Glazing Over

I don’t know that I have ever been as nervous in my time with ceramics as I was on Friday. It was finally time to do some glazing, something which sounds as simple as a trip to Krispy Kreme, but in reality for me was much more strenuous. I think I was more nervous for this firing than my initial firing of the kiln, I guess more was at stake this time. My biggest concern was that something would happen and glaze would end up oozing all over my kiln shelves and into the kiln, or something more drastic, glaze trapping air and something blowing up.
Nothing bad happened during the Cone 06 glaze firing which began at roughly 10PM on Friday, July 1, 2005. The kiln was set for a fast glaze firing, which ramps at about 500° per hour, causing the firing to complete at about 2AM. When the kiln first shut off I began hearing popping sounds from the kiln that were more vibrant than I remember the sound of exploding pottery being described as. I still don’t know what the sound was, but at 3pm this afternoon when the kiln was cool enough to open I was suprised to see that nothing had cracked, dripped, exploded or otherwise caused a problem. My guess is that the sounds were caused by the expansion and contraction of the kiln because of the unusually fast ramp rate.
Anyway, enough babble about my fear of blowing up, I fired 1 terra cotta and 1 stoneware piece with a clear glaze, the other piece in the kiln was a small stoneware piece used for experimenting with color glazes. All pieces came out quite nice. I have taken some pics, but they really don’t show how well the terra cotta piece came out. There are a lot of duplicate images, but they each show something slightly different. Before I put my slightly attentive audience to sleep, here are the pics: