You may recall from a previous post the dilemma I'm having in my micaceous clay class. We were scheduled to have our big pit- fire this weekend, but due to our very dry weather, the fire hazard for an open outdoor firing is too high so it is postponed until??? While once the pieces are bisqued they are ready use, it is the pit fire that gives them the traditional smoke cloud. I talked to my instructor about doing a few pieces in my little fireplace at home, & he thought it could possibly work- so I gave it a shot.
There's a bowl & a pot burning away in that pile of wood, & you can see the mug under the grate.
Interesting results, but I don't think I'd do it this way again. The mug didn't get hot enough to achieve a smoke cloud, but rather an all over smokey look.
My bean pot... hmmmm, it turned out ok, but the backside got a little too smoky in my opinion.
My last piece~ a large salad bowl, I thought turned out rather nice.
But alas, the salad bowl was not meant to be. I carried it to school today in a bag full of potluck goodies, which I knocked against my car while grabbing another armful of things... and, well, you guessed it, knocked a chunk of the top! :( Dang it!! And yes, I do admit I did utter a few choice words just a little stronger than that! But to me, working with clay is always a lesson in non- attachment. Things break, can blow in the kiln, or you can ruin an otherwise awesome piece by choosing the wrong glaze, (or trying to do a pit fire in your fireplace.) But it's hard not to be attached to the micaceous pieces, because they are so labor intensive. While I am getting a litter faster, each pot can take me at least 5 hours from start to finish! Our last class is friday and I'm still not sure exactly what I'll do about the real pit fire, but I do have some ideas percolating. We did do a Raku firing of a few pieces last week, which I thought turned out pretty cool... I'll share the results soon!