little foolin' around at cone 10

I like using scale pieces for test tiles.  To me, making a tiny chip is fraught with the same margin for error as small paint chips.  How to you make good decisions about painting an entire room on one tiny 2x2 chip?
Ya can't.  I apply that thinking to my work.  Maybe it's simply a lack of experience.  In that way, the larger piece is my security blanket.  Ok.  works for me.

all black mountain - temoku interior - you can see it bloated pretty bad on the bucket.  I've used it before and had very little problems with bloating?  Thickness?  In any case, I got some good info out of the exercise.

Black mountain with porcelain slip, carved with xacto (and the line quality held up pretty well) cobalt wash, and various amaco underglazes.  The chartreuse is a nice surprise.  I like the look on the black mountain, not too bright, antique-y, warn, weathered. pretty. I said...just collecting data.  


  1. A little birdie told me that the black mountain (and its cone 5 cousin, Cassius Clay) needs to be fired in oxidation to keep the bloating at bay. I haven't tested this with the black mountain, but I know the Cassius needs it to fire consistently. Contact Aarvark. They have fantastic customer service for their clay bodies. They've heard it all.

  2. hmmmmm. well, I'm not surprised. I'll give them a call. thank you!!

  3. I used Black Mountain in reduction quite a bit in California and only occasionally had problems with bloating and I thought it had to do with when the bisque wasn't high enough (college sometimes only got to cone 06 for bisque) and how quickly it was fired during the glaze firing. I like that slip on the black mountain looks great. was the slip bisque fired?

    Several have told me the cassius shouldn't go above cone 4 or it bloats terribly. I have a group still to final fire of those, so I will soon find out how they do.

  4. hi Linda. yeah, I have not uses Cassius - yet. So, I'm interested in your findings. Black mountain sculpture has done less of the bloating fired under the dame conditions. It seems likely the culprit is reduction as FG mentioned.

    the colour went on after bisque. My real interest was how the line work would do on a groggy clay. not to bad. But the chartreaus was nice bonus.

    test tiles are fun!


  5. i like the bloating on the line work though... that looks kinda cool..