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woodfiring/ ash glazes/ koie cooker 2nd ed.

updated thu 21 oct 04


Gary Navarre on wed 20 oct 04

Hay Crew,
A while ago a gal wrote about making her first ash glaze and some early
results. Sorry I can't find the post but I wanted to again share the
Ryoji Koye Traditional Japanese ash cooker album, this time edited and
in Fotki. For a more detailed description on its use look in the
archives of a couple months ago under "Koie Ash Cooker". And as planed
then, I am now into the yearly evergreen brushing season here in da U.P.
of Michigan. My plan is the same as with the Cedar I processed during
the summer. It's a good thing I called Teal's to see what he is buying.
They need Balsam 24"-36" and pay the same $300/ton as another buyer who
wants it 18"-24". For the past week or so I was able to use the
snippers, lopping shears, a 24" Oregon hand saw, and my really cool
Fiskar pole pruner to go as high as +/- 50 ft. on some trees, well only
two, and the second I did strap myself in with my Fathers 3 ft. WWII
canvas trunk belt. I needed to do that so I could use my pole pruner up
in the top part of the tree. It also came in handy as a hump strap to
haul the limbs to my bundling spot. That belt hasn't been touched much
since the Battle of the Bulge and as I hoisted the mass of limbs over my
shoulder and started to drag them I realized my Father might have done
just that to drag enough cover brush together with his bubbys to keep
from freezing and hide. Oh, well, must have been one of those "Moon in
Pisces" things that happens sometimes.
So far I got about 500 lb. of brush for Teal and about 100 of scrap
generated when I made a test run of the Christmas wreath making machine
I put together last week. I made about a dozen wreaths and bundled the
scrap of sticks and leaf to be snipped into the Koie cooker for Balsam
ash. I'll also branch out into White Pine in a bit. The neat thing about
the cooker is one can process a sizeable quantity of one plant. For
example up here tansy grows profusely in some spots. I don't know yet
how much ash 500 lb would make but I could find out and then might have
a different glaze color. So that's part of the story, here are the
I hope this effort helps some of ya'll make those local ash glazes we
will come to admire for their uniqueness and beauty. Later, stay in

G. in Da U.P.
Navarre Pottery
Norway, Michigan, USA

"You can tell you'er whoreing your work when the only way you can talk
to the customer is through the passanger window of their limo."