Veena Raghavan on fri 3 feb 06
Dear clay friends,
I wonder if anyone has tried using ash from nutshells in glazes or on glazes
in reduction. I have been given a bag of pecan shells and wanted to
expirement, but would appreciate some input. Firstly, I wonder if anyone can help me
with how to make ash from the shells, without a big fire. I have a small
"trashed" barbecue that I got at an estate sale, and I wonder if I could make the ash
in this. But how do I get the shells to burn to ash without adulterating it
all with kindling of some kind.
Any advice on how to create the ash and whether it is all worth the effort,
would be much appreciated. I do not have a fireplace or a woodstove, so these
are not options.
Thank you in advance.
Patrick Cross on fri 3 feb 06
I had an idea (untried)...but I think it would work...sort of like using a
saggar in a kiln (which would also work.) Anyway, do you know what a Dutch
oven is? Basically it's just a heavy cast iron pot with a lid. You could
put your shells in something like that, put the lid on and build the fire
around and over that. Actually I think since you've got a grille I would
just use a lot of charcoal. This would completely separate the desired ash
from the fuel you use to make it. I don't know if using the cast iron woul=
effect the end chemical composition or not. It might take more than one
cycle of charcoal to completely burn the shells. The first go might just
turn the shells into charcoal and not ash.
Lots of Luck,
Patrick Cross (cone10soda)
On 2/2/06, Veena Raghavan wrote:
> Dear clay friends,
> I wonder if anyone has tried using ash from nutshells in glazes or on
> in reduction. I have been given a bag of pecan shells and wanted to
> expirement, but would appreciate some input. Firstly, I wonder if anyone
> can help me
> with how to make ash from the shells, without a big fire. I have a small
> "trashed" barbecue that I got at an estate sale, and I wonder if I could
> make the ash
> in this. But how do I get the shells to burn to ash without adulterating
> all with kindling of some kind.
> Any advice on how to create the ash and whether it is all worth the
> would be much appreciated. I do not have a fireplace or a woodstove, so
> are not options.
> Thank you in advance.
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Steve Irvine on sat 4 feb 06
One thing to consider as to whether it's worth the effort is how much ash you'll have at the end of
the burning. How big is the bag of nutshells? At best, 100 lb. of wood will give about 1 lb. of ash
to work with. This would be enough to run a couple of tests, and then maybe make up 1000 gm of
glaze with some alberta clay and neph sy. (try a third each as a starting point.) Some grasses will
yield 3 or 4 percent of their weight in ash.
In Phil Rogers' book, Ash Glazes, he suggests half a tonne of combustible material to start with to
produce enough ash to test, and then make enough glaze to make the effort worthwhile.
If your supply of nutshells is small, it still might be fun to run some tests on them just to see what
you get. If you can round up some old bricks you might be able to make a sort of kiln/barbeque
structure on a concrete slab where you could burn the shells. Try getting the burning underway
with a handheld propane torch if you don't want any kindling contaminating the ash.
Hope this helps.
On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 00:01:14 EST, Veena Raghavan wrote:
>I wonder if anyone has tried using ash from nutshells in glazes or on glazes
>in reduction. I have been given a bag of pecan shells and wanted to
>expirement, but would appreciate some input....
>Any advice on how to create the ash and whether it is all worth the effort,
>would be much appreciated.
Gary Navarre on sat 4 feb 06
Hi Veena, Crew,
To make it worth doing I would suggest a minimum of a gunny sack of
material to turn into ash. You would be supprised to see how much organic
matter it takes to make a few gallons of ash even when I use the Koie Cooker
taught to me by Ryoji Koie in a workshop at Western Michigan University,
Kalamazoo, Michigan many years ago. I now have some gallon milk jugs with
Balsam, Red Pine, Fern, and Maple twig/leaf ash for experimentation in the
woodfired kiln being built behind my cabin. Here are some links to show you
the basic idea.
And if one chooses to wash,
I would think something even smaller could be built for the quantity of
shell it seems you have but the idea is to save as much ash as possible.
Good luck and stay in there!
G in da U.P.