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Bisque Or All In One?


Seasoned Warrior

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I'm curious but does anyone fire all at once? In this day and age of environmental considerations and expensive fuels does it make sense to fire in two steps all the time? I have done both and for some projects I like to fire all at once and for others I think that I get better results by bisquing first. I have heard some educators say that bisquing is the expected process these days rather than a rational decision, what do you think?

 

Regards,

Charles

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I single fire all the time ... Since I don't glaze my work, it makes no sense to bisque it.

With the right glazes, you can single fire glazed functional work.

 

You can also high fire first, the low fire multiple times.

You can under fire clay bodies if the work is not functional and you like the color better.

 

It just depends ... Like most everything else in clay.

 

This is one of my personal gripes since I was taught there were no options ...

You must bisque before you high fire.

You cannot glaze after high firing then fire again.

You cannot keep firing the same piece over and over.

 

Well, what a bunch of hooey!

I cannot tell you how much time I wasted trying to fit my work into those slots.

 

Thank goodness I met others who broke all of these so called rules.

They explained the reasons you do one process over another ...

Explained why you make other choices ..

and choices is exactly what it comes down to.

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Guest JBaymore

........and choices is exactly what it comes down to.

 

 

Precisely. Making educated choices is what it is all about. Simply teaching students "the rules" is not teaching, it is more like brainwashing. That old trite adage is so true: " Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish, and they eat for a lifetime." The underlying core for all of my approaches to teaching revolves around teaching the WHY. If people understand why, they can extrapolate their existing knowledge into new directions. If they don't understand why, they just "follow the rules" becasue they are "The Rules".

 

Great post, Chris.

 

Oh yeah...... forgot the original question, Charles. As a woodfirer, I fire a lot of pieces direct from green to finished. I also bisque most glazed wares. And some glazed wares I also green glaze. And some high fired glazed wares I re-fire with overglaze enamels.

 

best,

 

....................john

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Chris and John, thank you very much for your information. I like to toss out questions about work since I kind of wander off on my own and frequently seem to buck established practice but I have no one I can bounce ideas off of. This forum is more like a nice comfortable lounge at an institution of higher learning. I went to college on the East Coast in a traditional college town and one of the things I really miss is being able to stop at the local pub and run into students and professors, have a brew and a really no holds barred discussion about philosophy and practice. So I hope no one minds an occasional off the wall question, I read a lot and research a lot and really like to discuss some of the things I run across: this is one of the few places I have to discuss some of my convoluted ideas. California doesn't seem to have the same educational traditions as the East Coast. Thanks for indulging me.

 

Best regards,

Charles

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Aways bisque for raku and pit but for rest of it w/ the right glazes ( if you're using glazes) go for it.

Glazes w/ high clay content on leather hard is the way i did once fire for ^9.

I never bisque much for wood or soda fire unless the kiln dosn't have shelves .

 

 

 

I'm curious Deb:

 

Why do you bisque before pit firing or wood firing without shelves, don't traditional techniques usually just stack greenware?

 

Regards,

Charles

 

 

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Bisquing pit and raku justs helps the pots deal w/ quik thermal expansion and contraction.

Easier for students to deal w/ variabeles in glazing if pots are bisque.

I'm usually firing pots made by many people and some are paper thin, thicker than norm or sculpture so I fire for most successful outcome.

I'm thinking of building a wood kiln w/ o shelves for myself.

You get to a point of experiance and product, that you really don't need bisque fire or shelves; just need a clay, colors and a box of fire!

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