Welcome to my blog. I will attempt to make it much more than just a pitiful list of the relentlessly mundane minutiae of my daily existence but if you feel that I have failed try to imagine all the stuff that I haven't posted.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A quick one before he's away

Back from Australia and I was full of ideas of what I wanted to do next. Not in terms of long heavily reduced firings, but developing where I am going with the forms that I am making and doing a short stoneware firing, packing the kiln  more in relation to temperature variation and seeing what I could achieve. Within a few weeks I had enough pieces made from a variety of bodies I mixed up, some of which are difficult to work with and very prone to cracking.
This being a good example - a body based on Dartmoor kaolin that is lacking in plasticity and has a very high fired shrinkage.
The firing started at 7am and went on till 2.30am (19.5 hours). being a small kiln the transition from firing from the front to inside the firebox is rather tricky and stressful, however after that it was the smoothest firing I have done in the small kiln. This was certainly helped by the stack of cut to length branches that enabled me to fire it like a true Bourry Box.
There is a relatively large temperature gradient within the smallish chamber, but careful packing resulted in a much much better firing, with good pieces throughout the pack.

This was right up the front, partly buried in the ash + has some stunning colour variations on it.
This was further back and fired on its side, but still has dramatic ash interaction with the Malvern Hills rock glaze.