Thursday, May 25, 2017

More Protest Bulbs

slipped and unfired bulbs in the kiln before firing

Last week I fired a batch of protest bulbs I am working on for a show next month. I was disappointed in the color of some of the bulbs, so I made a slip out of the clay I was using and painted that on the pieces that had the wrong color.

bulb before firing (left) and bulbs from batch one and batch two after firing

I fired a few new pieces and refired the slip coated old pieces this week. Strangely, the color of both the slip coated pieces and the new pieces made with the same clay is different than the color of all the pieces in the first firing. The bright red/orange color shows up both on the pieces I have coated with slip and the new pieces that were made with the same clay, from the same bag, using the same techniques. 

two bulbs, made in the same batch, one with a coating of slip

The reddish color doesn't bother me on the new pieces, but my application of the slip was not consistent, so it looks bad on the old pieces. Since I'm not sure why the color is different, its hard to know if refiring will solve the problem. I did fire in two different kilns. One is older, and perhaps the elements have stuff on them. I also forgot to plug the spy holes until partway through the second firing. I guess this might be the answer, but it seems like the spy holes would have counteracted the old kiln elements. 

the problematic slip is streaky on the bulb. The flag is ok.

I was hoping that the pieces could be colored and glazed minimally so I could show off the color of the clay, but if the clay color changes mysteriously, I'm not sure if the effect will be what I intended.

bulbs fired twice, once with slip

I also applied underglaze to a few pieces. The deadline I am attempting to meet is coming up next week, so I don't have much time to make decisions or fix issues. At this point I'm thinking color, maybe a bit of glaze, and done.

bulbs with underglaze accents, unfired

I unloaded the kiln today. I have two more pieces that are unfired. I can actually show the with the underglaze applied and not yet fired, but a few of the pieces are meant to be mixed media, so I'm going to have to carve out some time next week or this weekend to get them finished.

I knitted a pussy hat for one of them, but it doesn't fit correctly. I haven't decided if I'm going to reknit, refit, or scrap that bulb.

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