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Marcia Selsor

Obvara Firing Technique

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Absolutely beautiful Marcia. Congrats!

 

Did you do the crackings with sodium silicate? And how did you get the black top and bottom part in pictures 1 and 3?

 

Evelyne

yes, I used Sodium silicate for the crackling. The black happened on the smooth surface.

Marcia

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Thought so, thanks. It looks great! I could coax a potter friend here in Switzerland into trying the Obvara Technique together with me. I was spreading the word and now we are 5 already who wants to try it. Maybe beginning of next year. Will ask you a billion questions before we start, you'll see. You got me hooked Marcia!

 

Evelyne

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Just start playing around with it. It is fun and you can watch it happen. I find the richer the texture the more intriguing to me. But some smooth terra sig pieces can also be awesome.

Look at you tubes , there are quite a few.

 

Marcia

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Those are amazing!

 

Maybe once I get the group at the studio over the shock of introducing underglazes I'll get to work on getting them to try alternative firing methods. Though I mentioned wanting to try pit firing one day and a couple seemed interested but others were like why would you want to do that? Or they said tried that and the pots always turn out ugly. I'd like to try raku one day as well not sure if that's considered and alternative firing method or not. I did find a studio an hour or so away that you can pay to use their rake kiln but they were in the middle of moving and had it dismantled and were not sure when they would get it set up again.

I live in the city limits and they have burning laws or I'd already have bought a metal trash can and played around with it on a small scale just to see what effects I would get.

 

So many things to try why oh why did I waste all those years just painting!

 

T

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Those are amazing!

 

Maybe once I get the group at the studio over the shock of introducing underglazes I'll get to work on getting them to try alternative firing methods. Though I mentioned wanting to try pit firing one day and a couple seemed interested but others were like why would you want to do that? Or they said tried that and the pots always turn out ugly. I'd like to try raku one day as well not sure if that's considered and alternative firing method or not. I did find a studio an hour or so away that you can pay to use their rake kiln but they were in the middle of moving and had it dismantled and were not sure when they would get it set up again.

I live in the city limits and they have burning laws or I'd already have bought a metal trash can and played around with it on a small scale just to see what effects I would get.

 

So many things to try why oh why did I waste all those years just painting!

 

T

Pugaboo.

go online and buy a roll of fiber, 1 inch thick and 8 pound test about $78

.Next get a roll of hardware fabric from Home Depot $5

you will need some bricks for the floor , burner and some clay uttons and kanthan wire (Archie Bray sells I by he foot) also available on eBay but check the gauge.

or the Obvara, check the yo tubes and see how small the kilns are.

I may be coming to Ga. Next year. eve yo there.There is no smoke with Obvara. aNd Raku can be very smokeless as well. I live within City limits too.

Marcia

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Marcia, I just introduced a fellow potter that does pit firing to the Obvara youtube vids, looks like a new convert.

 

He was as amazed as I when the pots don't explode on water cooling.

 

He and I were discussing the possibility of adding other ingredients to the beer mash mix like Miracle Grow  which has metal sulphates for different coloring possibilities.

Wyndham

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Ummm Marica.... What kind of fiber? Sorry I'm so new I haven't a clue what that is. I am going to go by that website and see what some of the other stuff is. Thanks for the info though since I will add it to my list of stuff to research and learn loads more in the process like watching the YouTube videos. Have you ever done a video or written a book?

 

T

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Hi, Pubaboo. Ceramic fiber..sorry I didn't mention that. I have a nice little roll that a refractory company gave me. It would work for a small obvara kiln. I like the idea of a smaller kiln there because you want the pieces to be the right temperature when you pull them out of the kiln and dip them into the mix.

Look at the you tube with Jose Ramon , I think that is his name. tiny kiln.

 

Marcia

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I just figured out that Kanthal wire and Nichrome wire are the same thing! Lol I also found a site that sells it in different gauges including an 8 gauge which is a bit heavier than what came with my bead rack. Will need to go back there and order when I need replacements. Am still reading up on ceramic fiber though I think there are some kilns built with this stuff instead of bricks if I am researching correctly? Still working on figuring out what the burner is did find a raku burner but not sure if its the same type for obvara or not need to watch the you tube videos some more and see if I can tell by looking. Did find the clay buttons for attaching the fiber blanket with. Had no idea they even made such a thing. If I ever get to see a raku or obavara kiln in person I will at least know what I am looking at and how it all kind of works. I never saw the point of you tube until I started doing clay but now its so amazing to watch someone do something you've only read about in a book. It's like so that's what they meant!

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Marcia, I first saw the word obvara two weeks ago when reading your info for the Mpls firing conference. Since I was about to fire my backyard raku kiln for the first time last Sunday, I decided to make it a total experimental experience and try obvara. I watched as many You Tube videos as I could find, mixed up your recipe for the brew and my friend and I gave it a try. The kiln worked great and we got some pretty awesome scalded finishes on our pots.

We are not exactly sure why some pieces turned quite black, some have the lichen effect, some got toast brown and a few picked up almost no color at all. Is the secret in the temperature of the pot when it is dunked? Do you cool your pot a little before dunking? Do you swish your pieces in the brew for any length of time or dunk and pull immediately? Does the time the pot is cooled in water affect the color?

Any helpful hint or suggestion you can provide would be very much appreciated. Since we had so much fun with obvara and want to learn more, we are going to try the process again on this coming Sunday.

The photos of your pieces are an inspiration for us.

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I am back and in Minneapolis firing Obvara at the alternative firing workshop. Chack aesthetic topic? I posted some photos.I think the color variation comes from the temperature of the piece and how long you leave it in the air after putting it in the solution.

Marcia

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Did my first Obvara firing Saturday. What a blast!!! Is there a need for any additional sealer or finish, like wax or acrylic? They have a great feel and look as is. Anxious to do many more. Not the best picture, but some idea of my results.

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Marcia, I just introduced a fellow potter that does pit firing to the Obvara youtube vids, looks like a new convert.

 

He was as amazed as I when the pots don't explode on water cooling.

 

He and I were discussing the possibility of adding other ingredients to the beer mash mix like Miracle Grow  which has metal sulphates for different coloring possibilities.

Wyndham

Some people at the conference mentioned others who add beer. You'll have to try it.

marcia

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