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sea shell wads

updated sat 8 nov 97


SUSAN MASTERMAN on mon 3 nov 97

What about using shells under the pots in an atmosphere firing like salt,
soda, wood, etc. in place of wads? Has anyone had any luck with this and
what were the results? Also, what about using shells in the pot somehow so
that when it disintegrates it leaves a fossil like imprint? I'm firing to
^10 and above.



Kenneth D. Westfall on tue 4 nov 97

Sea shells and sharp flint stones were used in salt and wood firing
long before anyone started mix kaolin and alumina for wad clay. The sea
shell can leave a nice formation on the bottom of pot but remember you will
have to scrap off the shells a stone and you maybe left with sharp edges.
Early potters were more concern will the vessel holding there contents,
then a smooth bottom than doesn't scratch table tops.
Kenneth D. Westfall
Pine Hill Pottery
RD#2 Box 6AA
Harrisville, WV 26362


Louis Katz on tue 4 nov 97


1. Fill the shells with clay or wadding

2. Place on shelves

3. Place pots on wads

4. fire.

5. Keep dust from fired wads out of your eyes.


Samantha Parsons and Don Snyder on tue 4 nov 97

I use shells (mussels works well since they're very thin and will break
off to a very sharp edge) to clean green or bisqued pots of unwanted wax
or whatever - they work well, don't leave a black mark like metal
scrapers do, are fun to collect, basically free, and last a long time.
Haven't tried any other use of shells. I'm a beginner and have no
equipment of my own yet. Except I am amassing a huge collection of
neato small tools and interesting and strange oddments for texturing.

I'm very interested in learning all I can and I think clayart is great -
I've learned a lot just lurking and reading the few days I've been
signed on....

Sam(antha) Parsons
In the CA desert where there are 2 seasons; too hot and too windy.

Eric Alan Hansen on fri 7 nov 97

One time I experimented with a Barium-Boron type glaze I worked up in HyperGlaze
and wanted the glaze to cover the whole piece, especially the bottom. So I side
fired it and used seashells for wads, and a layer of beach sand instead of flint
beneath it. Some strange things happened - I wood fired the load - but the one
is now one of my very best, although some faculty members hated it. So the seas
imprints are on the side for a striking effect. And the bottom is smooth which
good on some types of tables, etc.
Eric Hansen, Lawrence, Kansas, cool breeze weather

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