The Season's First Firing! / by Elizabeth Phelps Meyer

Snow was deep on the mountain in Cold Spring at Tony Moore's noborigama kiln, during our pre-load-in glazing days in mid-March. Today, at the unload, I noticed only a couple diminishing piles roadside and the earth was sprinkled with blossoms from flowering spring bulbs. Some of the stoking shifts had very chilly weather, as winter has been hanging on long and late this year. Last year, there was a similarly chilly weather for the inaugural firing at Tony's kiln, and just like that firing, this one had some luscious amounts of carbon trapping! I'm wondering, could the chilly air outside lead to more trapped gasses in the kiln atmosphere and carbon trapping in the glazes? In any case, the kiln gods were smiling on us this time. There were beautiful results all around.

In this firing I tried out 13 different shinos on my cups for the Each Day, Water exhibition in October. I'm really pleased with many of the results! Clay body is grolleg porcelain (Laguna 550). The glaze was mixed and applied the same day. It was blended with a high-speed electric hand-blender, but not put through a mesh. The glazing took place three weeks before the firing started, so the soda ash crystals had a LONG time to form. Some of my favorite new shinos include:

Dresang Shino
Neph Sy: 13.7
F4 Feldspar: 44.4
Spodumene: 29.4
OM4: 3.9
EPK: 9.8
Soda Ash: 7.8

Porcelain Shino (some trickster had fun making this recipe)
Neph Sy: 39.39
Spodumene: 30.3
OM4: 17.17
EPK: 5.05
Soda Ash: 8.08

Moon Rocks Shino
Custer Feldspar: 45.7
Spodumene: 38
EPK: 6.3
Soda Ash: 10

Roach Trap Shino
Neph Sy: 23
F4 Feldspar: 23
Spodumene: 38
EPK: 6
Soda Ash: 10

Napster Shino
Neph Sy: 40
Spodumene: 25
OM4: 17
EPK: 10
Soda Ash: 8