So, if you follow me on Instagram (@kiracall) then you have probably seen my posts about “pseuda-firing”. I’ve had the idea for a while, but haven’t had a lot of time to get into it in depth until I finished making and photographing work for my grad school application portfolio. I just started really playing around with it a couple of weeks ago. The idea is to see how well I can mimic the visual effects of flashing and carbon trapping like what happens in a soda kiln. The above photo is of the mugs after I applied different layers of colored underglaze but before they were fired (I do all of my decorating in the greenware stage). At first, I was using a yellow base, then red, and then made black meet up with the red and sprayed a little bit of white underglaze over the black part. After bisque firing them, I applied gerstley borate by spray bottle to the surface, but left it thin on the red ‘flashing’ part and tried to apply it thicker on the black part. They turned out alright, but the white was hardly visible and after going back and looking at some of my older pots that I actually did fire in a soda kiln, I realized that the yellow was between the red and black.
For the next round of pots, I kept the yellow-meets-black rule in mind and applied the white thicker than before. They don’t look as stunning for a photo while they are raw, but they turned out a lot more successful for what I want.
I applied the gerstley borate a lot thicker over the black/white part, too. Here’s a photo of some stellar plates from the second round:
I am figuring out how to use materials in a whole new way that I’ve been using for years now. Taking on this challenge has really helped me to learn the dynamics of my materials and how to overcome obstacles with my tools. I think that my next challenge will be to create something that looks like the glassy carbon-trapped soda fired stuff. I found a way to get the orange peel texture with the gerstley borate– it actually came from a glaze mishap while I was in Massachusetts. One time, I tried glazing a plate by using glaze from a spray bottle because I thought it would be a smoother coating than I could get by dipping it and having the glaze overlap. It came out of the kiln with an awful bumpy texture. I am using that quality of spray bottles to get exactly what I want on these soda fired experiments.
Find some of my “pseuda-fired” work in my Etsy shop here: