Sunday, February 15, 2009


This red box is the kiln controller. It is a 'good thing' (to paraphrase Martha [Stewart]). I have a super duper one and one of its features is that it sounds an alarm when the kiln temperature gets 100 degrees above the temp I have programmed in. And it turns the kiln off.

Somehow, this is what happened in the first firing of my 'edges' piece. I think I know the cause (too much information for here, methinks). And I thought I took a photo of the piece in its 'heat temp error' state, but some silly idiot forgot that the memory card was in the computer ( = moi).

Here is a refresher on what it looked like when I put it in the kiln:

After the misfiring, the piece had started to fuse, but the surface still had seams between the pieces -- these should disappear in a full fuse. So it was lumpy. And unstable, as it had probably cooled too rapidly, as the program had not run its full cycle.

I figured out what I thought would be an appropriate firing program and started again, without the T-pins. After 18 hours and 23 minutes, that program has finished (at 700 degrees, pictured above, you turn the kiln off and wait for it to get down to around 75 degrees). Opening it before the interior hits around 75 can cause thermal shock and break the piece, so I am in a hovering mode.

Patience does have its rewards. Peeking at this point could be disastrous.

We all have perceived failures in our sundry endeavors. How to greet them? With equanimity and without palliatives. I like the fact that I can explore the nature of glass and kilns. So...

While the kiln is cooling, I have been doing a little inkjet printing. And not too successfully either! But, what the hey, it's an adventure! In the sheet above (Jacquard paper-backed cotton), the colors are dull, particularly the black. I retooled the setting, and here is the second try:

The reds are better, but the black is still faded. I will do a nozzle check and try again.

Here is a silk piece I printed about a month ago.

Colors are better...I had ironed the silk to freezer paper, which you can see got caught in the printer at the lower left edge.

And yesterday afternoon...I made a thermofax of the image so I could try my hand at printing on cloth. Here is my thermofax, held up to my window, showing my swell view of Point Mugu, the Pacific, and a Palm Tree!!!

And here it is sitting on top of a spiffy red cotton I hand dyed last month...I will be using the red in this piece that is living in my head.

It's a way-cool saturated red and I am smashingly in love with it. Screen printing posts promised.

And I also promise to have the memory card in my camera when I take pictures of the results of the second firing...

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