Spring 2013

Holes and Mishima

IMGP3586-1In the past couple weeks I’ve been making headway with my finishing techniques and construction methodology. I purchased a Dremel and jewelry-scale drill bits to more efficiently make consistent, refined holes in each tile. I also ordered a variety of silver wire samples in a range of gauges from fourteen to twenty because I was still not decided on the gauge I would need for the rings that connect the tiles versus the chain that will allow the pieces to hang around the neck.




It was important for me to compare the wire with the fired samples  before making any final decisions because of course, clay shrinks and since I’m not a math person. I wasn’t willing to calculate the diameter of a 1/16″ hole after its shrunk 20% and then relate that measurement to wire gauges. To messy. So after firing the samples I decided that the best wire to use for the jump rings would be twenty gauge which fits comfortably into the  3/64″ drilled holes. For the chain I will be using eighteen gauge wire in correspondence with the 1/16″ drilled holes.


Incidentally, when I fired my hole tests I decided to wipe my frit/stain mixture into the etchings on a whim. This time I sanded the surface with 320-grit sandpaper before firing. My results were much cleaner than any of my prior testing without the use of wax. I fired a second test kiln with this method using two new grey mason stains I ordered – Pearl Grey 6506 and Silver 6530. I intended to fire the kiln to cone 7 to see if firing hotter would produce more vitreous results so I placed a cone pack with cones 6 and 7 in the kiln. Oddly enough, both cones were completely bent which leads me to believe that it was fired to cone 8, or at least at least a temperature wavering between cone 7 and cone 8.


The temperature difference between cone 6 and cone 8 isn’t even a full 300 degrees but the pieces turned out  much more vitreous overall with a subtle sheen and they fired flatter. After firing these pieces I sanded them with 600-grit sandpaper and the surfaces are like butter. The only downside to firing hotter is that the shrinkage rate of the clay skyrockets. Although I haven’t done an accurate measurement, I would say there is about a 20% shrinkage rate or higher.

One comment on “Holes and Mishima

  1. meganelizabethceramics
    November 13, 2013

    You’re definitely making good progress! I know you haven’t posted about it yet, but I love the decision to add some colored mishima pieces (woah bet I surprised you there eh?), and the way you’ve started breaking up your pieces so they aren’t one big section anymore. The new shapes you’re working with definitely say bib a lot less.

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , .
Daniel SanGiacomo

aka Daniel Aktas

Kelsey Anne

Keep your Dreams alive. To acheive anything you must understand that it requires faith and belief in yourself. Remember, all things are possible for those who dont stop believing.

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