Today is glaze firing day! I load the kiln as I finish items so this morning when the last item went in, it was time to crank up the heat and start the cycle. I loaded four shelves that look much like this one: After the horrific failure of the jewelry stand during the last firing leaving pieces permanently fused and nicked, I’ve gone back to glazing only one side of the buttons so they can lay down for glaze fire. Buttons are just as functional with only the showing side fired so I’m at peace with this decision. I wanted to glaze both sides of pendants for the sheer vanity of it however, until I have a new secure jewelry stand for firing, they will also be glazed one side only. I have some mugs, stands, pendants and bowls in this kiln load as well. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for it to be finished. During the third of nine hours of firing, I was closing the top vent and took this photo for your viewing pleasure. Looks toasty, doesn’t it?: I’m counting down the hours to unpack this baby tomorrow evening! I guess it’s time to go straighten up the neglected house while I wait.
After the buttons, pendants and other pieces have gone through the kiln once, it’s time for glazing. I spend an embarrassingly long time in this stage: THE SORTING. I lay pages with glaze names and I start to sort the 400-500 buttons. They are separated into sets based on their thickness, pattern and, well, my gut. As I group them with their permanent partners, I look at the glaze sheets and try to find where each set fits. Some glazes show off my stamp and texture detail, others mix better with others, some glazes serious, some playful. Some very popular (hello MidRain!) so I weigh the sorting in its favour. A glaze or two might be new so I’m cautious to be sure I’m not assigning too many sets to an untested glaze. Some pieces I have made with a very specific glaze combination in mind and I check my notebook to separate these correctly. Once they’re all sorted, my notes double checked, my list of custom orders verified, I take a photo of the table and I go to bed. Goodnight little buttons. Glazing begins tomorrow!