My final decision for the rest of the pieces was quite conservative. I had an idea in mind when I went there and after seeing the tiles and my little Zissis I was sure I wanted to try the same look for everyone. Of course, saying ‘same’ is not valid, because each piece got its own unique character.
I thought it would be fun to explain you a bit of the process:
First, you need a bisque fired piece. This means something that has been in the kiln at 980C.
Then you need to glaze the piece. There’s some planning and decisions to be made in order to achieve the ‘desired outcome’, and a lot of trust in that it will turn out how you envision LOL – it doesn’t always goes that way.
Once the piece is glazed it goes into a kiln that gets fire from a direct flame. There must be enough oxygen coming in so there are wholes in the kiln for that purpose (see photos)
The fire will go on for about 40 minutes or until the temperature we need is reached, we needed around 950 C ! Yes, that is hot!!
As soon as this was ready the kiln is open and someone (an expert) fished the pieces out of the very hot kiln.
The pieces go then into some barrels where they will get smoked! Paper is added so it burns and the smoke does its job. This can last 10/15 minutes. The expert checks the colors to see if the glazes have the expected effects and decides what to do next.
The options are, more fire is added so smoke continues for another while, OR the pieces go into sawdust for the heat to do some work (some glazes or effect must go there – my pieces went there because I needed the effect to be created this way)
And lastly, the VERY HOT pieces will jump straight into water! The thermic shock helps with effects.
All this can happen very fast, and a lot of different pieces are going through the same process at once! So, several people are helping and keeping track of what is going on!
Everything is quite dangerous since everything is hot and fragile!