Joyce Lee on sun 2 dec 01
When I began pottery over five years ago my sole kiln was electric, =
having been purchased at show prices with the thought that I might =
learn glass fusing. Weeks later I'd discovered the glories of messin' =
with clay and glass was out. At first, having talked casually to only =
ONE person, who was almost as ignorant as I, I bit the bullet, started =
pinchpotting (ugly mounds of clay with holes in the center... ) and =
firing all loads to ^10 .... not understanding that bisque fired pots =
were a different critter than glaze fired pots. Can you believe? Lots =
of surreal work ... still have some of it scattered about the desert =
scrub.... like concrete ..... interesting, however. The part I've just =
told you is not meant to prove what an idiota I was, but to demonstrate =
my initial virgin ignorance of anything related to clay.
I later learned to fire bisque and ^10 oxidation. Found Clayart. Began =
firing ^8 ... then ^6.... all oxidation. I had no bias for or against =
ANY kind of firing. I loved and respected all pottery and was thrilled =
to be part of the Clayart world. And then one lucky day I discovered =
fuel fired reduction work. Memory tells me that it wasn't the work =
itself that was so preferable in my expanding mind, but the process ... =
the difficulty of the actual firing process.... the challenge in getting =
it right ... the sounds and roar of the flame as it inches into the =
higher cones, even in a small gas kiln ... the endless possibilities ... =
woodfiring, oilfiring, saltfiring, sodafiring, all the 'gamas ... the =
thrill of the unexpected ... that first plate where the rims didn't fall =
and the glaze looked NOTHING like it had looked in previous firings =
..... nothing.... I still have it on my coffee table today ... total =
surprise .... grand surprise .... how did that happen??? ...... grabbed =
it, flew to the house on my ancient legs to show to #1 Support Person =
.... wanted to stand on the road and show this wonder to strangers as =
Those feelings have never waned. If I still didn't have sooo much to =
soo many glazes and firing schedules to try ...... or if I needed =
consistency in order to make my living in pottery ... I'd be trying to =
gore the ^6 ox myself. I'm thoroughly intrigued with Ron&John's work .. =
with Alisa's tests ... with the layering in order to get different =
looks (especially the layering) ... but need to contain myself and not =
add this additional challenge to the ones which have ruled my life for =
several years and will undoubtedly continue to do so until the =
That doesn't mean I don't respect ^6 oxidation firings ... I believe I'm =
speaking for others when I say this. Are you kidding?? Have you seen =
Marcia's work?? Valice's? And so many others ... They don't need =
defending! So I shan't attempt to do so .... which would only =
demonstrate once again my OWN ignorance, anyway.
This is simply a statement of how one ^10 reduction fuel firer arrived =
here in the first place.... much to her everlasting amazement and =
gratitude. It's ALL magic, is it not?
In the Mojave where it's raining once more ... cold, too .... gray skies =
... all critters are cuddled up out of sight .. desert looks washed and =
Avril Farley on sun 2 dec 01
'It's ALL magic, is it not?'
Yup! :-) Thanks for the happy smile
Avril in the Forest UK
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Roger Korn on sun 2 dec 01
You've got that right! I recently got some bent-grass straw ash that had been melted to a hard clinker that melts very low - cone 06. Also, a geologist explained to me that red rhyolite pumice (high silica) fuses to become obsidian. I grabbed some gas BBQ rocks (pumice) and turned an acetylene torch on them - beautiful obsidian forms, rapidly devitrifying into browns, greens, and blacks. Tried a line blend at ^6 electric, interesting results. Picked a couple of likely candidates and glazed some ^6 porcelain and fired in reduction in my gas kiln. Great results! And this without going through my usual retired physicist voodoo/analysis paralysis.
Life is grand!
Roger, about to head up to Portland after a couple of months in the Verde Valley of AZ. I'll head back with Kayo (spousal unit) about the 16th.
Joyce Lee wrote:
> ... It's ALL magic, is it not?
> In the Mojave where it's raining once more ... cold, too .... gray skies ... all critters are cuddled up out of sight .. desert looks washed and empty.....
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