morgaina: (pit firing)
[personal profile] morgaina
I smell like burnt chicken feathers.
This is because I got close enough to put a lot of horsehair on hot saggar pots before they cooled.

The black strips are dried banana strips the blue stuff is Miracle
Gro (ammonium phosphate). The two amphorae are mine, one with red terra sigilatta the other with white terra sig. The other pot was made by another guild member.

The firing in progress.

*sigh* the broken amphora had about the prettiest surface color I have seen in a saggar pot. My vase next to it would probably have been OK, but we took it out of the saggar firing with raku tongs and scarred the surface, so it gets the hammer too. *sigh*

The little black squiggly marks on this amphora are where I leaned in there and put horsehair on it. It was very hot as can be judged by the glowing coals. I thought this was going to be my best pot, but there is a hairline crack across the middle of this one. So another failure learning experience.

We had to leave before the rest of the pots cooled enough to be removed from the barrel, but I have great hopes for one and think another will be OK.
It was exciting anyway and am thinking of doing a saggar firing here at the house and am going to try the amphora shapes in it again.

Date: 2009-03-02 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm trying to understand why the cracks and breaks? :( Sorry that it happened. They look really cool.

Date: 2009-03-02 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thermal shock on the amphorae. The differences in temperature was pretty extreme as you can see the snow in the background, plus it was pouring rain.

The vase was scarred because we removed it from the barrel with raku tongs and the surface was so delicate because of the terra sig, the burnishing, and the low fired temperature.

Date: 2009-03-02 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice surfaces!
I have never met anyone who id dthe hourse har bit, tho I have seen the results before. You got good ones!
I especally am found o fthe amphoras shape.

Date: 2009-03-02 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked the surfaces on the broken pots best, there were a couple of really attractive color blushes :-/
One of my friends does a lot of horsehair raku & saggar; so she led the way with the horsehair techniques.

Date: 2009-03-02 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isnt tha t the way it goes? The best surfaces on the brokne pieces.
Perhaps something could be created with these pieces?
I wish I had head of the horse hair technique was I wa san undergrad!
The most inovative thing we did was squirt motor oil on ti a pot freshh from the kiln befor immersing in sawdust..tho I wa sfun ussign the musterd squirters such!

Date: 2009-03-02 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One of my guild mates says that she gets more from a 2 week workshop than she did in 4 years of art school.
It's hard to keep up with the inovations people are coming up with. Sometimes they are fun but I think this has mixed results too, at times people seem to be more concerned with inovation and doing something different than with improving their skills. In particular I think getting their pots on the cover of the Rolling Stone er Ceramics Monthly. You have to do some strange technique. February's Issue with the woman who put feldspar inclusions in her clay body???? Why oh why?

Hey, I'm off on a tangent, sorry

Date: 2009-03-02 05:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thats no problem at all. I understand...
Tangents ar emost welcome!
ADn yes, you are right.
It sounds like the woman with the feldspar inclusions is trying to reproduce teh work of the Japanese Tamba potters. maybe..
Personally, I really like Tamba has a feel to it I truly like, but tha t is me. 8-) I freedom and vitality,,a "clayness" as such.
BUT that may not be her intentions. I dont subscripe to CM (used to long ago, but not now)

Date: 2009-03-02 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The work itself was thrown and/or handbuilt very precisely, not wabi sabi style, and there were flowers carefully painted on the pots. Not Tamba shapes or glaze aplication.

Date: 2009-03-02 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Coupled with that, I dont see a reason, either.
It seems contradictory, and jus tno help.
Beats me then.

Date: 2009-03-03 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am being too judgemental, but the woman's shapes and glazes seemed to cry out for a nice porcelain.

Date: 2009-03-03 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can understand that...and it sounds like it.
Its a strange world!

Date: 2009-03-03 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why is it called a saggar firing? Is it because you change the atmosphere with the burning stuff and put a lid on it like when you put an item in a saggar in a kiln?

Date: 2009-03-03 02:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The barrel itself becomes a saggar. Some of the pots are covered with various chemicals, etc. then wrapped in heavy aluminum foil which also is a saggar. Sometimes the whole thing is placed in a regular kiln and fired. We did a aluminum foil saggar firing with a friend in her electric kiln and it ate away the elements, so we're not about to try that a second time.
Although the use of saggars is ancient, in the past they were to protect the pots from the flame, in this modern application the saggars serve to keep the chemical & stuffs directly on the pots.
Edited Date: 2009-03-03 02:13 pm (UTC)

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