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Figure 2: Glaze fired & finished - I think

With trepidation and anxious excitement I've been awaiting the first of my larger finished figures to come out of the glaze kiln.

Generally, I'm rather pleased with the overall result, especially for my first finished figure. Obviously there are good and not so successful parts. Here are the things that didn't quite work or which could be improved upon:

1. Unwanted cracks have opened up during glaze firing. This has happened around the last part I added on when building. That is an indication that there was too much difference of moisture content between the added part and rest of the piece. Next time I need to wrap the whole piece up very well after finishing building to let the moisture content level out before starting the drying process.

2. The kiln stilts fused with the clear glaze during glaze firing and little faulty craters have opened up when removing the stilts. I need to plan more carefully which way up I fire these pieces and incorporate strategically positioned unglazed areas into my design to prevent this sort of damage.

3. I had great problems when glazing this piece as the areas which were supposed to remain unglazed and which I covered with was resist got covered up during glaze application. Using a spray gun caused these areas to be covered over. So, I spent a lot of time meticulously scraping away the unwanted glaze collected over the waxed areas.

This also meant the the piece got handled more than necessary resulting in patchy and too thin glaze coverage. Dave suggested I could add some gum arabic to my glaze next time to improve the glaze adhering to the pieces so that I can handle them better.

On a positive note, I think the textured areas created by applying shellac resist has worked rather well and add depth to this piece.

I was also slightly concerned how the uneven application of the slip would affect the look after glazing. I knew that the blowing of the slip would cause thinner application. Where visible I think it adds a more organic less controlled sense such as maybe underlying arteries.

All in all, working on this piece has taught me a lot - good and bad - which I can use for future work.

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