Pit Firing Birthday Celebration

WSP members celebrated Sue Broadhead’s 70th birthday with a pit firing in her garden.  Bisque pots were wrapped in copper wire, tea bags, seaweed, banana skins, leather and salt soaked pants!!

Pots were packed into the large pit amongst sawdust and straw, which was then lit……stand well back or else you will get your eye brows singed (mentioning no names!!)

Patience is needed as the pit will smoulder for a couple of days before the grand opening on Sunday.

All this excitement, followed by a lovely lunch in the garden.

Best wishes Sue, what a great way to spend your big birthday, hope you enjoyed yourself, I think everyone else did.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Newspaper Smoke Firing

Thursday morning class has been making porcelain ‘pebbles’ to smoke fire.  A newspaper kiln was made for the smoking, made of woven newspaper.

It’s exciting to get outside and involved directly with the firing process and immediate results are always a pleasure.  If anyone has pictures of the finished fired pieces, please send them to me so that I can share the results.

Packing the newspaper kiln

Lighting the newspaper kiln. It was placed in the dustbin because the weather was windy.

Waiting for the smoking to take place, about 20 minutes.

Robert eager to see the finished work.....

High Fired Tin Glaze

Ever curious what would happen if a tin glaze was fired at stoneware temperature….well John from Thursday morning class tried it and here is the result.  This is tin glaze over cobalt, manganese and copper oxides.  The glaze bubbles, leaving fantastic craters and texture.  Not everyones taste I’m sure but it’s right up my street and great as a decorative finish.  Always worth experimenting!

The tile in the background shows the result after earthenware firing. (smooth surface and stronger oxide colour)

Thursday Morning Raku

Lots of Raku action at Thursday mornings class today.  As usual, a real mixture of results with the turquoise (?) glaze up to it’s old tricks.  Sue’s lady came out a lovely copper colour and Vicky’s pots were looking like they were going to be a real success. We received a few raised eyebrows from people coming and going from the car park.  “What on earth are they up to”, I’m sure they were thinking…..they may well ask!   We all went home smelling like an old bonfire…job well done!

Should have taken photo’s of the results….try to remember next time.

Jane...poised ready with a saucepan of sawdust, Vicky trying the gloves on for size...and Phillipa....hummm, you look bemused!!.

Sue's lady being carefully lifted from the kiln

Everyone standing well back....

Oooohhh...what awaits inside!