Kurt Wild on mon 5 nov 01
Since I have been off Clayart for a few days what I have to offer at this
point may be redundant but I'm going to offer it anyway.
Before offering my thought I would like to say that Snail Scott's comments
of Nov. 3rd were excellent. I have added, in italics my comments to what,
in part he said...."Used burnished pots, pre-heated on top of the stove.
(Burnished the clay; no terra sig.) Did a Mata Ortiz-style firing by
putting the pot on a stilt (in the stove) spreading rabbit poop (sawdust)
around, and covering it with a coffee can. A good seal is required for
blackware and can be achieve by doing the above on a bed of ashes and
squiggling the can down into the ashes to provide a seal. (The Mata Ortiz
folks use cow pies, (and cotton wood bark) .....,.but
. Since the can was inside the stove, I didn't put any poop banked up
around the can. I got some great solid-
black pots - ....."
If the stove is not dampered down and burns somewhat clear you might be
able to get more oxidized pots. Get a nursery flower pot (not one made
with acrylic but a real clay pot with a hole in the bottom). Invert that
pot over your pots to be fired/. Your piece should be on stilts or pieces
of old kiln shelf and then prop the flower pot up about a half inch so
there is an opportunity for air to get under the flower pot.
If you don't want to do the preheating as Snail Scott suggests, start the
fire away from the can as far as you can and feed the fire little by little
keeping it low for about 45 minutes and then stoke it up! The same
technique can be used outside in a bonfire situation (summer camps, etc.).
Another technique first published some years ago in Ceramics Monthly dealt
with primitive style firing in a barbecue grill. See "Barbecue and
Fireplace Firing", Poupeney, June 1977, pg. 59.
As I remember the article it dealt with a firing that mimicked doing baked
potatoes, only with pots and sawdust wrapped in aluminum foil in a barbecue