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Gabby

Firing terra sig

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I have made one piece, an orb, using terra sigillata, which was then wrapped in some color-giving stuff (copper scrubby, coffee beans...) before being wrapped in newspaper and fired in a barrel fire.

Can an orb with terra sigillata sit directly on an electric kiln shelf without sticking to it, or would it stick like a glaze sticks?

How can one finish a sphere all the way around and still fire in an electric kiln? Or is that an impossibility?

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Terra sigillata is clay, not glaze, so it doesn't melt and stick to the shelf like glaze. Sig is made by using a deflocculant to cause the clay to settle out into 3 layers- water, fine particles, and heavy particles. Sig is the fine particles and water. Once applied and burnished, the particles can provide a level of water proofing that plain clay doesn't, but it's because of the very fine and compacted particles, not because they melt and form glass. Also, you're generally only firing it to low fire temps, where clays don't fuse very tightly. If you burnish your sig, you only want to fire it to about cone 012 at the most, or some of the polish will burn off.

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