Tuesday, March 3, 2009

EARTH WIND AND FIRE.....

Today was the culmination of all our creative efforts in the pottery studio. It was a beautiful day for outdoor firing; a gentle breeze enough to keep the smoke moving and bright sunshine to keep us warm. I did notice when we returned home that my clothing smelled like I had slept around a campfire for a week. And we did miss the perfect opportunity to toast marshmallows!
Here are a few of the photographs I took to mark the event. They show various pieces in the process as well as images of both raku and sawdust firing.
This shows Tomas adjusting the gas that fires the kiln. Before putting the pieces into the kiln we placed them on top to begin warming them. After they spend at least 30 minutes or so in the kiln they are quickly pulled from there and placed in containers of sawdust and newspaper. This step gives them a blackened and aged look. Flames shoot up as soon as the pieces touch the paper and sawdust. Then the metal containers are closed to allow the smoke to darken and stain the pieces. Here you can see my mask ready to be pulled from the sawdust and paper can, fully blackened and looking exactly how I hoped it would look! Here you can see the pieces set out to cool Aren't the wonderful ?!Then we set up the straight sawdust firing that takes many hours to complete. Individual pieces are placed in a metal can filled with sawdust. It has various holes drilled around the sides to facilitate air flow. After the pieces are embedded, a thin layer of newspaper is placed on top of the sawdust and then dried twigs are placed on the paper. This is lit and blazes away until only sawdust embers remain. A loose fitting lid is placed on the can and it is left to smoulder. I don't know guys. You think we're doing this right? And, Tomas, did you lose your gloves??? Again??So here are the teacher and students, all quite happy with today's results. Tomas, Deb, Dean and me.

And here I am with my very first mask. I do love it and want to make more! In a future post I will show you this guy fully embellished and hanging on a wall. (Huh. It looks like that sling on my left arm is not doing a lot of good. I'll probably be in trouble for that.)

Tomas, if I have any of this information incorrect, please chime in with a comment so I don't mislead my readers!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great memories of Raku! I used leaves from my garden that gave a different surface. The pieces are wonderful! Great documentation!!!!dee

Vanessa said...

Thanks for documenting the workshop and clay work stages. I meant to get pics on today's Mtair arts but ran out of gas - settling for short takes (it was that or NO takes) sending readers to this post.

I'm thinking about a retrospective on the workshop, posting links to all posts about it + pics - and perhaps timing it to precede or immediately follow announcement of next one.

Sue said...

Fascinating process and terrific results! Thanks for sharing; makes me feel like finding classes...

judemowris said...

HI Sue!
That might be just what you need to take you away from all that snow! Go find a class, ok?

Tomas said...

Excellent documentation!
Thanks for taking part!

Anonymous said...

How is your arm. Will you be able to take another class? You are great! dee

judemowris said...

Dee, my shoulder is still hurting. Next week I have to schedule physical therapy. Another class is on the back burner.