamp set I ended up using for most of the commission.|
All three stamps were pressed into the wet clay and later inlaid with blue underglaze to highlight the text and image.
|the individual letter stamps and the button stamp|
Early on in the project, however, I tried a few other approaches to the stamps. For two pieces, I used the S/S gear stamp and individual letter stamps to write "Yakima Rotary". These are legible and clear, but take up a huge amount amount of space and were time consuming to stamp. Another approach I also scrapped because it was too big: I added a button of clay with the S/S gear stamped into it.
on the left, the impression of the incised stamp; on the right, the stamp made from the incised stamp
I also fired a piece stamped with one of the very first versions of the Rotary stamp. In fact, this early stamp had lines incised into the Sculpey clay. The stamp I ended up using was one that I made by pressing Sculpey into the first stamp, thus creating the look of incised lines in the clay once the piece is stamped. I fired the test piece so I could see how it looked with underglaze. It looks worse than the new stamp.
|most of the finished work|