The Joyce Kiln, 3rd Firing

I fired the Joyce Kiln for the third time last Sunday and I feel like I’m getting the hang not only of loading and placement but especially hot and cool areas and high and low reduction spots. This is of course useful and I’ve realized how I can use this to my advantage in the types of pottery I make and how I use glazes and slips. I’ve already made several new jugs based on a previous style where the exterior will use a porcelain slip which I’ll place on the top back of the kiln where there appears to be less reduction. This last firing took longer than I expected, as I slowed the initial temp build-up. Next time I plan to fire faster at the beginning prior to reduction. Hopefully, this will shorten the firing time a little and still get the top to temp. I will also fire in reduction longer at 1750 degrees and again near the end.

I am excited about the latest work to come out of the kiln. I lost only one piece, a bowl that I think developed a crack as I made it. All of the other pieces came out as expected except for a few pieces made with Vegas red glaze that went marbled green and red. Actually, a very nice effect. I was really pleased to see the baby head and baby foot melon and squash canisters. I wasn’t certain how well the inlay porcelain would fire with stoneware, but it came out as close to perfect as I hoped. In fact, all of the inlayed porcelain and clay, even on the crucibles came out really well.

About Steven Skinner

I studied art and making art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Early in my art career I painted in oil and encaustic, but a desire to work in more challenging mediums led me to experiment with watercolors, in which I painted for many years. I moved from Chicago to rural Northwest Indiana and again felt a need to change mediums. I took up ceramics and became a potter...
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