Thursday, 27 February 2014
The kiln was lit for a slow bisque. Muscles tensed, I approached the steel mortar and pestle with buckets of calcined rock.
Calcining works best on igneous rocks with large crystals like Dartmoor granite. Unfortunately for my arms I had fine rocks such as Arthurs Seat basalt from Edinburgh.....
This collection of buckets took me 4 hours and is now ready for the ball mill.
The red lidded jar is 2/3 full of hard alumina balls, which tumble as they rotate, crushing the rock. I am milling most of the rocks dry....
For some reason I am unable to reply to comments on my post so......
Hi William. Don't mind at all. You can certainly use it to make a glaze. Try using it to replace the feldpar in one of your usual glazes or do a lineblend adding whiting and some clay. Good luck!
Saturday, 15 February 2014
....the kiln is lit for another very slow bisque firing and the shelter I have built around it is rattling in these violent winds. I'm relieved slightly by my choice in extra long hex head screws when I built it + by the fact that all the burners have flame failure devices on them.
The last of the clays that I have made up have been used. This image shows a kaolin and ground quartz body from Dartmoor materials. It is the largest piece I have made from this body, being 38cm tall, but had to be made in 5 sections as the clay is so difficult to use.
Other tests include lineblends of materials from the Gog Magogs near where I live. The rocks and silts are glacial deposits + I am trying to get a beautiful glaze out of them for a commission. So far it is proving elusive, but if there's one thing a potter needs it's optimism!