[Clayart] Sea shells in the kiln?

Ken Chase kchase235 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 3 19:14:27 EST 2017

So far the way you taught me to use cylinders has worked great. This next firing I'll try to glaze
The foot of one pot and see how it goes.
I have made several pedestals but the one time I tried using one I used wood glue and aluminum hydrate and the pot didn't stick. Sure I did something wrong but haven't tried again since the cylinder/catchplate combo has worked so well.

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 3, 2017, at 12:57 PM, Snail Scott <claywork at flying-snail.com> wrote:
>> On Jan 3, 2017, at 7:56 AM, Ken Chase <kchase235 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I really like the idea of a glazed foot ring.
> If you glaze the footring, you’ve gotta have some other way
> to hold the piece up in the kiln. (Sometimes I fire things (not pots) 
> on pedestals that sit inside or up from the lowest point of the art, 
> so that the low points can be glazed. For my sculptural things, it 
> makes sense for some forms and not others. If you don’t leave 
> unglazed spot(s) for such supports, then you have to work stilt 
> scars into your design instead. You will see the classic standard 
> stilt scars on a lot of commercial stoneware dinnerware that has 
> glazed footrings - little dents or tick marks in the glaze, three or four  
> of them evenly spaced around the underside. The shells mentioned 
> previously are an example of making a virtue of necessity, by using 
> the ornamental shells in place of some merely functional stilts, and 
> planning for the  esulting marks as part of the design.
> It can be tricky to position the work in the kiln on top of the stilts (no 
> matter what kind), so a little dab of Elmer’s or white craft glue can 
> hold them in place on the clay object as you load. 
> If you have a very runny glaze, be aware that it may run down the 
> stilt and stick it in place, preventing it from breaking off cleanly. It may 
> also drip unevenly from the footring, leaving it un-level and requiring 
> grinding to level it anyway, substantially eliminating the appeal of 
> having a glazed foot. 
> Some people have made a virtue of this, using the drips of the glaze 
> as ‘feet’, lifting the whole piece up off its nominal bottom by the thickness 
> of the drips. When it works well, it can be quite ornamental, but since 
> drips - even planned ones - aren’t always equal in depth, these end up 
> (ideally) sitting on their three deepest drips like a tripod, but may require 
> at least enough grinding to make three relatively coplanar points to level 
> the piece. Plenty of water is needed when grinding glaze drips, since if 
> they overheat, they can shatter and break off entirely.
> A nice aesthetic compromise might involve an outer ‘false foot’ that 
> the glaze is allowed to drip off of, and a deeper inner foot that actually 
> supports the piece but is somewhat hidden underneath, behind the 
> drips. Obviously, a catch slab or some such would be needed under the 
> drip zone. With practice, you can predict the amount of dripping with fair 
> accuracy, but never perfectly.
>        -Snail
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