Well, I didn't get around to the re-firing on Thursday but managed it on Friday. I packed two small boxes with rolled newspaper, sawdust, salted banksia pods, Jacaranda pods and other seed pods (can't remember the plant's name), old rusty nails and rusted flakes from the steel shelf inside the fire and oyster shells, and filled the home fire as tightly as possible with additional rolled newspaper on the bottom and some eucalyptus leaves and twigs around the boxes.
Eventually I got it burning and it went REALLY well. I lit it around 12noon and took the pots out around midnight. I managed to get some great colour. In particular, a wonderful green which I think came from the brass bell filings. It was a worthwhile exercise and one I will do again, expecially in Spring when it's raining and cool - saves having an open fire that requires supervision outside.
Have a look at the results below. The last pot has been fired 3 times. I'm now happy with the outcome.
Some friends & I managed a paper box firing on Saturday 19 November. We were very lucky with the weather - no total fire ban. For safety we did the firing at the Central Coast Potters' Society. We placed the boxes inside the pit kiln and covered it overnight.
There was some success but not as much colour or intense black as last time. It's all a learning process & I was happy just to be doing it. We experimented a little with different materials in different boxes - we fired 7 boxes in total. Some of the materials included orange peel, seaweed, salt, powder from a ground-back brass bell, salt soaked string and banksia pods, local oyster shells, eucalyptus sticks & leaves, sea grass, sawdust, banana peel and cobalt.
There were some unremarkable results with a few exceptions - see photos below. The cobalt solution had little effect unfortunately. The one pot I dabbed it on showed a slight tinge of blue.
The seaweed gave some light browns but nothing dramatic. Some of my pots took on colour from the brass powder which was great.
Tip for next time - stack the boxes in a smaller space to increase the heat and burning time and allowing more burning time before covering.
Today I'm going to re-fire some of the pots in a box inside the enclosed fire that heats the house. The weather is still cold and rainy, so it'll be good to get a bit of warmth into the house, as well as do a firing. Hopefully the results will be more interesting.
Yesterday I had the great fortune of being introduced by a friend to a new shop in Surry Hills - smallspaces. Sarah O'Neill's relatively small shop has a beautiful collection of simple, elegant & very special pieces.
Some of the wonderful things that caught my eye include washable, reusable paper bags, some stunning, large handcrafted ceramic pieces & soft stools made from old Kanthas.
I was lucky enough to have some textile items with me & she purchased a couple of eucalyptus & metal dyed fabric runners.
For some special gifts or personal purchases, check out smallspaces at 674 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, just down from Cleveland Street. You can contact Sarah on +61 2 8399 3144. Her website is in development. Happy shopping & let your friends know!
Kylie Rose McLean
I love creating, turning my ideas into reality, being challenged, and immersed in realising an idea. In these moments I am absorbed, inspired and wrapped in my own world. It's wonderful!