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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Smoke Firing

As our last pottery class, we decided to go out with a bang. Jessica had saved out the tiles the kids had made earlier in order to smoke fire them. They had the chance to do a low-fire glaze as well, but only Brody (and I!) took advantage of that with a couple of our pieces. The idea with smoke firing is that the low heat, smoldering fire creates great black, grey, white, and even brown patterns on the ceramics.
So we loaded the kiln, aka trash can with multitudes of holes punched in it, with sawdust and newspaper with layers of ceramics in between. We started with a layer of sawdust and then put some tiles in, and then just kept layering as we filled up the kiln.
Then we lit it.
Perhaps I shouldn't post this picture of the kids getting their eyebrows singed off, but just look how they crowded in after we had them step back...mesmerized. Must. Get. Closer. To. Open. Flames.
And then, as soon as we covered it...look what happened. Nothing to see here. Let's step WAY BACK from the covered trashcan that poses no potential risk. And then, it went out about twenty times and Jessica had to come over all day to relight it. BUT the pieces came out GREAT. Check back in to see how they came out.

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