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fire, real fire

updated fri 31 jan 97


mel jacobson on tue 7 jan 97

Potters are fire people...that is what we do,
if you do not like fire why do you make pots?

Learning to control fire, the use of fuels, combustion,
that is what we strive for. The great pots of history came
from fire...not controlled electronics.. It is important to
on occasion to go back to our feel the fire
on your face, smell the smoke, split the helps
you remember what it was like the last time...a thousand years

Find a place, dig a hole. put in your pots and build a small
fire around them...stoke the fire and watch the color, keep it going
for hours and then let it die... clay, fire, potter...that is what we are

We do not minimize those of you in cities, in apartments, firing
with electric kilns, but some days go outside, build a fire and
feel the joy.

A friend in a letter the other day said she smelled of raku, all
smoke and fire.. We all know that smell, that feeling ,and it brings
a smile. It is our history.

So when the spring comes and the ice and snow are gone, I
will go to the farm, load the wood kiln, and have a firing
for all of you that cannot. And I will tell you about it.

Mel Jacobson/ Minnesota

Tom Gray on wed 8 jan 97

I second Mel's letter. Some potters make pots so they can paint on them.
Some potters make pots just to make pots. I make pots just so I can light
my burners!
Tom Gray
Seagrove, NC

At 10:53 AM 1/7/97 EST, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>Potters are fire people...that is what we do,
>if you do not like fire why do you make pots?
>Mel Jacobson/ Minnesota

Les Lowe on sun 12 jan 97

Hi everyone,

> If
>>anybody has any suggestions on how to properly do a wood-fired pit-firing I
>>would really appreciate it.
>>Kevin P. O'Hara

>I've been doing pit firing for a few years now, and it is such a joy. I
>have had many, many failures with it, but when it works, the good stuff is
>SO good, that it keeps you going through the bad times.

>I dump in sawdust. Load in the pots, nesltling them into the sawdust. I've
>fired stoneware, red and white earthenware and raku clay, and porcelain.

I have been reading this subject with complete fascination. I too have
always wanted to try this ever since I heard about it, but wasn't sure how
to go about it. Now I can hardly wait for spring, warm weather ??? etc. so
I can go for it. I still have one question - how do you know what the
temperature is? Do you use cones or just leave it burning as long as
possible and guess or does this just come with experience?

New and learning,