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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Decorating the Rim on an Oval Casserole

Oval casseroles are nice because we can do so much with them.  You can use them for cooking foods like gratins, casseroles, or cobblers.  They also make wonderful serving dishes salads or breads.  As an artist they are fun to make because you can play with the curves and handle placement and other elements of design and decoration.  The funny thing is that I don't make very many of them and when I do I normally only make one at a time rather than multiples like when I'm making something like mugs.  I'm not sure why.

The latest one I made with a little extra clay at the rim which I then split after completing all my pulls and cleaning.  I let it sit for just a few minutes so it was still pretty wet when I pushed the outer rim into the inner rim in spaces all around the rim.

Creating a pinched rim on ceramics by Future Relics Pottery
Pinching with a Rib

You'll notice that the edge of the rib is covered with my chamois.  I do this to make that indentation a little softer.  I find it more ascetically pleasing and I don't get as much cracking.

A decorative rim on a casserole by Lori Buff
The Pinched Rim
I let the ring set up for a few hours then wired it off the bat and stretched it into an oval.  I let that sit overnight under some plastic so it would get dry, but not too dry, just leather hard.

The next day I rolled out a slab and let that dry for a bit, I wanted it to be the same dampness as the clay.  Once they were close enough I cut the slab into an oval using the ring as a guide.  Then I did a lot of slipping and scoring so the ring would attach well to the slab, I also go around the inside seam with a coil.  This adds strength and makes a nice smooth transition.  A little paddling and rolling on the bottom also helps to make a nice, firm attachment.

Hand crafted oval casserole with pretty rim by Future Relics Gallery
Oval Casserole with Decorative Rim
The last step is to attach the handles.  After I put these on I started thinking about how it might look if I attached them to the ends at an offset.  What do you think?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. I saw the last photo and thought "nice handle"--and then got to the last paragraph. So--nice handles!

    1. Thanks Liz, I appreciate the comment.

  2. I like handles with texture, easier to grab securely

  3. The edge looks not only cute, like a flower, but the whole thing = wonderful for use!

    1. Thanks Gary, it does have a flower feel to it.

  4. That's a striking casserole! How will you glaze it?

    1. Hi Suzy, that's always an important question isn't it. I'm not sure if I will spray the ash glazes that I love so well or if I'll wait until this winter and fire it in salt/soda.


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