David Hooker on fri 8 nov 96
Sounds like saggar firing might be what you're looking for. I've
done this a couple of different ways with good results.
If your kiln has fiber or softbrick face, wood chips added directly to the
kiln may not be the best idea. After a while, you'd probably get some
corrosion. But, if you build saggar boxes to fire the ware in- a kiln
inside a kiln- then you lessen the possibility of damage considerably.
I've made saggars from slabs of clay (just a box form with a lid)- and I've
made large saggars using extra brick- just building a brick box in the kiln
and covering it with kiln shelves. Building boxes from clay has the added
advantage that sometimes the boxes are more interesting than the pieces
(well, I call that an advantage), but you have to remake them every so
often cause they crack up. Anyway, just put the work in the boxes, and fill
with your favorite combastables- wood chips, sawdust, pineneedles, compost,
table scraps...whatever. adjusting what/how much stuff you use gives you
different results. I had good success using this method of firing in
conjunction with sprayed on oxide washes consisting of 1 part oxide/stain
to 3 parts gerstley borate and firing to cone 4-6.
Hope this helps. KEEP EXPERIMENTING!!!!
David JP Hooker