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fun with pitfire (long)

updated fri 13 nov 98


the cat lady on thu 12 nov 98

I've been playing around a bit lately with an above ground pit.
My hubby dug a 6 inch base, back filled with 4 inches gravel, 2
inches sand, and lay some patio paving stones on top.

Over this I've built a small rectangular kiln(?) about 2.5 feet
high. I'm using 2 kiln shelves for a roof. Primitive? You bet -
but you should see my results.

I'm using my regular ^10 body (buff coloured) that I have finished
quite smoothly with a rubber rib (on the wheel head - I'm way too
lazy to burnish). I bisque to 06; then I rub each piece with Copper
Carbonate and wrap with packing paper sprinkled with layers of salt
(coarse) and additional copper. I then wrap that package with many
layers of highly coloured shiny paper (old magazines and junk mail
provide this) and place it on top of some firewood at the bottom of
the kiln. The pieces are tumble stacked.

I leave about a 4-6" space between the kiln shelves and load the
remaining space in the kiln with junk mail and junk cardboard.
After lighting, I keep adding paper and cardboard until the
kiln is too hot to approach. I then close the shelves til only
about an inch is open, and leave til the following morning. I have
a couple of mouse holes around the sides near the bottom to help
with air flow.

After thorough scrubbing, I paint artist medium (usually matt finish)
to help with future dusting.

I'm getting some fabulous reduction reds, mauves, greens (of course)
tans, and black/grey/white swirling where the piece meets the logs.

Picture available upon request. I scanned one of my pots tonight to
show off :))))

sam - alias the cat lady
Melbourne, Ontario

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.
Cats have never forgotten this."