One of my students, Phil, has been trying some projects out of CeCe Wire's book. (That's my first metal clay book too.) He brought them in the other day to be fired.
Opening the kiln is always like Christmas, full of surprises. (Mostly good.) Phil was a little worried about one of his pieces, a piece of burlap coated with layers of paste. So.... the kiln was opened with anticipation. What we saw was not what we expected. The burlap piece had folded in half. What the? How curious. Never had that happen before.
Linda Lineman who does porcelain painting happened to stop by shortly after we took the piece from the kiln. She had a theory and I think it's a good one. She asked if the fabric was synthetic. Both Phil and I assumed that burlap was not. (But I've learned to never "assume" anything.) Linda says that when they fire fabric with porcelain it has to be 100% cotton. Synthetic curls when it melts. Makes sense. Next time Phil stops in JoAnn Fabrics he's going to check the end of the bolt.
For now, it's back to the design board for Phil. Not only because the piece curled but also because it broke when he brushed it. But, there is lots of potential in the broken pieces and sometimes things work out for the better. (I know.... been there quite often.)