Monday, 17 October 2011

Don't Try This At Home....

Well do if you want but please don't blame me if things go drastically wrong and you end up with shattered pieces of clay covering the entire inside of your oven!

Let me explain. In a desperate attempt to speed up the drying process for a few last minute pieces I have made for a show I am doing at the end of the week, ( why to I always leave things to so last minute?! ) I had the genius idea ( actually the soon to be OH had this genius idea, I will remind him of this if it goes belly up ;) of bunging my work in the oven on a low heat for a while to help speed the drying time up.

I usually dry my pieces slowly and hence evenly by letting them lounge about on my drying shelves for as long as they very well need - as clay can be a bit temperamental sometimes and get huffy and crack if not treated with the due respect it deserves, but we'd recently watched that brilliant 'How It's Made' programme where it showed porcelain sinks being made, and once leather hard (for those that don't know leather hard is a term used for clay when it is still visibly damp but has dried out enough to be handled without deforming),  they put them in these essentially massive ovens and cooked them for a couple of days at 80 degrees centigrade.  Well I love a good experiment and though I usually leave the playing about with my clay work when I have the time and when it is not quite so paramount that I actually have some work to sell, I had to give it a go!  So today I have spend my time 'cooking' my recent works ready for a show on Friday! In the oven. In the kitchen... madness.......

Unfired 'leather hard' coasters and mini plaques

In the oven they go!                                                                                               

                     BEFORE                                                                                         AFTER

Now all that's needed is glazing and firing ( in an actual kiln this time ) and then hopefully all done!
The sticky thing is I wont really know if this has been successful until they come out of their kiln firing on Thursday evening!


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