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saggar use in >10 wood firing

updated tue 23 feb 99


Sue&Jon on mon 22 feb 99

Hello, all!

I will be doing a wood firing along with two other women (Hi Tara!) in a
catenary arch kiln this coming weekend. We have several large hollow sculptures
that we are considering using as saggars. Of course they wouldn't be airtight
since they are bottomless; but we will either wad them with a solid ring of
wadding or else use some kind of wax resist (with alumina perhaps?) so they can
sit solidly on the shelves. One of them's an open-topped birdbath base; I'll
cap that with a plate.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to what materials we could put inside the
saggars with the small porcelain & stoneware pieces? Because of what I've
learned by reading the archives (pit firing section seemed a bit relevent) and
following the discussion about saggar-firing in a garbage can at 1850 degrees,
I'm considering trying copper wire, steel wool, barbed wire, sawdust, coffee
grounds, copper carbonate, copper sulfate, shiny colored paper, sea salt,
seaweed (if it can be found in Minnesota) and/or rice straw (again, IF).

I'm wondering, though, since I've always heard these materials mentioned for use
at much lower temperatures, whether they would still be colorful and
interesting, or whether they'd totally "burn out" at cone 10-11. Any advice?

Thanks very much in advance.

Sue Christensen, a potter and student in Minneapolis where it's cold but the sun
is shining brightly, polishing the crusty surface of our remaining snow to a
high gloss. (Fabulous wood-hauling weather, really!)

Sue Christensen and/or Jon Simpson
Nameless Wildness
Minneapolis, Minnesota