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About firefly

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  • Birthday 03/06/1954

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  • Location
    Kansas City, KS
  • Interests
    Sawdust/Bin/Pit/Aluminum foil saggar firing
  1. Thanks, Bob - the band is copper wire, painstakingly applied with small dabs of superglue after firing. (I MUST find a better way to do this...) I also sometimes use silver tone or brass tone jewelry wire, too.
  2. Stephen and Shirley, Thanks for your replies. This is why I appreciate the forum - not only other's technical knowledge to draw on, but different ways of approaching a problem! Jean
  3. Evelyne, thanks for your reply. One of the things I find most fascinating about smoke firings is when you can visually follow the passage of the fumes across a pot's surface. The pots I want to rebisque are those that have very heavy black carbon markings with little or no modulation. Hopefully, the carbon will burn out in the bisque firing and I can try again. Very rarely do I get a piece with what I consider not enough smoke markings - but when I do, your plan to refire it in the sawdust would be spot on. As to my avatar, thanks for the compliment - I should really credit Sumi von Dassow though as that piece was fired at a pit firing workshop that she hosted last summer. Jean PS: And I really like your smoke fired pieces too!
  4. Thank you! That makes a lot of sense - sadly, I easily have a full load of refires! I'll save the greenware for a follow up load.
  5. I've read that if you're dissatisfied with the results of a sawdust firing, rebisquing the pots will burn out the carbon and you can then refire them. HOWEVER, I've also read that exposure to salt will harm the elements of an electric kiln. Since I combine salt, Miracle-Gro and copper carbonate in my sawdust firings, this has me wondering: 1) If I rinse my sawdust fired pieces and lightly wet sand them, will that remove enough of the residual salt to prevent damaging my kiln elements? 2) Would combining these refires in a load with greenware negatively affect the greenware? If more information helps, I use the preprogrammed slow bisque and fire to cone 010 in an electric kiln with a down draft vent system. Thanks so much for any advice you can give me!
  6. You may be thinking of Munemi Yorigami. He deliberately smashes his pre-fired sculptures and then divides the pieces into 3 groups to be fired with either a white, black or orange surface. After firing, the pieces are reassembled and the cracks filled with plaster. From what I've read, it's his way of confronting and transcending the potter's fear of breakage and the variables of firing. There's a lot of information available about him if anyone wants to take the time to do a google search.
  7. Thanks for sharing the photos - those Obvara pieces are just too cool! Jean
  8. Jayne, My "technique" for pit firing? Simple: drive to Colorado and sign up for a pit firing session with Sumi von Dassow at Washington Heights Arts Center in Lakewood, CO. I am embarrassed to say that as I was mainly interested in techniques that I could bring to trash can/sawdust firing, I didn't pay very much attention to the actual pit construction. I've tried to find photos from the trip for you but it appears that my computer has eaten them. I SEEM to remember that the pipes had slashes cut in them rather than holes, but I could be mistaken. And the blower looked very much like a large leaf blower, but it would have to have been one with an on/off switch, not a trigger-type start. What I did learn and remember that has helped my firings is to stop using porcelain (I switched to Laguna cone 5 B-mix), lower my bisque temp to cone 010, and add copper carbonate rather than just copper sulfate (found in MiracleGro). She recommends the use of terra sigillata, but I prefer just to burnish my pieces. As to why Bonnie Staffel would use Pet Litter, I am just guessing that she is referring not to cat litter but to the wood shavings used as bedding for many pets. It's larger than sawdust, won't pack as densely, and will therefore fire hotter and quicker, vaporizing your chemicals better without just smoldering and producing mainly shades of black and gray like fine sawdust. I go to a feed and grain store here in Kansas City and buy aspen wood shavings. It may be my imagination but I think I get better colors with the aspen rather than cedar shavings. My apologies if I've gone on too long, but as someone who has lurked on this forum for well over a year, it's nice to be able to share, if only a little bit. Jean
  9. Thanks for the compliment - I'm wearing my "aw, shucks" face.... If you haven't already seen it, the book "Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques" by James C. Watkins & Paul Andrew Wandless has a lot of information, too, especially if you want to work with ferric chloride. Plus, if you think you may want to experiment with trash can/barrel firing, here is an interesting post from Bonnie Staffel on a clay art thread that I enjoyed reading: http://www.potters.org/subject90543.htm I promise I'll stop now! Jean
  10. Hi Jayne (and others), I found this excerpt from a Sumi von Dassow video to be very helpful. She gets amazing results! http://ceramicartsdaily.org/firing-techniques/pit-firing-video-a-guide-to-gathering-fuels-for-the-best-results-in-a-pit-firing/ Happy firing, Jean
  11. Whimsical indeed - this brings to mind the stance children assume when singing "I'm a little teapot..." - the spread legs, one arm bent for the handle, etc. It has a nice gestural feel to it.
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