The place where everything has its origin is where the porcelain dust turns into a plastic mass, and this one is formed by me into a real object. There are peaks in this space, inside which the temperature is 1300 ° C (it is only 5 times less than in the core of our planet Earth), few materials are able to withstand such temperatures. In this section you will be able to learn how I create my ceramics, how temperature shapes crystals and why it is not an easy task.
Create process. How do you turn dust into a vase? I use two techniques of making clay - turning on a potter's wheel and casting in plaster molds. In most cases, I use porcelain in the form of plastic mass (turning) or liquid (casting). Some shapes are impossible to make on a potter's wheel, and others are very difficult to cast, which is why I decided to work in both methods. The clay it gives shape must first dry very well, sometimes it lasts a long time ... also patience above all! Do not burn a wet object, because it explodes in the oven! 🙂 Once I burn clay for biscuit (the mass is sintered and hard), I can go to the glazing and only here the best fun begins!
Hot heart of the studio - ceramic kilns. I currently have three electric kilns for firing ceramics, small, medium and large, called the "fridge". Why so much? For testing, I use a small stove with a capacity of 16 liters, it quickly heats up and cools down, this is its huge advantage. The medium, 60-liter furnace is used to spray biscuit, that is, it turns fragile dried clay into a hard ceramic shell. The largest 200-liter furnace, on the other hand, allows you to burn many objects in one throw. Ah! I forgot that I still have a gas furnace that I use for reducing (anaerobic) firing, I converted it from an old electric furnace. Such a reduction can completely change the color of the enamel, for example from green to red!
Preparation of enamel - fun in the alchemist. Sometimes I don't know how many different chemical components I have in my studio. When I look at countless containers with colorful powders, I feel like a crazy alchemist or wizard cooking frogs in a cauldron. All the beauty of crystals is pure chemistry. I can control the colors, shapes, amounts of crystals by changing only the chemical composition of the glazes, although this is a delusional control. Each recipe must be accurately measured, because mistakes can cost me dearly. In the workshop, I have two very accurate scales, on which I measure how much specific ingredient I add to the enamel. Then combine with water, mix, grind, sift and only then prepared glaze can be applied to the ceramic body. And here again the surprise! Enamel thickness is also important for the final result. Actually, it all matters with crystal glazes ...
Enamel is like lava - it likes to flow. Yes, unfortunately this is the very truth. Crystal glazes heated to over 1000 ° C begin to melt and slowly flow down, just like lava from a volcano. Of course, they flow straight onto the oven shelf, destroying it completely, the enamel is like melted glass and can easily damage the oven. Therefore, for each, even the smallest object, you need to make a special and perfectly matching enamel gripper. After finishing firing, the gripper / stand must be bounced off the correct object and the bottom of the pottery sanded on a diamond disc. Take my word for it, it's not easy to master this process. An example of such a stand can be seen in the picture.
I use a wide range of equipment and devices in the studio. Interesting facts like a clay mixer built according to my own idea, an electric wheel for turning clay, plaster molds for casting all shape and size of ceramics (the largest form is placed on wheels, because it is too heavy to transport). Machines evolve as they come up with various production processes. For example, a four houndred kilogram ceramic kiln got recently new industrial wheels. The potter's wheel got a new modified toque. Bathtub a new settler for dirt and clay etc. Ceramic workhop is changing like a living organism.