When you look the phrase "starving artist" up on google, the first result is a link to my resumé, portfolio and facebook page. I can't afford a kiln, but I am in love with clay right now. So I've got all these pieces laying around that need either bisque firing or glaze firing. So I think to myself, "humans from before civilization have been firing clay without electricity virtually no problem, why can't I?
Presumably, the answer is because I'm the product of thousands of years of devolution since pre-historic man. I can't figure puit firing out on my own and with the great resource of the almighty interwebz, I still can't figure it out.
My first attempt was to essentially grill the bone dry clay test tiles, I stacked bricks to create a grill structure with either a wood fire or charcoal briquet fire going underneath. My clay wasn't as bone dry as I thought, it exploded. but the broken pieces did not bisque fire. I tried placing a tin can over the broken pieces to trap heat, still no luck. I then assummed i wasn't getting the fire hot enough, I put a fan in front of the fire to oxydize the wood or charcoals. No results.
My second experiment was to lay down brush in a pit, lay my test tiles on top, cover my work with more brush and wood, light on fire. No results.
My best guess is that I'm not getting things hot enough. My clay should bisque at cone 4-5, according to the box. Apparently I'm not hitting those kind of temperatures.
I was hop[ing that I was at least hitting glaze fire temperatures, so I tried the above with tiles that were underglazed. Still no luck.
What am I doing wrong? Are there any ways I can fire my work without dropping a ton of money that I don't have on a kiln?