Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Royal Kiln site

When we visited the Royal Kiln site in Jingdezhen we were greeted with the clanging of cymbals and drums (lots of noise) and two huge dragons and lots of smaller ones operated by people in red clothes - it was spectacular. All this ceremony was not for us (we did have that fleeting thought), but they were lighting one of the big wood kilns. These kilns are not fired very often, but luckily we arrived on one of these special days. There is also a dragon kiln on this site, that had also been fired recently, and we visited another dragon kiln just out of town that gets fired regularly.

At the old kiln site are lots of potters showing off their skills, and demonstrating some of the old techniques. Enjoy these videos of these events!

I have put a few more videos and photos on my Picasa site - it was such an interesting place and a lovely location with long walks around the park and the lake. 

In my studio I have just delivered lots of stock to the shops, in time for the Christmas shoppers. I'm playing around with decals on tea sets, but not quite working yet, so I'll wait until I have a good result. Getting close, I'm just having trouble with the thickness of the glaze on the cool ice, which is causing it to look yellowish. 

Does anyone have a good clear glaze recipe for 1170degC that does not contain zinc oxide or too much gerstley borate? I use one of the Hesselwaite and Roy recipes, which is a great glaze for most things, but is looking a bit yellow on this  - the recipe I have adapted is:
Soda Feldspar    31
Silica              21
4108             5
G Borate        10
Kaolin           17
Whiting          13
Talc                3

Any ideas how to adapt it to make it really, really clear?

All for this week - don't forget to check out Mud Colony for this week.  


Mieke van Sambeeck said...

thanks for the recipe Ellen, have to try it next time, I wonder if you leave out the G.B. if it still works and maybe get rit of the yellow???

Ellen Appleby said...

Thanks Mieke - that's a thought, maybe put in a bit of Nephaline Syenite instead?

Jan said...

Hi Ellen,
This is a Cone 5 - 6 / 1200c clear glaze that I use alot.

40 Soda Feldspar
30 Gerstley Borate--1999
20 Ball Clay--Old Mine #4
10 Silica
It doesn't have a great deal of gerst bor, so hope it suits your needs. I call it 'Perfect Clear'. Medium thickness is best. It is definately Clear!

Ellen Appleby said...

Thanks Jan - I'll definitely try that one too.