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weber firing

updated thu 13 aug 98


Barbara G. Mann on wed 12 aug 98

To the person (amazing how I can lose these little specks of info in an
instant and not know how) who was asking if you can really DO IT in a
I've done pseudo pit firing in my charcoal --not gas-- Weber. The legs
finally fell
off and now I prop it up on the empty trash can I use for Raku
reduction. I wouldn't do this without my handy electric kiln, though: I

bisque pieces to ^06 first, so this is not a true pit firing. I usually
plan my firings to coincide with dinner. When the chicken is done and
eaten, I go back outside and throw
sticks I've picked up from the yard into the Weber. Then I put in my
pots. Take the Raku tongs and reposition them for the effect I want.
Usually, I want to carbonize them first in a smoky part of the flame
then put them in a hot spot with coals to burn the carbon away for some
wispy smoking with white spots. I think a real pit firing would last too
long for the Weber. I've taught this Weber-thing in workshops to
teachers, but if I'm doing a long day firing in an Artist-in-Residence
program at a school, I'll have the kids dig a pit. I know this isn't
the "real thing," but it gives some nice surface effects, and is a great
teaching tool to get across the point that heating the clay makes it
hard...especially when kids are used to handbuilding the wet clay then
getting it back in its hard (bisqued) form because it sat in some
mysterious oven-thing in the storage room.
Barbara Mann