The first bisque load of 2012 is complete and my kiln shelves look good. This is the first firing since I scraped and painted the shelves with new kiln wash. Truthfully, it is too early to tell if this new self leveling kiln wash will perform any better than the standard stuff I have been using.
One of my goals in 2011 was to make pots with better bottoms. Once people know a pot is hand made, the first thing they they do is turn it over to look at the bottom. So I want the bottoms to be as lovely and interesting as the rest of the pot. To me, this means trimming lines (if any) are intentional/the foot is smooth/ there are no gouges or divots/ there is no staining from the glazes or sponge spittle marks/the signature is deliberate and clean.
In order to obtain such bottoms I compress the pot bottom with a soft rib after trimming, store the pot on clean ware boards, and wipe the bottom before loading. However, I haven’t done anything to address the kiln shelves until now. And although there are still some unresolved challenges I have with obtaining lovely bottoms (some glazes seem to stain the bottoms and I can’t figure out what to do), I hope this kiln wash will have removed one more obstacle toward making better pots.