Monday, February 18, 2013

You Live and Learn

This is what  happens when you accidently put plastic in the kiln.  

I had inlayed a metal zipper into the lip of this thrown bowl to see what would happen when it went thru a bisque firing (1800 degrees).  I was pretty sure it would turn out really charred and looking ancient.  When I was embedding the zipper into the wet clay I thought the zipper would make it all the way around, but alas, it was an inch too short.  So I thought it would be clever to emboss a button into the wet clay which would leave it's imprint, but then I forgot to remove it.  Oops, the plastic button lifted and foamed up during the firing and left a tunnel for it's gasses to escape.  Mr. Bender, our Physics teacher, figured it out when I showed him what had happened.  The good news was I was able to wash the foam off which is covering the metal zipper head.  After I glaze fire the bowl I will be able to actually sew a real button onto the pot where you see the new plastic button sitting.

Then recently we had the same problem when senior Sophia Lu left what she thought was a metal button in her tree sculpture during the bisque firing.  She thought the metal would make a really neat looking medallion on her tree trunk.  But it was really a plastic button that was coated with a fake metal covering.  Oops!    
You can see it's gas trail was really extensive as it wound it's way around the other pieces in the firing.  It ended when it ran into senior Nikki Shah's elephant's leg.  
Again, the good news was that it all washed away and everything was fine, for the most part.

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