This page is intended to highlight the Cone 6 electric work being done in the community and serve as a way to connect and learn. Please include a few pictures and a summary of what you have had success with and how you are hoping to grow with this process.
I think many have been pondering the lower temp firing for a while-less gas/electricity, less time, better for the planet and air. It is just hard to make the leap since most of us are historically steeped in cone 10 glaze and firing. I know there are quite a few dabbling in cone 6 glazes. I have done a number of cone 6 soda firings with various clay, slips and glazes (6 and 10) and had very nice results.
For years I mixed and tested cone 6 recipes and occasionally got good results. After all that, there are about 3 recipes that I still mix and use, all the rest are mostly Georgies Sculptural/Textural glazes and a couple c/6 Laguna and Coyote glazes. It is more expensive to go this way, but the results are worth it, especially for sculptural pieces. Functional pottery is another story. I find it hard to find commercial food-safe glazes that have variegated color that breaks nicely rather than a solid shiny color, but I have found a Laguna and a Coyote glaze that works for bowls and plates.
Georgies’ Dry Rust, Turquoise Lagoon, Vanilla Cream, Aqua Gemstone, Kalamata, Sapphire Wood Ash, Mustard Wood Ash, Blizzard Blue work beautifully. Thickness of application gives a variety of results.
I too would happily focus on cone 6 electric if I could get more interesting glaze results. It works well for colored slip and a clear glaze, but I’m tired of the plain shiny clear and I do love the painting that atmosphere makes. (I’ve experimented with Georgie’s clear matt over colored slips and that’s promising.)
You’ve probably done lots of research already. Steven Hill has done some great work in the direction you are going. Easy to find online. I saw him at NCECA some years back, and his pots. He did a lot with manipulating controlling the cooling period – slowing it down at critical periods so that crystals can form. (As well as overlapping glazes.) Now that I have a programmable electric kiln, in theory I could control the cooling period for interesting crystal development. I am happy to volunteer my kiln if others in WCG want to research/work on programming for cone 6 downfiring. Let’s plan it and let many interested people make and test pieces and glazes.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/367887863285657316/ has some nice images and recipes.
Hope you are all finding creative and satisfying things to do during this physical isolation. I sure miss our gatherings.
I would be interested in sharing space in cone six firings, so we don’t waste space and energy. We would need to figure a way to not impose on each other. Right now I am making a few variations on a strange glaze first published in 1992 by John Chalke. Leslie has used it, and Ginny. It is not straightforward, a matte pink grey subtle colors.
- Upcoming cone 5 firing with space to share. Week of June 29th 2020, possibly Wednesday. Contact Anthony for more information.
I’ve collected cone 6 recipes from a number of sources for a while, and I’ve adapted cone 10 reduction glazes to cone 6 via adding fluxes, I’ve had the most success with approximately 5% gerstley borate.
This round I’m testing oilspot glazes from John Britt’s book and silicon carbide reduced reds from that book and from Tom Turner’s cone 9 glaze recipes. I’ve always liked multicolored “drippy” eutectic glaze effects that form when layering some cone 10 glazes and I’m trying a bunch of combinations of glazes at cone 6, using recipes from an archive I’ve collected over many years.
Since most of these glazes require a thorough melt I’m using a firing schedule that fires normally to cone 6 and then dropping 50 degrees and holding for an hour.
I was pleasantly surprised by receiving so many positive emails regarding seeing the results. Since this is just the first try at most of these recipes I expect to need quite a few iterations to get anything usable.
I have been working with cone 6 electric since 2016 and it has become mostly exclusive during the pandemic of 2020. My focus has been on functional ware and since I don’t have a lot of studio space I have been using commercial dinnerware safe glaze. I do have interest in making an ash, celedon, or tenmoku type glaze, but have mostly been having fun with the dizzying array of commercial glaze.
I have also had success with a firing ramp adapted from John Britt’s Mid-range glazes book. It’s quite similar to the recommended firing ramp from Coyote glaze. Above is Coyote Shino, Coyote Gun Metal Green, Georgies Grass Green, and Potter’s Choice Satin Oribe
Cone 6 Slow cool ramp to promote crystal growth and minimize pinholes.
- 100 deg F / hr -> 220 deg F
- 400 deg F / hr -> 1978 deg F
- 100 deg F / hr -> 2210 deg F (HOLD 10 min)
- 999 deg F / hr -> 2050 deg F
- 100 deg F / hr -> 1400 deg F
I fire every month or so and would be happy to swap kiln space for testing purposes. I have a little Skutt 822 kilnmaster with environment for even heating. I usually turn the environment off when the kiln reaches peak temp to promote slow cooling. I’m hoping to learn more ways to effectively decorate with slip. I like the process of decorating with slip and getting surface variation that way rather than layering multiple glazes (it’s hard enough to get one glaze to work out, right?)