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Obvara After Pit Firing

Obvara pit fire trial witchs brew

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#21 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:51 PM

Lee and Evelyne,  I have the mash from a local brewer, it was much too course to absorb the water and really did not work. It left burnt crusty nuggets that popped off later.   I have since completely dried it out and am looking a purchasing a flour grinder to grind it up smaller.  I encourage you to try it, I would love to see the results.  I'm confident it should work, just have not had it work on my end.

 

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#22 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:26 PM

Evelyne,
Chad is much more experienced at Obvara than I am. I love it. I like the idea of used mash from a brewer.
Thanks Chad.

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#23 Babs

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:38 PM

The yeast from the brewer would be spent/exhausted, would this matter?

Used to make a yeast from potato which I used daily, kept a little as a starter for the next batch of bread, fed it daily as Neil. 



#24 williamt

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:30 PM

Chad, are you getting mash that has had all the liquid squeezed out, or is it still sloppy from the bottom of the tank? I was thinking one could get the sloppy mash, squeeze out the liquid and use that liquid without all the husks for the Obvara.

Your idea of drying, grinding and rehydrating sounds interesting.

Lee
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#25 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:37 PM

Marcia, thank you, but your overall experience and eagerness for obvara is rapidly approaching, if not exceeded my knowledge in obvara.

 

Babs, The nutrients from the grains are spent in the mash, there is some yeast value, but not much.  I still added the regular amount of yeast.

 

Lee, I recieved the mash all ready squeezed out, the brewer, as well as most of his group save the fluid for as starter for future batches provided they brew right away again.  He explained it to me at the time, but most of it has escaped my memory.  He has promised me to let me know when there was going to be a gap in his, or any of his brew mates' brewing schedule to get their yeast solution.

 

With obvara i have found I prefer the finer ground flours over the course ground.  the course ground does not dissolve as well and tends to produce a chucky mix that will adhere to the pot and fall off later.  The finer ground flours seem to disolve into a nice consistancy.  I relate it to mixing glazes, you don't want chunky materials to try and mix in, you want the materials to meshed and sieved to remove larger particles.

 

Grinding my own flour for obvara is something i recently been thinking of, realizing originally the flour would most likely have been stone ground, rather course, and i haven't decided if it would have been freshly ground or the flour that was so old it was no longer edible. 

 

As I'm getting ready for a show, I'm realized i'm not as stocked as i though i was with obvara's so will be doing a firing in June sometime.

 

Chad


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#26 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:27 AM

I wonder if this would work with kombucha? We brew it at our house.


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#27 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:58 AM

This thread is getting more and more interesting. Thank you all for participating! So many great ideas here!

 

I was using rye flour for the Obvara of last Friday, (no more edible) that had very small grains included. On two of the grogged and heavily grogged clay pieces the grains stuck (and are still there), but it isn't improving the piece. I will try the brew mash if I can get my hands on it, and I will definitely try the olive mash next time (I have some in the fridge, you can also spread it on bread and eat it!).

 

I find the discussion about different firing methods very interesting. Keep your ideas coming please!

 

Rebekah: Ha! Yes, maybe with the kombucha mushroom we can get another variation! Just jotted your idea down.

 

Chad: can you take pictures too or make another video, in June?

 

Marcia: best of luck for today's Obvara. Take pictures and if possible a video! That would be great.

 

Evelyne 


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#28 williamt

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:27 PM

Rebekah,
You would probably have to ruin a batch of kombucha to try, but between the yeast and the tannins and whatever else,it could make for an interesting result.

Chad, yes, I was thinking that you'd want the fluid. Wonder what would happen if you put the mash you have into a food processor, added a little water and liquified it, if that would give a better result?


Lee
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#29 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 03:20 PM

Evelyne, Videos are on our list this year, although I'm not very proficient at editing.  Our firing will most likely be the norm to get finish product.  Usually have one batch of test mix, not sure what it will be yet.  Still working on using natural dyes in the mix as done historically, but I haven't found the correct amount yet.  

 

Lee, that could work, or just food processor with the dry mix may work as well.  I will need to talk my wife into letting me us it.  I have destroyed more than one kitchen appliance over the years in the name of pottery.

 

Chad


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#30 alabama

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:00 PM

Hey Evelyne,

 

        I don't think there is an Obvara market here.  If there was it would probably be at the March show in Fairhope, or the October show in Kentuck.

And I've never been to either!!  There isn't a pair of married cousins around here that would know what obvara or raku is or what it represents.  ; >

       But, if I were to make obvara, I'd study it as much as possible, and then set out to understand how to make it consistant.  I'm not a big fan of chance.

I think form matters, so I'd begin to make 10 or 12 jars,(much like that brown one of yours) and number them on the bottom.

Then, in a notebook list all numbers, and take down the notes as to each one was fired along with the variation of the recipe....because, just like a

glaze recipe your obvara will change with each addition.  I do think that a quick plunge in and out of the liquid would be better because if its held in too

long, you should wind up with a soaked piece of bisque.

 

     I'd be interested if the sugar in the recipe is enough to cause some kind of caramelizing on the exterior.... Is that the brown?

Can sorgum be substituted for sugar?  It should since both are carbohydrates in different forms.

Someone mentioned re-grinding the flour?  I was told that the plain cake flour is more fine than regular flour, if that makes a difference.

Since oils float, the last variation would be the olive oils.  I suspect that if too many changes are made then there is a point where it is no longer obvara.

That could be bad or good.

 

     I'd raise the depth of the pit to 12 inches make some firings, and raise it another 6 inches to see if it mattered.  I'd line it with bricks, since I found out

that sometimes when pottery (greenware) touches the ground when firing doesn't exceed ceramic temperatures.

 

     There probably aren't many chances going on since what ever happens, can be re-bisqued to clean, tried again or glazed.  The situation of attempting

obvara would be a great learning experience.  This would be how I'd approach the learning curve of any new method.

 

You might be able to go to Bing and search  "Colonial Isle Dauphine - Indian Pottery Demo" to see a guy and his dog firing pottery.

 

See you later,

Alabama



#31 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

Chad: Every video is much appreciated! I don't know about natural dyes in the mix.... Must search the Internet.

 

 

 I suspect that if too many changes are made then there is a point where it is no longer obvara.

That could be bad or good.

 

Alabama: I think also that form matters! I think big forms, spheres or bellied out vessels like Marcia and Chad are doing are best. Not too big (heavy) or you can't handle them with the tongs. Mine were too small to get nice patterns. In videos about Obvara one can see people dunk in the piece, swing it from side to side, take it out and immediately dunk it into the water bucket. When I did my first Obvara, a few weeks ago, heating the piece in a raku kiln, I was dunking the piece in the Obvara liquid, take it out and called to my potter friend:… “oh, look at this, it is really working, wow, beautiful…” and so on and in the meantime, holding the piece in the air, it got black and blacker because I was so absorbed in admiring the results that I forgot to quickly dunk it in the water. You live and learn!

I think the brown pattern comes from the flour and not from the sugar. Sugar is only 1-2 spoons in the recipe and that, in my eyes, is needed to start the fermentation with the yeast (or to intensify the fermentation process). Does anybody know?

To line the pit with bricks is a good idea to get a hotter pit. Although - I preheat the pit (I’am doing a twigs firing for half an hour) before I fill the pit with my pieces.

And then your question about: “until when can we call Obvara Obvara when we alter the recipe or add things to the liquid”. Very good question. I don’t know the answer. Since there is almost nothing historical written about Obavara (or if, it’s in Russian), we will never know whether people who first did Obvara added things or not….

Very interesting thoughts! Thank you.

 

Evelyne


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#32 jrgpots

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:21 AM

Rebekah,
You would probably have to ruin a batch of kombucha to try, but between the yeast and the tannins and whatever else,it could make for an interesting result.

Lee

Tannins...???...acorns, wild rhubarb tubers, black tea are all high in tannins. Would adding these to the mix work. We have lots of wild rhubarb around here. It's free for the picking.

There is also the creosote bush which has multiple compounds of interest. Maybe a high mountain desert brew needs to be created.

Jed

#33 williamt

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:54 AM

I think the brown pattern comes from the flour and not from the sugar. Sugar is only 1-2 spoons in the recipe and that, in my eyes, is needed to start the fermentation with the yeast (or to intensify the fermentation process). Does anybody know?
Evelyne

The yeast are using the sugar as an energy source. The sugar is converted to ethanol. The yeast also use the flour as a food source, so some of the flour is transformed. I imagine that what you have on the outside is a carbon, protein, yeast polymer of some complexity. Think that skimmy stuff on top and the char in the bottom, mixed, you get when you burn milk.


On the tannin question - if the tannin does anything but burn up, I'd think any source would do. It could enhance the color of the polymer I mention above.
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#34 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 02:07 PM

Jed: try it out, all of it! I will ask my sister (she's a naturopath) about natural dying material too....

 

Lee: thank you for your thoughts about the "what is giving the brown pattern at the end" question. It's always good to have the answer of a specialist. You know that some people use milk on the hot ceramic as kind of a glaze?


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#35 williamt

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:50 PM

Thanks Evelyne. I don't know about specialist, I just know a little about yeast:)

I think there was a thread here a couple of weeks ago asking about milk glaze. And some discussion.

Lee
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#36 jrgpots

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 04:06 PM

I did a little research about casein protein polymer formation.  It is being used now to make microgels that can carry drug into the body. 

 

I found one article very interesting.  It is from J. Agric Food Chem. 2013 Feb 13;61(6): 1388-96. doi: 10.1021/jf304658q. Epub 2013 Jan31.

 

It describes a formation of a water tight and resistant polymer between sodium caseinate (Casein) and sugar beet pectin.  The complex forms best  at low pH (that's the function of the yeast...to reduce the pH during fermintation)  with an equal volume of casein and sugar beet pectin.  It is "induced by thermal aggregation of caseiniate molecules resulting from stress acceleration at elevated temperatures."

 

Another article discussed iron ions being carried by the polymer complex.  Other metalic ions have been used as well, ie gold ions.  Any cation (posatively charged ion) would be picked up by the polymer.  So Cu, Au, Fe, etc could be carried in the polymer and deposited on the ware during the thermal stress.

 

So,  You may want to add  casein (milk), sugar beet pectin or other pectin to the brew. 

 

FYI. for those who might be interested.

 

Jed



#37 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:15 AM

Lee: do you mean the thread Stellaria started, called "milk bath"? I think too that the milk bath is another possibility to dunk ceramics in... something.... after the firing proces to glaze them. Well, is it kind of glazing? I will try the milk bath of course one day!

 

Jed: thank you for the research! I think when we start adding whatever (I know this is a no-no word) in the brew, there is no stopping us. I love experimenting though :-)

 

I will add a picture of an Obvara firing I did weeks ago, together with an interested friend. We fired in a raku kiln though, not in the pit.

 

Evelyne

 

 

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#38 jrgpots

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 11:31 AM

Beautiful!

#39 williamt

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:28 PM

Those are really cool. I love the variation in color and texture you are getting. Also the form is really nice!

Is the clay body white or tan?

Lee
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#40 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

Thanks a bunch, Jed!

 

Lee: thank you very much! The clay is white stoneware and white fireclay. No terra sig. The brown is solely from the brew. I wanted to get similar results from the Obvara after a pit fire, but..... :( Maybe next time. I won't give up!

 

Evelyne


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