A minor disaster occurred in the firing of the last batch of ceramics. The kiln was too crowded, and some of the students had mixed in low fire pieces that slumped or even collapsed. The glazes on two of my pieces went opaque when they were supposed to be shiny. The effect isn't too bad on this small piece, but on the others it's a disaster.
On some students' pieces the glazes ran onto the shelves and they had to be pried off. Students did not understand that you have to apply wax high enough up on the piece that glazes don't get on the shelves. And you have to watch out for runny glazes, too, as I learned when a piece of mine got stuck to the shelf.
This pot had a mask adhered to it that had been laid on top of it. Paula was able to separate the pieces, but the mask was ruined.
The two pieces I had the most hopes for were spoiled. The blue and gold glazes looked hideous, and I had used them before and gotten nice results. Apparently the kiln got way too hot in some places. Packed as the kiln was, I don't think the heat could have been evenly distributed. It's a gas kiln and not always easy to regulate anyway. People are going to be very very disappointed.
I will be glad when I can work with Mary and use her electric kiln for high fire. But for now I'll stick to low fire and unglazed high fire. There are several high fire clays that are so nice they really don't need enhancement, and they make excellent plant pots. I'm enjoying working with terra-cotta, which is low fire, but it certainly splits easily. Just falls apart. So I have to treat it very carefully and dry it slowly. I burnished some small terra cotta pieces to see how they turn out. I used the back end of a spoon and rubbed the clay to make it shine. It's fun to experiment with color, too.