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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…

Fish Platter

This fish platter was made as a demonstration for my pottery class.  I thought it came out pretty nice so I fired it and glazed it with this water blue glaze. It seems like water blue is appropriate for a fish. Don’t you agree?

This platter was made on a hump mold. The way I do it is to dust the mold with corn starch since it is a plastic mold. If the mold was made of wood, plaster, bisqued clay, or some other porous material I would not have to use the corn starch, the mold would simply absorb the moisture from the clay and help to facilitate the release. Molds made of plastic, glass, metal, or any other non-porous material should be dusted with corn starch or talc to help the clay to release. Otherwise, it will bond to the mold and we don’t want that.

Next I roll out a slab of clay, drape it over the mold and smooth it down so the texture transfers to the clay from the mold. Then the excess clay is trimmed off and it is time to start playing the waiting game.

Ceramic Fish Platter by Lori Buff
Fish Platter

When using a hump mold you have to pay close attention to the dryness of the clay.  If you remove the clay too soon it will start to flatten out again.  If you don’t remove the clay early enough the clay will dry too much and crack on the mold. Clay shrinks as it dries but the mold is not flexible, that is why it will crack.

I might do some more of these with a little color in the fish. What do you think?

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


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