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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…

Collaboration With The Kiln

One of the joys of wood firing is how the kiln decorates our pots. I don't like to use too much glaze on any pots that I'm putting in the anagama kiln because I really enjoy how the decoration from the flame treats the surfaces. It tells a story about what has happened in the kiln. I love that story.

In this most recent firing at Roger Jamison's, I made pots from some porcelain that was given to me. I have rarely used porcelain, I usually work with stoneware clays and they are rather different materials. They feel different when they are thrown, they dry differently, and they look different once they are fired. Porcelain is a beautiful white that can be so thin it's translucent. I can throw thin, but not that thin.

Ceramic Wood Fired Porcelain Vase by Lori Buff
Wood Fired Porcelain

I think I may have thrown some of these pots a little too thin, they moved in the kiln. I can picture them dancing in the heat. After the firing, someone said, "I'm sorry about what happened to your porcelain." The thing is, I find them quite beautiful. I'm reminded that this piece of pottery, that is now rock hard, was very soft and malleable a few times in its life. I feel like these pots have lots of motion in them that many of my other pots don't have. I love them and they are giving me something to think about.

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