A short time ago a friend of mine asked me for some help with some of her cone 1 glazes. Having always dealt with only high fire and atmospheric glazes in the past I was a bit stumped at where to begin with cone 1 glazing. I did a little research and asked around quite a bit to see what my peers knew of glaze behavior at this temperature and found that a huge gap in the information available on the subject. Now my interest and curiosity had been piqued. This is the second step in my research to develop a body of cone 1 glazes and slips. The first was to set up material melt tests which then led me to these triaxil blends.

 

There are so many things that are different in these cone 1 oxidation glazes than in the cone 9-1o soda fired glazes that I have been using for the last few years. There is a substantial shift in the roles of materials in these glazes and I have found, as I am sure many others have, that the choice of clay body seems to have so much more of an effect on the end product than in the higher fired clays. Dealing with clays that are fritted or have high talc contents can change a glaze so much. Also when dealing with a terracotta which even when finished is not vitrified and will then swell when exposed to water thus cracking the glaze has frustrated me even before I began testing. Even now as I look forward to the next step of finding colorants for these glazes I am astonished at how the approach to colorants is different. The notion of being able to pull your color from a selected palate via mason stains direct from the bag is foreign to me still.

 

While this research is not intended as a shift in my body of work I can see it opening new doors for me in regards to access to more limited facilities than I have now. During graduate school I had always talked about developing a body of low-fire work in case I ended up soda kiln-less. But I think that many more people are considering the cone 1-3 range lately. Why have they not gone for cone 04 or cone 6? Is there something visually different that happens at cone 1 than at the other standard temperatures or is it just that they are doing something different which can then be marketed under that different label? Is there interest in going to a lower temperature for to minimize firing cost and is that balanced out by the higher costs of fritts and mason stains? I have found that the firings are much easier time wise and physically but having started off doing my undergrad in wood fire and now in soda I am not sure that if I don’t labor hard for it that it will taste as sweet for me. Anyhow, I shall continue down this road and see what I have to discover.

 

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I may potentially share recipes as my research develops. So if you are interested in what I am doing then stay with me for a while longer.

 

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