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Friday, May 18, 2012

Further kiln adventures... and Organizing my workspace

Update to the kiln issue.

I’ll be ordering an external pyrometer. My additional two tests came out fine.

I did a full ramp to 1550 with 45 minute holding, then a full ramp to 1550 with 2 hours holding. The kiln only took about 55 minutes to ramp up and the two test pieces that came out were great.

The first test piece was a small thing I’d made out of silver about five years ago… a scrap more or less... that I’d never ground up and reconstituted.

The second test piece was using my leftover clay from the beads I made yesterday. I decided to turn it into a twofer test. I’d been wanting to see what translucent enamel looks like on texture pure silver, so I made a small shape with texture.

And here’s what it looks like enameled (yes, I was going for a two-tone effect).

After all that, I almost forgot that I actually DID have a couple of finished pieces of silver that needed to be fired. Done and done… I’ll tumble then patina them when I get back from the gym.

Now onto another subject…. BEING ORGANIZED.

Here are two things I did recently to help me stay organized. When your work space is limited, you have no choice but to be scrupulously organized.

First my friend and I had an “enamel” day where most of our work time was spend firing enamel onto small copper disks and gluing them to the tops of the enamel jars so we have examples of the true colors.

If I start working with silver, I guess I’ll have to do similar sample tests.

I only have a couple translucent colors (in the back row), and I had the idea to show them directly on the copper as well as on top of a coating of white enamel. But look… all the ones I did like that cracked and fell off. I don’t know enough about enamels yet to understand why.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the “L” on the lids… it’s so we don’t get the jars all mixed up when I go over to a friend’s house who has the same type of enamels.

The other thing I did to organize my workspace was huge… both literally and figuratively.

I can’t tell you how much I love this set-up. And I love how transportable my “project” boxes are. If I’m going to a friend’s to work on patinas, I just grab the patina box and away we go.



  1. Hi me again :) Did you counter-enamel? If not, the added stress of the additional white enamel on the one side probably is what caused it to crack. I've enameled once in a class but I also read a lot. Here's a good beginner discussion I found that might help!


    by the way, love reading your blog! :)

  2. Nice use of your time .. looking good kiddo .. my son is going to be setting up house with his girlfriend and moving out of my House .. so I am looking forward to doing some re-Organizing myself <3

  3. Thanks for the nice comments, Kim and Elli!

    Yes, I do counter enamel almost always. The few times I don't are like when I have a thick piece and am just adding a few inlay spots of enamel. (There's an example of that on my June 1, 2012 entry.)