Kiln Wash and Fibre Blankets

So, the big flatbed kiln we have uses fibre blanket on it’s floor, which can be fired directly on top of, seemingly. It seems to work great that way for low-temperature firings with float glass, but it’s not so happy with Bullseye, and I hate the texture that it leaves. It is quite fragile and tears quite easily, and I have a personal dislike for the texture that it leaves on the back of the glass, which I find to feel something like the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. Jeff Sarmiento was in last week, and suggested that we kiln wash the blanket, which, considering that the blanket was in bad enough shape that we were needing to replace it soon anyways, seemed like a good thing to experiment with. So, I painted a couple of litres of bat wash into it with a Haike Brush.

That involved more dabbing than brushing, since brushing the wash on made the blanket peel away and such, as you can see above.
We pre-fired the newly washed blanket, and then a full fuse of program was run with float glass, and some stained glass glass. The clears released very well, and look just like they would with a kiln shelf, 

Colour, or at least this blue, on the other hand, stuck to the wash, and the blanket, and pulled away a ton of the surface, leaving a texture that was equivalently icky to the texture of the blanket, and ruining the surface for future firings. 

While it was an interesting experiment, we will in the future, replace the blanket with a new one, and just use it normally, or put kiln shelf or fibre paper in on top to get a pretty texture on the bottom side of a fusing.

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