It is a tradition amonst artists to always be late, in a flux and panicking. So here I am, with five Christmas shows to get off the ground, listening to music, updating my blog; a nice bottle of wine beside me on the desk..
Truth to say there isn’t a lot else I can do until the kiln is cool enough to empty and reload which should occur around 2 am this morning…So, cheers, folk.
Smoke firing yesterday. The rain was horizontal and I swear I had sawdust in every orifice. The newspaper got damp before I had time to light it…But once lit the gale made sure the dustbins were red hot and this morning I dug out the birds from the remaining ashes…
And here they are, the latest flock of Fat Birds. I have just washed them and placed them on top of my kiln to dry.
Apart from the comb and eyes the Fat Birds are unglazed. I daub them with copper, manganese or iron oxide before putting them in the smoke chamber, and the heat does the rest…
With smoke firing you never know what end result you are going to get.
There are so many variables. For example, saw dust burns a lot slower than wood shavings. It matters what size holes you have drilled in the side of your smoke chamber ( in my case, dustbin).
was glazed with the same glaze and oxides as this one…
and this one. The one difference is the amount of soot I added to the saw dust and the way I packed the wood shavings and saw dust around the torso. I have found that copper oxide will turn bright red under very strong reduction so I try to starve the atmosphere inside the smoke chambers of oxygen. To learn more about smoke firing, and get a chance to experiment and play, you are welcome to join my ceramic and smokefiring workshops in Hastings.
Please scroll down the page to see more posts on smoke firing, body casting and other ceramic techniques.
I spent the weekend smoke firing, or barrelling my ceramic torsos.
This is a bisque fired and glazed torso.
Which I placed in a galvanized dustbin and covered with dry leaves, straw and sawdust. You can see some of my dead headed hydrangeas in there, too!
Then comes the fun bit!
And the next morning the bins are cool enough to open…
Two very differnt creatures emerge…
And this is one of the torsos, cleaned up and ready to go. I am still shocked by its transformation.
If you like to join a smoke firing workshop, please contact me via my website www.annakeiller.co.uk. or email me.
To see earlier posts on life casting and clay workshops please scroll down the page.