I finally started glazing. I tested new and old glazes to solve some basic problems. Did I get results? Well, I solved a few of the minor problems. I won't know if I solved the larger problems for a while. (I won't even tell you what they are, lest you think less of my pots!) Below is my little test kiln loaded with sky blue test tiles....

It holds 20 to 25 test tiles and fires to 2380 degrees F in a matter of hours and cools down in an hour or two. Somedays I run two loads through this kiln. It's hard on the kiln pushing it to heat and cool quickly and I have to replace the element soon, as it is taking four hours to get to temperature right now.

If I am just testing for color, sometimes I take the tiles out while they are under a thousand degrees and throw them in water in the interest of speed. Then I lay them out on the table and analyze the results. And that inveritably leads to twenty more questions and another mixing session that will hopefully give me a few answers. It's a circle. Question, test, answer. New question and so on.

I thought I would dedicate only 10 days to testing, but it took more time and I am still testing. Though now, I am glazing pots!!! Finally!!! So now, I am working on pots and when glaze questions arise, I test solutions one by one. I'll stop glazing the pot that has a question, put it aside, do the glaze tests, then start working on another pot. I won't fire the test kiln until I have a number of pots waiting for a number of solutions. I won't fire the test kiln for just a few tiles. Unless I am desperate. Which occasionally happens.

I just started glazing pots this week. I am through bisquing and have about 100 pots to glaze. I choose about a dozen pieces to begin glazing. They are representative pots that will yield glazing techniques for the ones to follow in the next session. I don't want to take chances on pots I have not glazed before. So I glaze one and see it through to firing before I start to glaze similiar pots in earnest.

Here's a pic of the first batch of pots I will glaze....

If I average glazing one of these pots a day, I am happy. The big "Alton Bluffs" pot in the middle will be around a few weeks. It is going to take a long time to glaze and I am going to get very subtle with the color. So it will get a little attention a couple times a day for the next month or so. Right now I am testing as well as glazing and I am mixing up the glazes I have decided to work with this year. Shortly, I will done with all the chores that come with getting back into glazing after not having done it in six months. This is the first time that I have gone into a single make/glaze cycle that lasts a year.

Also there are four little treasures that are going to be glazed with this batch....

I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THESE GLAZED!!! Well, that's true of every pot. But these portraits of some of the people that have my best pots really excite me. They are going to be glazed in pale transparent colors. I made these by taking a digital photo of the people pictured, plugging the camera into a 110 outlet and looking at the picture in my camera while I sculpted the piece. They are great fun and take about a day to make and glaze. I am a little bewildered as to what to do with them when finished. I more or less told everyone that I would give them to them next year. And I would like to do another batch of them this year. I sure would like to see the top 25 collectors of my pots all on the wall of my office. How to solve that dilemma. And keep everyone happy.... Hmmmmmm.