Not quite what I’d hoped for- bloating and cracking

bloating and crackingAt the beginning of December I found a bit of time to get the clay out and allow my heart to rule my head, I decided to try some agate ware using mixed clays. Of course you should use compatible clays but I was taken over in my enthusiasm and went with what I had, the colours and textures were shouting out at me. I hadn’t given firing temperatures a thought until the time came to fire the pieces.

The first batch had a stoneware firing and unfortunately the pieces cracked and bloated, they are quite fragile and easily broken, which is a shame as I really really love the effect, I love the textures created from the bloating, I just love this pendant, it’s me totally, and what I want to achieve with my clay but  was easily broken as you can see.bloating and cracking

So I fired again this time a bit cooler, but the pieces weren’t vitrified so they went back in again a little hotter, the results are better but not good enough. So it’s time to order the appropriate clays and start again.
bloating and cracking
These pieces didn’t go as planned but I’ve learned so much from experimenting, I believe you learn as much from what goes wrong as what goes right. Maybe I can use bloating  for some wall mounted artwork, I love the look. And maybe I can use some of these pieces to make something for myself and see how they wear.

If you have any ideas how I can achieve this look without compromising the strength of the piece I’d love to hear from you.

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About eganj1

Obsession making arts crafts, and all things creative
This entry was posted in kiln fired art and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Not quite what I’d hoped for- bloating and cracking

  1. BRIQUET Francoise says:

    Hi Jill,
    I love the effect realised with your trial.

  2. eganj1 says:

    me too, it’s a pity they are fragile

  3. Back in the day (40 years ago) I became fascinated with clay and coloring it. I had a blast with it. Finding One’s Way with Clay, the book I used to determine what chemicals to add to my base clay to color it, is still in print. (I bought one for my daughter recently when she took up the clay.) Coloring your clay with oxides opens up an entire world of layering, or even building pictures, with no concern about the clay performing. Good luck.

    • eganj1 says:

      thanks for the book, I will look for it. I thought stains might be the way to go, and I’ve found some glazes that craze, I can’t wait to experiment more

  4. Jill Varga says:

    HI Jill, when I make agate ware, I use one kind of clay, usually low fire porcelain and colour parts of it with underglaze colour. Then I make the layers, firing at the appropriate temp. Regards, Jill Varga

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