Pottery and Ceramics Glaze
Tips For Firing Red, Orange And Yellow Glazes
Are you having trouble getting your red, orange and yellow glazes to turn out brightly colored?
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OxygenMost commercial glazes are designed for use in an oxidizing
environment, usually in an electric kiln.
Red, orange and yellow are
particularly sensitive to the amount of oxygen that is in the air.
All clay has carbon in it, much of which burns out in the early stages of firing.
This creates carbon monoxide, which will affect the glaze if it hangs around.
So, you want to have plenty of air flow, to remove this carbon monoxide as quickly as possible.
If you fire with a vent, you should be getting enough oxygen in the kiln.
If you do not have a vent, make sure the lid is propped and peephole plugs are out. With manual venting such as this, it is also best to put colors such as red on the top shelf where they will get more oxygen.
Do not crowd the kiln, leave room for the pieces to breathe.
Firing RateFire your bisque very slow to Cone 04 to burn out the organics.
Glaze firing is a little tricky.
Sometimes it is recommended to fire fast and sometimes fire slow.
The theory of firing slow is to make sure that carbon monoxide isn't being created faster than it can be replaced with fresh air.
Sometimes a fast glaze firing which is about 3 to 4 hours is preferred, particularly with non-inclusion or cadmium red glazes, where the color can burn out if fired slow.
Sometimes a glaze on one piece will affect the color of the glaze on another piece.
This is particularly true if you are firing without a vent
Keep colors such as red separated from other colors for best results.
Copper glazes are specifically known to interfere with these colors in many cases, so keep green colors away.
ApplicationIn most cases, it is best to apply the glaze thick, sometimes
as many as four coats is required.
Amaco says to apply about twice as much with your reds, oranges and yellows as you would apply with a normal color.
Firing TemperaturesMake sure you use witness cones to see that the glazes are fired to the proper temperature.
It is very important to not over fire.
Often these glazes do not like to go above Cone 06.
Sometimes they do better fired at Cone 07 or even 08.
Now, bisque should be fired at a mature Cone 04 to make sure organics are burned out.
Do not use red, orange or yellow glazes on greenware, only on bisque.
It may help to fire your bisque hotter than usual, so as to burn out more of the carbon during the bisque firing.
White clays usually have less organic content, so they will give better results.
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