lauren on thu 23 jan 03
i am a high school student
currently enrolled in an studio art class
where i am working on a concentration based on smoke finishes
i have done one garbage can firing-
containg only one piece-
and i was curious as to how i can load more pieces
without causing damage to any of them
i also was trying to figure out where this method origionated
and which art movements relate to it
so if anyone can help me with this
i would be very grateful
oh, i also want to attempt a pit firing when it gets warmer-
so advice or links would be wonderful so i can put them to use in the spring
and where can i buy copper carbonate?
Lily Krakowski on fri 24 jan 03
Dear Lauren! First let me hug you! I fell in love with clay at 14 and it
has been a lifelong, focal love. So you is doing good! Although I expect
you are older than 14.
Be that as it may: There is a wonderful book--which I have but cannot
locate right now-- I think by someone called Perryman (you DID know, didn't
you, that Perry is "cider" made from pears?) called Smoke Firing or
somesuch. If you contact The Potters Shop --phone 781/449/9098 or
PottersSHop@aol.com I expect they have it. GET IT NOW.
The reason I say GET IT NOW is that there are may ways of smoke firing. Many
unsafe. GARBAGE CANS ARE NOT GOOD. I know two potters who fired in
galvanized metal garbage cans and got metal fume lung damage, or poisoning
or something. Any welder can tell you vile fumes of somekind rise from
galvanized metal. Smoke and pit firing is fun fun fun but it is not
necessarily safe fun. You are a young person and you have decades of
breathing ahead of you, so you want to do EVERYTHING to protect your lungs
now so you can live to be a crabby old lady, like yours truly!AND IF YOU ARE
SERIOUS ABOUT CLAY NEVER SMOKE--NO MATTER WHAT OR WHY.
Ok. History. Probably, Occam's razor, and all that, it was discovered
accidentally. After all the Ancients used to fire in pits and even now many
indigenous people layer dung and pots and scraps of wood and set the whole
thing on fire----There are books, you know. Get your English and your
history teachers to agree to let you write ONE joint term paper on the
history of early firing. Bet half the list here will help you....
Copper carbonate is available from any good pottery supply house. Get your
little self to the Public Library look in any of the clay magazines and find
a supplier near you. A little goes a long way, so buy a small amount.
And while you are at the library read the clay magazines and learn as much
as you can....
Take care (I mean that literally)
> hello all-
> i am a high school student
> currently enrolled in an studio art class
> where i am working on a concentration based on smoke finishes
> i have done one garbage can firing-
> containg only one piece-
> and i was curious as to how i can load more pieces
> without causing damage to any of them
> i also was trying to figure out where this method origionated
> and which art movements relate to it
> so if anyone can help me with this
> i would be very grateful
> oh, i also want to attempt a pit firing when it gets warmer-
> so advice or links would be wonderful so i can put them to use in the spring
> and where can i buy copper carbonate?
> Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at email@example.com.
P.O. Box #1
(315) 942-5916/ 397-2389
Be of good courage....
Marcia Selsor on fri 24 jan 03
I can't say where the garbage can process originated.
I have used refrigerator shelves in a coffin kiln and smoked 28 large
pieces over 3 days. You could stack the can with BBQ shelves that fit
and stack that way OR just stack not-so-fragile pieces.I use a
combination od sawdust, wood (very thin scrap from saw mills ir cabinet
shops), and newspaper. Additives such a copper carb. or copper sulfate,
or other sulfates work well but are not user friendly. Use precautions.
Pit firing is an ancient technique..meaning pre development of the kiln.
The pit is thought to be an advanced technique of the bonfire method.
Hotter temps can be achieved in a pit.
Copper Carbonate can be purchase through any mail order suppliers which
are listed in most pottery magazines.
Just find one in/near your area.
Tuscany in 2003
J. B. Clauson on fri 24 jan 03
I've only done this once and my partner set it up. What she did was layer
the sawdust around the pots and then light the bottom layer of sawdust. We
had 6 or 7 small pots in a 30 gallon galvanized garbage can. Punched holes
in the side to feed the sawdust fire. Larger holes near the bottom to
facilitate lighting it off. I don't know if she put any other combustible
in the bottom (like newspaper) to get it started. It smoked for 2 days and
the pots were wonderful.
Copper carbonate can be purchased at just about any pottery/ceramic supply
house. Here in San Jose, CA I use Claymaker; web address is
http://www.claymaker.com/. There are also any number of suppliers on line
that may be closer to you.
Vicki Hardin on sat 25 jan 03
In Marcia Selsor's post she indicated that hotter temperatures can be
achieved in a pit and gave some excellent suggestions for getting color. In
my experience with both a garbage can and a pit, I have to say that I have
definitely had better results with the pit and feel that I was not able to
get the heat needed to cause the materials I was using to fume in a garbage
can. Right now I am using a pit built of cinder blocks that is six by nine
feet, but it does not need to be that big. You could do with one 1/3 that
size. One other mistake that I made was choking the fire with too much saw
dust. At the present time, I lay a bed of sawdust about 6 inches deep on the
bottom of the pit sprinkled with water softening salt, copper carbonate, blue
stone (root killer you can get at Wal-Mart) The pots are sprayed with ferric
choride that I get from Radio Shack (the sales people refer to it as echant
and it is used to clean motherboards. I've never told them what I am really
doing with it). After the pots go in over the bed of sawdust, I built a huge
fire around them and burn it, stoking it for about an hour at least. Good