Experimenting with soda

One of the other things that went in this last firing was a sagger filled with guinomi, charcoal, and soda ash soaked tissues and cardboard. I have a bucket full of saturated soda ash water which also has some feldspar added in. Before using it, it gets heated up to re-dissolve the soda ash crystals and mixed to agitate the feldspar.

I’ll put pots in the saggar, add charcoal, then drape the soaked cardboard and/or tissue over the pieces:

Then cover the saggar with a kiln shelf (one that I don’t mind getting nasty).  The soda really fluxes the clay and you can never be sure what you’re going to get. In many cases, I end up with a runny collapsed mess with lots of pretty green glass covering it. This time was no exception.

 All of the cups slumped one way or another except for the cup at 3 oclock, which is made of some sort of unbelievably refractory clay.

This one was worth salvaging, It has an amazing copper/gold luster that doesn’t come through in the pictures. It has not been cleaned up yet: