The first batch of my ceramic ornaments are finally finished! I made 10 in total, and in hindsight I totally wish I made more. So the glaze kiln was opened on Friday, and I high fired five of these babies! The other five will be Raku fired (a different type of firing) on Monday!
One of the challenges I faced with these were how to glaze them. When a piece is fired, the part of the piece that is touching the shelf in the kiln cannot have any glaze on it, otherwise the glaze will melt and your piece will stick to the kiln shelf and most likely break upon removal. This left me having to figure out what part of the ornament would be unglazed, aka brown when finished. On most of the ornaments I made, I trimmed the tops flat, that way they had a nice place to sit when being fired. Others, I rounded the tops of, so I basically had to wipe an entire side of glaze off of the piece for when it was fired. All of the ornaments that I put in the high fire had flat bottoms, so they were all fired upside down essentially. In order to cover up the brown, unglazed section of the ornament, I bought liquid gold leaf. I’ve never used it before, but I’ve seen it used on different things and it looks beautiful. I painted the tops of the ornaments with the gold leaf, and then added some more on the ornaments in order to accentuate each of their individual shapes. I absolutely love them!
Hanging them was something I didn’t think through enough before putting them in the bisque fire. I could have put two holes in the top of the ornament to thread string through, or added a traditional ornament top. Instead, I decided to epoxy some gold wire on the top. This part was a difficult process, but so far so good! The ornaments can now hang and be completely functional. I can’t wait to finish the rest, and I’ll get better pictures for you guys!