Monday, 25 February 2013

Pots from the mad wood kiln.

So here are some pots from the little wood kiln we built on Saturday.  They were better than I expected.  There was a distinct two ends of the spectrum - where the flame came in to the chamber it had got hot, and then under the flu exit, the flame didn't hit the pots at all so there simply were under fired.

But it was a fun experiment.  There was more ash than I'd expected, and quite a bit of black carbon trap. I'd hoped to mitigate that by letting the fire burn down enough before clamming up, but that didn't happen, and it cooled really quickly too (like 200 degrees in the first ten minutes.)

We had some blow ups and cracks too.  Hamish's pots weren't properly bisqued and so had some carbon material in them, plus I put an unbisqued cone pack in which simply exploded everywhere - that was most of the mess.

Still it was fun.  I think next time, we could blow some ash in to the chamber.  I would be more inclined towards putting in glazes that will take the ash, rather than bare clay.  Toasting is all very good and well, but it really needs more time in the fire, I think.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Fun on a Sunday morning.

Well, a chap I met on facebook - Hamish - decided he wanted to fire some pots.  I'd kind of assumed, when he said it, that there were earthenware, but they were actually stoneware.  So we built a little up and over kiln - a small box on two levels; fire box underneath and packing space at the top, chimney above the stoke hole.

I had no idea what to expect, but in fact we seem to have exceed cone 10!  It went like a rocket, up to 1280 in three hours, then two hours or so at temperature, with lots of reduction.  Have no idea what the pots are going to be like, but it was a lot of fun for a Sunday morning.

Here's a few photos taken during the firing, too.

Friday, 22 February 2013

New pots, new workshop, nothing else new.

 So it has been some time since I last posted here.  I have been pretty lazy over the last few months, but not entirely.  I have cleared some of the area of the garden, and started working out the floor of the barn - half of it to become a concrete pad.  But, some of my plans have changed a bit.  Making some money seems like the first goal to head towards.

On that thought, I have sorted out my workshop - got rid of the large bookshelf, turfed out a load of stuff, and fitted a swish new wedging bench.  The next step is to build a small kiln - probably just a small catenary arch to tide me over.  I still don't have a wood supply, though.

I have also made and fired some pots with Matt - a few pictures below.  Most of the pots were unglazed, and in fact, many were fired raw.  This resulted in a lot of bloating in the clay body, which was a bit of a surprise, but some of the bloats aren't too intrusive I don't think.  There are some nice pots.  It was a 42 hour fire or there abouts.

Well, hopefully the next post won't be two months away.