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pit fire suggestions...

updated mon 1 may 06


Vicki Hardin on sun 30 apr 06

Lori Doty wrote<
I would have had the barrel fired up yesterday after I loaded it Friday
evening but it rained all night Friday and most of the day Saturday.
Tried to get a fire or even a slight smoldering going this morning with some
charcoal and a propane torch, no go. Will have to wait for it all to dry up
and try again in a week or so.>

Lori, one of the best things you can do to encourage good color on your work
is to fire hot. I am to the point that I use sawdust to just line the bed
in the pit now. Using a lot of sawdust chokes the fire down extensively. I
really consider that I must be bonfiring rather than pit firing. I stoke the
pit for about two hours and let it cool over night. I would also encourage
the use of saggars, particularly aluminum ones. Best of luck.

Vicki Hardin

Gary Navarre on sun 30 apr 06

Hay Vicki, Crew,

I hadn't considered pit firing even though a few suggested I make one while
waiting to build the kiln. But ya know, I need to make a hot fire to burn
off the creisote on the bricks in the Koie cooker so I can use them in the
Hobagama. Since cleaning out the fire pit that people used here for years I
have a good size hole sorrounded by large stones. Fuel is not a problem and
I could add Tamarack to make it really hot. I also have a lot if empty soup
and coffee cans and had wondered if they would make saggers for some small
items. I did a workshop once where we used ^0/6 clay and added oxides and
bicarbonate soda. Turned out educational to say the least. ( Need to put
those slides on CD and post them. We made a trench kiln.) I have some
unknown clays I could add since I'm not worried about melting as in my big
kiln. Maybe I could kill two birds with one stone. Thanks for the idea and
stay in there!

G in da U.P.