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pulling without tongs

updated thu 28 mar 02


Kenneth J. Nowicki on wed 27 mar 02

Wow... this sounds EXTREMELY dangerous and foolhardy to me. I am not a
firefighter or expert here in approaching fire or subjecting oneself to very
hot objects... but... seems to me that those WET cotton rags are simply going
to produce hot STEAM once they come in contact with a 4' glowing orange jar
out of a raku kiln... and if you've ever been burned by steam before...
well... you get where I coming from. I've been burned like this before,
though on a much smaller scale while using a damp dishrag to move a hot iron
skillet on the stovetop... learned my lesson quick about using anything damp,
trust me.

Personally, if it were me wanting to post-fire reduce raku pots of that scale
or larger, I'd devise a kiln system where you can reduce right there on the
kiln base without having to move the piece at all. If my memory serves me
correctly, there is a woman who has such a system whereby the body of her
kiln is attached to a long pole and pivots on an axis with leverage moving it
to one kiln base to another - fires pot/sculpture, removes kiln by lifting
and swinging out of the way, on another pivoting leverage pole she places a
reduction container over the top of the just fired kiln base and
pot/sculpture (after adding sufficient combustibles of course) and reduces
right there without ever having to move the work. I believe it is shown in
Branfman's book "Raku: A Practical Approach". Seems like a very slick
solution to the problem to me... check it out.

Happy potting!


Kenneth J. Nowicki
Port Washington, NY

Israel dawson wrote:
> Well Karen one of the local potters here made some big 4' jars and stuff
> raku, and when it came time to pull he got his wife to wrap him in layers
> wet cotton rags till he looked like a mummy and with only his eyes not
> covered wearing welding goggles, he then walked into the kiln and grabbed
> the pots with both arms wrapped around red hot pot and took them out to the
> reduction pit!. He did this several times I'm told. Not for those who
> experience claustrophobia.