Talk & tips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been a while since my last blog but I have been busy glazing and firing, I had several orders to make and a local start up restuarant wanted some samples made for a possible order. The lady bought along a wood fired lidded cooking pot that is used in the Phillipines which would have been used over a fire – it was really beautiful but with todays hygene mad society she needed it to be glazed inside but natural outside, almost reproducing the smoked look but in stoneware clay a sort of 21st century inside and 17th century outside. In the end I sprayed the outside with iron which gave it a toasty look with variation.
I have also been busy with some school work, some time ago I started going in to schools, I rarely make pots but mostly do clay modelling anything from a mural to a Roman soldier. This months topics at three schools was Romans, an obolisk depicting nature and a 60th celebration of the school – very diverse; if you want any advice re schools get in touch.
Most potters use some basic technology when firing kilns such as pyrometers and cones but when it comes to reduction fired gas kilns how do you know the whole chamber is reducing. A lot of potters remove a door bung and the flame dramatically shoots out. If you have a large kiln with a lower bung the flame needs to be coming out of the bottom spy at a good pressure, possibly with a tinge of green, the picture above is a loose brick at the base of my chimney which has the effect like a damper. When reducing it is removed and the damper above is adjusted untill I can see a decent amount of flame dancing around in the vent under the bottom shelves it is only when I see this that I know the whole chamber is reducing.
I fire some copper reds and they like it heavy to start so I start reduction at 980c and continue to 1280c – every hour I oxidize for 10 minutes and gradually lighten the reduction.

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One Response to Talk & tips

  1. Diane McNeil says:

    Very useful tip for potters firing with gas. John also checks the colors of the flame shooting out. Seat of the pants + technology= more success. Still it’s a gamble šŸ™‚

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