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About awaynestudio

  • Birthday 02/18/1972

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    southeast Ohio

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  1. @neilestrickAh....makes perfect sense. I had this exact thing happen during my last firing. Everything was going great until I noticed a huge build up of coals. Not a big problem but I usually don't have this much build up until I've almost reach temp. I allowed more airflow in the base of the firebox and slowed things down a bit. If possible I'll try to have two sizes of wood for my next firing...try a more "balanced" approach. @Russ It's about 50 cubic feet, designed by a madman (I kind of went out on a limb), with only one firebox....I tried creating a versatile chamber that I could possibly fire tall pieces in at some point. During the last firing I used kiln shelves atop the work to guide the flame and it made it through the kiln, but by the time flame had reached flue I was already at temperature in the front. The first 2 feet entering the chamber are brutal....the step inside the chamber I mentioned earlier creates a barrier or an opportunity, I'm still trying to decide. It's hard to explain the design but you can have a look at my website I posted below. I have some photos of it before I started firing. Originally I had ideas of longer firings with a team of interested potters. The reality is I haven't found any real interest around here and have been doing quick firing by myself. www.awaynestudio.com
  2. Nice catch @GEP, I was thinking btu's per pound when I wrote that. Time didn't even factor into my mind. @Russ Yes I've learned over my first few firings a better control of my damper. Originally I was trying to reduce the oxygen too much and created a slower temperature climb. I've got a better handle on temperature but I need to learn when is best to fire in reduction or not and I'm sure that will depend on clays, glazes, and desired effect...not much to sort out there I've yet to have flame through the top of my chimney, so as a direct result I don't have flashing on pieces closest to the flue. This is fine by me because I would eventually like to be able to achieve a variety of effects in one firing. This is a quick-fire wood kiln, so I know I'll never achieve traditional quality wood firing but I'll take what I can get. I only have around 22 ft from mouth of firebox to the top of chimney. I may not be able to technically refer to mine as a cross-draft because of a step up about 2ft into the chamber (built into a hillside). @neilestrickFor me personally I've found the shape of the wood to be important. I worked through some cut down lengths that varied 4 to 6 inches wide that would cause the temperature to fluctuate too much when stoked. The last firing was mostly 2x3 inch pieces cut to length. I seemed to have much better control of temperature with these. I use 2 thermocouples and cones through a peep hole and temperature varies quite a bit....and again, for now I don't mind as long as I learn to load accordingly or maybe alter the interior in the future.
  3. Good to know...mine is a cross-draft kiln, so ideally soft wood would be better as for length of flame. Seems all the firing scraps I can get a hold of are hardwood though. I've read that hardwoods produce more heat though, right? Trying to find a positive in my wood situation lol.
  4. You bring up something I didn't consider earlier but probably should. The wood I use is scrap from an Amish furniture shop and sawmill nearby. The wood is free of bark but not of one particular type. It's mostly red oak but I've seen birch and ash mixed in the bunch. Definitely a factor to keep in mind for future firings.
  5. Not to "beat a dead horse" but consensus is the success of the outcome is dependent on the intent. Which I agree with and was why I came here to work through this discussion. Not to say that occasionally something unplanned pops up.... it should be appreciated for what it is, but was unexpected. For me personally, I don't have a lot of experience with wood/salt/soda firings and will be the first to say I admire the knowledge that comes with the years of the back breaking work that goes into the process (specifically anything wood related). The outcome of my first soda wood firing was not my intention but I ended up with effects I like and plan to reproduce next firing. Maybe when I fire again and the results are as I intended I'll allow those pieces out of the first firing a little more legitimacy. My experience in this area is very narrow but I've found a formula that works for me. Maybe in a dozen years or so I can start testing new clays . I hate to make this discussion about me, me, me, but I was trying work this out in my head. Any one else have any similar experiences?
  6. The fact they are masks and you used the term "tribal" behavior is a connection I didn't think of before. I imagined the mask motif working as you mentioned before...a mask as a tool to hide the abuse suffered. The use of color in ceramics always throws me off in my work. The changes in color when a glaze is fired to maturity, layered, or mingling with others gives me fits. Your piece here seems to be sticking monochromatic...is that how you usually work? I think the "self-gratification" route is best and if done with no inhibition really shines through to the viewer. But it's always been hard for me not see art as communication and feel I should try to convey a message of sorts.
  7. @Callie Beller DieselMaybe I misspoke when I said "questions will go away"....I don't want to or expect to know exactly the outcome of every firing. That's the one specific reason I chose atmospheric firing as a surface treatment for the work I like to make. But if I'm not able to have a certain degree of control over the outcome, well....maybe I should choose another route. I've used the same 2 clays that I make myself over the past few years in an attempt to limit variables. I think once I understand those a little better I can open up and start experimenting with slips and the like. Yes, preciousness in the art world is a curse. I've always told my students it creates inhibition and stifles their creativity. I'm chock full of madness already, so no harm there
  8. @neilestrick "It takes knowing your kiln" will be key for me. I understand without some heavy oversight there will be a huge learning curve. All the advice is greatly appreciated...the tiles and some draw rings that were mentioned by Callie earlier will be part of the firing routine. @PresI'll definitely check out Jack Troy, not familiar with his work. @Callie Beller Diesel "not a single gold standard"...yes, definitely this....I think this is what I'm struggling with while transitioning from printing to ceramics. I felt confidence and competent in the printing style I had worked on over the years. Being overwhelmed with what you can do in vapor firing, the endless variables of glaze, clay, slip, combinations left me questioning what I came up with from my first soda firing. After some consistency in the next firings I'm sure those questions will go away. It takes so much time to build up enough work to risk it on a learning curve. Awesome collection of artists you listed, I've come across a couple of them already and bookmarked the new ones. @LeeU"going off script" and a "decent standard" is what I need to assess right now. I've been firing in an electric kiln for a few years but just now really getting into wood firing. Even though my soda firing results weren't what I was going for I ended up being happy with them and hope to produce them again the next go 'round. Please feel free to critique the work at the link below. (if that's something that's done here) Not sure how things work. If I want feedback should I post images somewhere else on this site? FIGURATIVE | Mysite (awaynestudio.com)
  9. This reminds of a passage in "Ways of Seeing" by Berger. There's a painting at the bottom of a page with birds flying over a cornfield and no description, the author asks you to have a long look then turn the page. At the top of the next page is the same painting with the passage "this is the last painting Van Gogh painted before he killed himself". He's trying to prove how now the painting serves to illustrate the sentence. When I first saw your mask I noticed the pressed pattern along side the face and tried to create a dialogue between those two things. After reading your description I can't see it the same way. "what was I thinking?' - I always find myself trying to find a balance between what I want to express and how it will be read by others. I honestly don't think that's the ideal way to create but I go back to something with fresh eyes another day and realize even I don't see it as I did the day before. I agree with Pres in that "how do I feel...what about myself" way art strikes people. Every viewer is going to bring something different, so best we can hope for is to satisfy our own creative expression. The masks you've made are loaded with content. I think they exemplify some of the best reasons to make art. It's serving a purpose in the community and creating a dialogue. I know so many events have tried to go online with covid but there's no way to replace an "art opening" event and talking to the artist to hear about the process and intention.
  10. @liambesawRight, as far as the soda being harsh on the kiln it's something I decided to live with. So far it's just been my work and plan to fire 2-3 times a year max. I lined the interior with IFB so once they're too corroded I'll flip them or replace if need be. The coating on the soft brick seems to be holding up well but it's only been few firings. I like the randomness in a wood firing, be it traditional or a quick fire. I only asked the question because if "anything goes" how do you judge the quality of a firing? I guess if you like the effects of wood-firing that's all that matters. I thought maybe some results were harder to achieve...some easier. @neilestrickHope the outcome of the next firing is a little more predictable. I documented the last firing as best I could, so hopefully I can get similar results the next time. I'm sure it sounds odd to say I like the randomness of wood-firing but can you tell me how to control it? I don't think that's what I'm after as much as what results, if any are more desirable? is it just a bunch of "happy accidents"? Is it a personal aesthetic? ..... some rhetorical questions here... I have "Japanese Wood-Fired Ceramics" by Lancet and Kusakabe and a random collection of material I've collected online. Are there any recommendations for potters/ceramicist known for their wood-firing? I'm still trying to see the variety of what can be achieved with wood/salt/soda.
  11. Hello, Recently I fired small-scale figurative stoneware in a wood-fired kiln adding soda for flashing effects. I’ve been trying to find a surface treatment for some time and think it’s somewhere in wood firing. This was my first soda firing and I used too much which resulted in very little flashing but carbonization and a runny translucent green glaze. After looking at these for a couple weeks I’m much happier with what I got than the one “successful” piece with pronounced flashing. I’m fine with “happy accidents” but am unsure how it’s viewed in the ceramics world. I majored in printmaking at university and my printmaking professor said anyone can accidently create a “one off” print they’re happy with. It’s only credible if you reproduce it as the desired outcome. Prints were to only be made on 100% acid free, cotton rag paper. There were few other “commandments” I don’t recall now. At this point I’m not sure if I have a question or just want opinions. My hope is to reproduce these effects (carbonization and runny soda) in the next firing, but is that seen as sloppy firing in the ceramics world? I hope to eventually show these pieces somewhere and my experience with the art world is some go to great lengths to be “exclusive” and others “inclusive”. I’ve been trying to create my own studio and working in a bubble the last few years and I recently started using this platform for input. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Anthony FIGURATIVE | Mysite (awaynestudio.com)
  12. I appreciate the input/advice. Next firing I'll mix things up a bit with some slips and different clay bodies.
  13. @neilestrickYour friend's piece is a great example of what I was looking for. I'd love to ultimately be able to get something similar on figurative work, but that will take more creative placement of wadding and kiln furniture (and a ton more experience)For now I'll chalk it up to too much soda. I blindly added an amount I gauged from reading others' experiences/sq footage without any draw rings. @Callie Beller Diesel The next firing will include draw rings to help me know "when to say when". Thanks for the tip on the clay...originally I wanted to stay away from porcelain temperatures but I'm finding out the kiln can build temperature rather quickly. I should try to work in a couple different clay bodies next firing. I did get some effects I didn't expect, so nothing ventured nothing gained. Will the carbon trapping and flashing be mutually exclusive? I'm trying to find ways to treat the surfaces of figurative ceramic sculpture. I've never been happy with stains or glazes, so I started pursuing atmospheric wood firing. I'm going to continue with soda and flashing for now, but since I'm here... are there other processes you would recommend?
  14. Hi all, Hoping to see what adjustments can be made to a soda firing of my wood kiln. Fired it to cone 9, added "sawdust burritos" saturated with dissolved soda ash and baking soda (~5lbs combined). After holding around cone 9-10 for half an hour I tried to down fire because I read it would promote a duller finish and exaggerated flashing. The heat loss leveled off around 1400 (after 3 hours of attempted down fire) after which I sealed up kiln air tight. The firing took place in a neutral to reduced environment until around cone 6. I started cutting the airflow and the down fire was completely in reduction. The clay was a stoneware of OMB 15, Cedar Heights bond 25, Goldart 40, Flint 10, Feldspar 7, Redart 3....with about 7 pounds of sand, bisque fired to 04 in an electric kiln. I didn't use any slips or glazes because I got really nice flashing from this same clay bare on the previous firing to around cone 8. (with a timid 1/2 lb of salt at the end ) I attached some examples of a few of the pieces. My goal was flashing, but it was very limited (I included most all in the images). I'm somewhat happy with the carbon trapping and green soda glaze I got, but where did I go wrong as far as flashing? The pieces shown were within a 2ftx 2ft space of each other and flashing is pronounced on only one piece. I'm relatively new to all this, especially atmospheric firing, so maybe I'm overlooking the obvious. Thanks in advance, Anthony
  15. @Callie Beller DieselThe idea of breaking down selling online/shipping into small bits is what I need to do...tackle a little bit at a time. Even though I won't start changing my website for a few months, I can go ahead and start with the tasks as you've mentioned. It's also great to see you guys throwing numbers around....start demystifying the whole process
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