Just when you thought it was safe…

Here are those weird blue masks again.

that's me on the left, with Marty by my side

Ever tried typing with a band-aid on your finger?  I may have to keep this short.

You may recall these lovelies from the “weird blue masks” post.  I have since slathered them on the edges, eyeballs, and facial hair with high-fire glazes, leaving the rest glazed only with a light coating of low-fire underglaze, mostly medium blue, some green, some peach, which was applied when the clay was still wet.   Well, they went into the soda-fire on Wednesday.  When the kiln reaches 2,300 degrees Farenheit a mixture of baking soda and water is sprayed into the kiln thru special holes and it turns to snowflakes that float around and land on the ceramics and fuse with the silica in the clay, forming a glaze. 

 This is what greeted me when I walked into class today.  I am very happy with the results.  I will be hanging them on the fence in my garden in the spring, and planting seeds all around.  Large, tall, and small, all colorful and magical flowers will rise up to party in the warm summer sun with the happy couple!

About Zahara

gardener, cyclist, student, mom,
This entry was posted in ceramics, college, gardening, posts with photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Just when you thought it was safe…

  1. Wendy says:

    snazzy textures!! I like. I wonder how they look in person?

    • zahara says:

      Snazzy textures, a little too snazzy, that’s how I cut my finger! But aside from that, I love the texture too, that alligator effect happens when the soda hits unglazed clay, especially “Sonora White”, the clay body I used to make these, which contains alot of silica.

  2. It would be an experience to make and for others to view if you expand on this talent. Research American Indian, Aztec, pagan Europe, Sub Saharan Africa, China, Polynesia masks. Display for free library, town hall, bank and maybe a little local PR. Who knows where this……

    • zahara says:

      Thanks, Carl. I really like ceramics, i always look forward to this class, and the time flies when I’m there. Have you seen my “Raku” post? And I love your suggestion for researching more masks, they are fascinating, aren’t they?

  3. duckofindeed says:

    Awesome! Good job! The last clay thing I did broke up into many pieces. It still bugs me to this day. For some reason, I kept the remains in a box.

  4. Hey Z!
    These came out really well! And you were worried!
    They’re really good.

    • Zahara says:

      BKB, I can always count on you for support! Thanks. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome of these masks. Soda-firing is my new favorite technique!

      • What exactly is soda firing?

      • Zahara says:

        Soda firing is done in a special kiln reserved for such festivities. Kiln is loaded and brought to 2300 degrees farenheit, at which point a mixture of water and some form of sodium bicarbonate, like baking soda, is sprayed into the kiln through small openings in the sides of the kiln. When the soda lands on the ceramics inside, it binds with the silica in the clay and forms a glaze. Clay bodies containing lots of silica work best for a dramatic effect. Also, the placement of the ceramics in the kiln makes a difference, because the soda floats around in the air and falls on the clay, it doesn’t fall everywhere necessarily, so depending on where your piece is in the kiln, it can get more or less of an effect from the soda.

  5. Wow, this sounds like an awesome class! I would have loved to have taken it when I was in school. These masks are beautiful!

    • Zahara says:

      It’s never too late to take a ceramics class at a local community college. I am very fortunate to have a great one nearby, and it’s affordable. Thanks for liking the masks! I am basking in your compliment.

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