14 hours, 8 minutes. That's how long it took to fire my first bisque load in the kiln. It took about that long again to cool off enough for me to open it up.
With great apprehension, I opened her up, and here's what I saw.
Success! My pots were bisqued, and none of them exploded. I was so excited I forgot to take pictures of all the shelves before I unloaded them all. I did get a shot of the last level.
I set them all on metal shelves to await glazing.
I have a lot of wall pots, mugs, and my kiln goddess.
I also have some test tiles (in the bowl on the left), and a bunch of pumpkins and pieces of pie (in the other bowl - I'll explain about the pie later).
I also have some stamps and molds I made.
Here's the set up after I unloaded, and before I organized and cleaned up.
I spent the rest of the day making glazes. Seriously. The rest of the day. It took me more than an hour (and more than 2 hours for two of them) for each glaze to add the water and get it through the sieve. So now that I am through the first bisque, I can move on to worrying about whether I mixed the glaze properly, whether it will stay on the pots, whether the kiln will fire the glaze well...
When I went to the Big Flea a few weeks ago, a certain stoneware form caught my eye a number of times. I am sure I had seen them before, but I noticed so many, and was so charmed by their shape that I started doing some research on them.
These stoneware bottles are a historical form, often containing beer or ginger beer.
They are often stamped with the location where they were made. I was struck by the straight sides, the clean edge of the shoulder, and the thick, chunky rim.
It seems these stoneware bottles are collectible, and I'm enjoying the variations in them, ranging from pretty primitive to nicely glazed with clear lettering.
I didn't manage to come home with one, but obviously I've caught the bug.
The images above were collected with a quick internet search. I combed through Etsy, too, to see what might be out there. I was not disappointed. The pieces I collected below are not limited to the beer bottles, because I've found that these historic forms served a number of purposes, but had similar elements of design. Below, a ginger beer bottle from burrock.
This stoneware bottle has a loop handle - found at artzybitz.
TeaAtHomeWithOlivia has this great ink bottle from London.
Below is a vintage wine decanter with cups from shopthrifted.
KimmsAttic has this great shouldered syrup jug.
The stoneware German wine bottle below is from fleabird.
CoolVintage has this slick apothecary bottle.
So of course I started thinking that I should try to throw this kind of bottle myself. I've thrown one so far, and I was pretty pleased with the result. I'll post pictures sometime soon. I did find another potter on Etsy who had the same idea, and his bottles are fantastic. While I'm waiting for mine to dry, fire, glaze and fire... I'll be admiring splitfirepottery's beer bottle collector series.
I had already been thinking of throwing historic-inspired forms, and I have a few in progress. And these beer bottles are keeping my brain fizzing with ideas.