Single Fired Work 2010
The pots below represent my initial forays into making, trimming, glazing and firing pots in one line of successive events. Most potters take a break after the trimming and include a firing known as the bisque, or biscuit, firing prior to glazing. The reason for this is the bisque firing sets the pottery as ceramic ware that will not ever revert to clay, makes the pot far less delicate to work with when applying glazes, burns out impurities and chemically bound water from the clay. When you glaze a bisqued pot, you are working with pot that is hard and can stand rougher handling without damage. When I glaze a pot for single firing, the application of glaze is on a pot that has very little structural strength, and can actually be dissolved back to clay with application of too much water. I let my pots get very dry, called bone dry, then glaze closed interiors (vases, bottle, jars) by pouring in, then out, liquid glaze, and then spray multiple glazes onto the exterior of closed pots, or the top & bottom of open pots (bowls & platter froms.) Once I have complete glazing inside and out, the pot can either go directly to the kiln for firing, or can be dried and then fired. When the pots are single fired, the potter must be very careful to slowly raise the temperature so the water in the pot, glaze, and chemically bound water, can be driven off before turning to steam and blowing the pots apart. Once the water is gone, then the gradual raising of the temperature allows the impurities to burn out and exit the clay while the glaze is melting. The formulation of the glazes that will work with single firing are also a consideration, as they must go onto a mostly dry pot, dry without cracking or falling off, and be able to go through the firing and shrink while cooling such that there is a close fit between the pot and glaze. Missteps in any of the described succession of events can damage and render a pot useless. Doesn't this sound like fun?