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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

a pottery update...

As I believe I mentioned at some point, the project in our pottery class this semester is for us to make personal hand-built kilns. We were given specific sizes and instructions, including the *thermo- dynamics* involved in building and firing a kiln. If you do pottery yourself and own your own kiln, you may already know this. However, I don't... and didn't... and although I am finding it an interesting project (and I have learned a lot), it has been a bit over-whelming.

We paired off as only one of us could take home the kiln... so it was suggested that we paired with someone who didn't want to take it home. I didn't. First of all, I was doubtful that I could build a kiln... or at least one that worked. Then it was going to be fairly large and use 75-100 lbs of clay and I knew that I couldn't very well transport this large a piece. Even carrying around 25 - 50 lb bags of clay is almost impossible for me (and I used to think I was a pretty strong person).


Anyway, we were told that we could build it to look like just a kiln (which most of us did) or we could build it to look like anything we wanted.  Wimps that we are, my partner and I just built one that looks like a kiln.





our sad little kiln


Now some really creative individuals made the next kilns (fish, turtle, and castle). I think they are spectacular... especially the castle one!  Of course we still don't know which ones will survive the firing to bisque.  They may all crack , but hopefully not explode.





Then... the ones that survive the firing will all be tested by heating up all together on the campus lawn with wood or coal and only then we will see which ones actually work.  They will only hold a few pieces of clay so even if they do work, they can't do quantity. But non-the-less, the fancy ones will make great lawn art (maybe filled with plants?)


Until later... 



16 comments:

  1. Wow, I've known some people who make pottery but not sure any of them have made a kiln. I guess you learn from the exercise whether or not it works, but I hope it works anyway.

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    1. I have learned a lot. And will post the outcome. It should be interesting.

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  2. I exhibited once across from an artist who fired everything in some sort of a cave in a bank in Kentucky. And the pieces were exquisite bowls, plates, quirky objects d'art.

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    1. There are many many ways to fire, but being pretty much of a novice, this has been a learning experience.

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  3. Hi Rian...I answered your comment about "when I was 69" over on that blog...but then realized why would anyone be reading it since I'm not keeping it up any more. Nevertheless, I LOVE the kilns that you all are building. What a great project. I can't wait to see more in these steps...please! Barb

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    1. Hi Barbara, I will go over there and check your comment. But thanks for replying here also.

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  4. Very interesting project! It will be interesting to see what happens with the firing. I agree they would make very interesting lawn art!!

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    1. and if they don't explode when firing (possibly just crack), they would make great garden planters!

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  5. How interesting! I too really like the castle one, but I'd be interested to know if any of them survive the firing. :-)

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    1. I think the castle one was a great idea!

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  6. Will be interested to see how the firing goes. Well done you...oh, and your team mate.

    Diana

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  7. what a cool project, can't wait to see the results, then will you actually fire the kilns ? your kiln reminds me of a kiva type fireplace or a pizza oven.

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    1. Yes, we will fire the kilns individually in the large studio kilns... just to bisque, I think. Then those that survive will be fired up all together one day (with some small clay pots inside) out on the campus lawn - at least that's the plan. We'll see.

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