Happy New Year

January 11, 2010

Happy New Year!  A bit late, yes.  Computer and photography time have been trumped by studio time (YES!!!!!!!!!) – a good thing for my work but not for the blog.

My first post-Christmas project was a second Weber grill firing.  This time I decided to fire with an open grill to allow for oxidation to occur in the process.  The first firing was done entirely with the grill covered which created a reductive atmosphere and a black and grey surface on the clay.  For this second firing I sprinkled in Miracle Gro and rock salt to encourage color variation on the clay.  In addition to the primary fuel of sawdust I added straw and pine tags, and on top of the sawdust mound I piled scrap wood and dead tree branches.  The blaze was lovely on a cold December night.  There was, perhaps, too much blaze, too fast.  The effects on the clay were lovely, but a very high percentage of the pieces came out of the firing broken.  So, more research and experimentation coming up soon!  Here are a couple of samples from the Christmas firing:

Stay tuned for images of new work coming later this week!

2 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. Deborah Says:

    If you shelter those small pieces in a metal container filled with organic matter with in the grill so that they are isolated then you may find that you get less breakage. Also try to work the fire more slowly as the water and then the chemical water must come out before it gets harder and eventually is more like vitrified clay.

    You may also want to play around with the types of clay bodies and putting sawdust or vermiculite in your clay body. It makes it lighter and not as dense.

    Miss seeing you around!


    • sarahkmasters Says:

      Thanks, Deborah. I’m away from clay for now. My sons gave me a kiln that I hope to have up and running when I’m ready for more clay. Who knows what might happen!

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