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Kiln gods, goddesses, good and not so


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#1 bciskepottery

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:25 AM

Hard not to agree . . .


FROM LORI WATTS/FINE MESS POTTERY BLOG


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Potter's Loud Lament

From Homer's Epigram's fragment 14: "Potters, if you give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena [goddess of pottery], with hand upraised over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Suntribos (Shatter) and Smaragon (Smash) and Asbetos (Charr) and Sabaktes (Crash) and Omodamos (Crudebake) who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside."

You thought it was a joke, about the kiln gods! Not only did the Greeks acknowledge Athena as the Goddess of Craft, there were five, count 'em, FIVE demons who existed solely to torment potters: Suntribos (the Shatterer), Smaragos (the Smasher), Asbetos (Charrer), Sabaktes (Destroyer) and Omodamos (Crudebake). These are the
Daimones Keramikoi: fear them.

Geez Louise! No wonder it's such an uphill struggle.


#2 minspargal

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

Interesting!

#3 OffCenter

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:19 AM

That's great! Thanks for posting it.

Jim
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"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#4 R Fraser

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I have a strong affinity for a Shinto style belief system when it comes to my kilns, and generally offer premium Sake or good quality single malt Scotch to my little kiln Kami cups. I also feel strongly that my kiln Kami do not like to drink alone, so after loading and before lighting the pilot burners I have a toast or 2 to the happiness of the kiln and its ware, and another wee dram to wish for a safe & happy firing.
It is surprising that the Greeks felt they needed more antagonistic dieties than charitable ones when it came to their pottery.
Richard
So I built a light saber, am I a Jedi now?


#5 kathi

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

My son came to visit and decided that he needed to sculpt for me a new kiln god, hence the birth of "Bardo - the screaming god of the royally _____." I also have a 'swig' with Bardo prior to lighting the kiln, in hopes that he will not get up to any mischief!

#6 Benzine

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

"It is surprising that the Greeks felt they needed more antagonistic dieties than charitable ones when it came to their pottery."

The Ancient Greeks, sure did enjoy their vengeful gods, and the punishment, that came from them. Every powerful, successful figure, was met with misery, for their "Hubris". It's not surprise, they felt the same about their pottery.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#7 Natania

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Hard not to agree . . .


FROM LORI WATTS/FINE MESS POTTERY BLOG


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Potter's Loud Lament

From Homer's Epigram's fragment 14: "Potters, if you give me a reward, I will sing for you. Come, then, Athena [goddess of pottery], with hand upraised over the kiln. Let the pots and all the dishes turn out well and be well fired: let them fetch good prices and be sold in plenty in the market. Grant that the potters may get great gain and grant me so to sing to them. But if you turn shameless and make false promises, then I call together the destroyers of kilns, Suntribos (Shatter) and Smaragon (Smash) and Asbetos (Charr) and Sabaktes (Crash) and Omodamos (Crudebake) who can work this craft much mischief. Come all of you and sack the kiln-yard and the buildings: let the whole kiln be shaken up to the potter's loud lament. As a horse's jaw grinds, so let the kiln grind to powder all the pots inside."

You thought it was a joke, about the kiln gods! Not only did the Greeks acknowledge Athena as the Goddess of Craft, there were five, count 'em, FIVE demons who existed solely to torment potters: Suntribos (the Shatterer), Smaragos (the Smasher), Asbetos (Charrer), Sabaktes (Destroyer) and Omodamos (Crudebake). These are the
Daimones Keramikoi: fear them.

Geez Louise! No wonder it's such an uphill struggle.





I think an Ancient Greek potter must have been the first author of this passage, and that s/he was speaking from experience. It explains a lot. Looks like I'll have to start on a kiln god tomorrow. And I thought my current technical problems were purely secular...

#8 Round2potter

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:04 PM

This is soooo cool!
At my studio we have some "kiln gods" that are loaded into every single fire; some of them are as old as 30+ years having seen hundreds if not a thousand firings.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of the gods was made in the 80's by a close family friend when she learned from the man that is now my mentor. Infact said kiln god is about 2100 degrees right now in some serious reduction!

I dont say a prayer or take a dram or anything before we fire, but i always make sure that the gods are placed so that they might feel the lick of the flame as i would assume, a kiln god would like.

Cheers!
"There is no such thing as cheating in clay; So long as it works"

#9 grizzbiz15

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:53 PM

It sure sounds like it's time to build a "Clay God". What type of clay to use - Raku, porcelain, low fire, high fire.............




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