Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Kohaku

  • Rank
    Huffing cobalt over a Raku kiln

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Moscow, Idaho
  • Interests
    Raku, surface carving, fountains, lanterns and other large functional sculpture, intersection of art and conservation

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Thanks so much! I shifted to doing an MFA earlier this year- so haven't been producing as much functional work... but I'll get on it and post a few things..
  2. Thanks. I've worked in high fire... although Raku has certainly been dominant of late. For this project, I was considering high-fire elements with small (mosaic tile style) Raku accents. None of the Raku stuff would be structural or sizable. Thanks for the test advice Marcia- I'll do that. I'm thinking that one option may be to craft an external, modular surface skeleton... and then have internal elements (non-structural) made from a porous, filtering clay body.
  3. There are a couple options. The form(s) could be built on a piling (or other substrate) and be above water. It could be placed in an area that's exposed to storm run-off, but not a perennial channel. Or... it could be placed in a streambed (partially submerged). We're in the 'banana belt' of Idaho here, and surface water typically freezes to about three inches of depth- usually for no more than a few days. So- definite freeze thaw cycles, but only part of the form would be subjected. I've considered other materials (concrete, etc) but the filtrative potential of the form is important, and a porous clay body offers some real advantages if I can get past the freeze-thaw problem. Maybe I just need to do some tests of different sized components... I guess that I could do a modular build, and use non-permeable, fully vitrified components in the areas prone to freezing.
  4. OK- thanks. Just to add a wrinkle to things- what if the piece was rendered permeable through inclusions in the clay? For context, I'm exploring the idea of bio-sculpture (sculptural works that are integrated into natural settings and perform an ecosystem function). Jackie Brookner does this type of work in concrete. Ceramic forms- made from clay bodies with coffee grounds- have been used as bio-filters in some developing countries. I was considering making a form from this type of clay body and installing it in a run-off zone (where it would perform a filtration function, as well as being educational). I could certainly fire the form to full vitrification... but it would still have the inherent porosity. Recipe for disaster? What if the size of individual components was minimized? (Perhaps with a mosaic-style surface over an armature)? I know these are some off-the-wall questions, and I appreciate the feedback.
  5. I have a potential opportunitiy to create an outdoor installation. If I work in clay, I'll obviously need to worry about the resiliency of the piece (it would be installed in a cold climate). I've read a couple articles (here's a short one from Digifire). Porosity seems to be a key factor. I've seen some mention of closed porosity, however- linked to the idea that addition of fibrous material to the clay body can actually increase resiliency. One measure that I will take, if I do this, is to make the installation modular (keeping the components smaller). However, I was wondering if anyone had grappled with this issue, and whether they have any suggestions?
  6. Thanks guys. Our group is currently engaged in a pretty intense discussion about what we want here... whether it's simply a platform for hi-fire reduction firing (in which case- maybe we should just invest in a gas kiln) or whether we want to experiment with alternate surfaces. These are really helpful suggestions.
  7. If you read the description of the kiln, it ways that only the front portion of the kiln gives heavy ash effects. The back half is used for glazed ware. This is why most tube kilns fire for a long time- it takes a lot of back stoking to build up ash. Just getting to temperature is easy. It takes time to get ash effects. Even train kilns, which are quite efficient by comparison, require 2-3 day firings for the back half to get ash effects. This might not be a bad thing, in point of fact... some people might be interested in using the kiln for hi-fire reduction alone. The cross draft kiln you describe sounds like on option we should look into, however.
  8. Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd dove-tail on this one. Along with a couple other MFA students, I've recently been tasked (willingly) with evaluating the feasibility of building a wood-fired kiln for our program. It's an integrated art-design program... none of the faculty on staff currently have ceramics as a primary focus (although several work in clay as part of their oeuvre). So- we'd like to research and build something within the following constraints... 1) Feasible for a group with some entry-level knowledge of kiln materials and construction (we've all participated in re-wiring and replacing components on gas-fired and electric kilns)... but no background in building wood-fired kilns. 2) Ideally- something that can be fired in a manner conducive to regular participation by undergrads... so maybe not a multi-day anagama-style design. 3) Ideally- something that wouldn't totally break the bank. (Although the program has funds for this, and we're willing to fund-raise externally). Anyhow, I was curious as to whether anyone had built or fired with the Manabigama design that bciskpottery cites above? The extensive, repeated validation of this design, along with complete schematics available for purchase, is pretty appealing... as is the short firing cycle. Do people have alternative suggestions? (We'll be researching this over the next year- probably looking to initiate construction in 2016).
  9. Well... not exactly immediate professional goals... but I'm starting an MFA, so I need to develop some clear project directions. Here are two things I plan to explore this fall. 1) Fountains. I've been building ceramic water features for awhile... but they're constrained by the limits of clay. I'm really interested in using metal armature and multiple ceramic sections to build some larger pieces. 2) Biosculpture. My original background is in biology... and I'm curious about the whole realm of bio-sculpture (sculptural projects that are integral parts of natural habitats). I'm considering building some larger ceramic pieces that play an ecosystem service function- for instance, water filtration. Sort of akin to what Jackie Brookner does with her projects... but using clay. It's an 'Integrated Art and Design' program... so the focus is more on working across media to communicate. However, I plan to remain rooted in clay. Should be an interesting journey.
  10. Tracy- I've used 'MyLampParts' for parts for some of the hanging lanterns I make. They're pretty well stocked- might be worth checking out.
  11. I've never used plaster bats... but I suspect it would work. You'd have to experiment and see whether the separation from the bat would lead to a higher fracture rate.
  12. You throw a flat disc on the wheel (usually on a bat) then wire cut and slow dry. Lots of compression during the throw. I've experienced less cracking with this approach than with other types of slabs... which is important if you're doing Raku.
  13. John... any chance I could get a copy of this as well?
  14. It's a three year program at the University of Idaho (which is also where I have my half-time appointment in my 'other' job- wildlife biology). No Residency requirement, but it's an option. I've spent the last couple of days moving into a new studio space and pondering projects. I'm sure I'll be posting some bizarre questions here over the next year or so- the program explicitly asks its students to work across media... I'll probably be venturing into metal working and large scale sculpture (while staying rooted in clay).
  15. Well... my current 'thing' is that I just started an MFA. It's an integrated Art and Design program... so I'll probably be venturing into some intensive integration of clay and other media. Pretty exciting, to be honest.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.