Copper Red Firing

What is a Copper Red Glaze?

Copper Red glaze, as the name implies, use copper as a colorant. We have two copper Red glazes. One is called Panels Red and looks a lot like the picture to your right. The other is called Flambe and is blue-red.

What is Reduction Firing:

The term reduction refers to the amount of carbon in a kiln while it is firing. Our regular weekly firing is lightly reduced (very little carbon). Our Copper Red glazes respond well to heavy reduction. The amount of reduction in a firing is increase by decreasing the amount of oxygen available to the burning fuel (propane). This is most often accomplished by restricting the damper.

How to apply Copper Red Glaze to Your Pots

  • The Challenge: As the kiln heats the copper in the glaze will want to leave your pot and enter the kilns atmosphere. If most of the copper leaves the glaze during the firing, your pot will end up white. This problem is solved by applying the glaze thickly. However, copper is also a flux, which means that the glaze has a tendency to run like crazy. If you apply Copper Red thickly on the outside of a bowl, chances are very good that it will run right off your pot and ruin the kiln shelf (an expensive mistake).
  • The Rule: If you are a beginner, do not put Copper Red on the outside of a bowl. I suggest that you glaze the outside with Temoku and the inside with a thick coat of red. If you are glazing a vase or other cylindrical form, glaze the top 1/3 with Copper Red (thick) and the bottom 2/3 with Temoku. If the glaze on your pot runs onto a shelf and ruins it, you will have to buy a new kiln shelf.
  • Glaze Location: The Copper Red Glazes are located at the far end of the glaze room
  • Where to Put Glazed Pots: Place your glazed pots on the shelves in the kiln yard marked “Copper Red Only”. Please put a note inside each pot telling us which glaze you used. If you have any questions about this process, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for help.
  • Clay Body: White clays work best. Stay away from Cinnamon, T-2 and Dark Brown unless you have experience.

Other Glazes That Work in this Firing

  • Temoku
  • Celadon
  • Purple
  • Butter


3 Responses to “Copper Red Firing”

  1. Evelyn Chapin March 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm Permalink

    Love this and wish I were here to fire! Next time…

  2. Joan McCullough August 4, 2011 at 12:15 am Permalink

    Is there a special rack/shelf to put items for the Red Cooper firing?

    • Dave Johanson July 17, 2013 at 1:00 am Permalink

      Yes, The shelf is between the outdoor sink and the Raku kilns.

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