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#1 Okima

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

I started College when I was 49, and will soon be turning 51. I took ceramics the first year, and enjoyed it, but didn't like the wheel much. I took Ceramics II and we had the choice to either hand build or use the wheel. I challenged myself to the wheel, and regretted it right off as I spent hours just trying to figure out the centering. I have progressed nicely and threw around 50 pots in class. I enjoyed it so much I bought an old kick wheel, which I have used for one pot so far. It sits in my yard and I love love love sitting there.

I'm going for my AFA in Fine Arts and Ceramics was not really on my radar as a direction until this semester. I have fallen in love with the wheel. My Ceramics Professor has mentioned this site many times in class and encouraged me to sign up. I'm finally getting that done! I look forward to learning more about the glazes and other techniques. I'm proof positive that you can teach an old dog new tricks! :)

My current worry is how to fire my pots. I have throwing clay left over from class to use on my wheel, but no kiln. I've been looking at pit firing techniques, since I do have the ability to have a little pit fire. Any suggestions would be very welcome.

#2 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

Hi Okima and welcome Posted Image

You can look up pit firing techniques on the Internet. There's a lot of good youtube videos and articles around. There's also books you can buy and videos via Ceramics Monthly - bookstore.

I'am doing pit firings for over 5 years now and what I can say is: better doing round than angled forms for the pit firing, and bisque fire first (cone 06/07). I will check for questions from you when you start to do pit firings.

Good luck!

Evelyne

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Studio: schoenmann ceramics
In love with alternative firing methods
www.schoenmann-ceramics.ch


#3 Iforgot

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:45 PM

Look up a potter named Sumi Von Dassow, she is one of the most brilliant potters in the country and she knows almost everything there is to know about pit firing. She has a book and DVD available on ceramic arts daily.



Good Luck!

Darrel


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#4 Idaho Potter

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

There's also a book "Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques" by James C. Watkins & Paul Andrew Wandless. It's a Lark Ceramics book. It might help. A raku kiln (there's directions on building them) might be your best bet as you can tumble bisque your pots and can easily watch the sight cones mature to cone 06 or 05. Some of the other types of firings make it difficult to even find the cones.

Maybe there is a place in your area where you could get your pots bisqued? Ask around, many potters don't mind letting a bisque load go through, but show reluctance for glaze firings. Welcome to our world.

Shirley

#5 celia12345678910

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:01 AM

If you live in a good sized city, I would look for a "paint your own ceramics shop". They would probably be willing to bisque your pieces for a small fee. Look for information about "NaKed Raku" and "Saggar firing", which you can also do in a pit, or garbage can with holes and loaded with wood/sawdust.

#6 Pres

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

I started College when I was 49, and will soon be turning 51. I took ceramics the first year, and enjoyed it, but didn't like the wheel much. I took Ceramics II and we had the choice to either hand build or use the wheel. I challenged myself to the wheel, and regretted it right off as I spent hours just trying to figure out the centering. I have progressed nicely and threw around 50 pots in class. I enjoyed it so much I bought an old kick wheel, which I have used for one pot so far. It sits in my yard and I love love love sitting there.

I'm going for my AFA in Fine Arts and Ceramics was not really on my radar as a direction until this semester. I have fallen in love with the wheel. My Ceramics Professor has mentioned this site many times in class and encouraged me to sign up. I'm finally getting that done! I look forward to learning more about the glazes and other techniques. I'm proof positive that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Posted Image

My current worry is how to fire my pots. I have throwing clay left over from class to use on my wheel, but no kiln. I've been looking at pit firing techniques, since I do have the ability to have a little pit fire. Any suggestions would be very welcome.


All of these ideas about pit firing, and alternative firings are fine, except for one thing; your last sentence about using up clay scraps from the classes. Do you know the firing temperature of that clay? Is it an earthenware clay, a mid range stoneware, or a high fire stoneware or porcelain body. If it is any but the earthenware, I would not pit fire it as it would not get anywhere near vitrification. If it is any of the others you should definetly seek out a business, or a non profit that would fire your work for you, at least until you get your own clay specifically for the pit type firing you are thinking of doing. The other thing you need to think about is what direction you want your pots to go-functional or decorative. Pit firing does not lend itself well to food safe functional pottery, as I am sure you well know.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/





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