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Dear Community

As everyone is self-isolating here in the UK, I'm encouraging my students and others to handbuild at home and I want to enable them to fire without a kiln in as simple a way as possible. It gets very frustrating for beginners to be unable to fire work and I want to maintain their enthusiasm. We are using the kurinuki method so that there will be no joints to break open.

I know that there are some Japanese firing methods for low temp work using small containers but I can't find the videos again on You Tube. I've been trawling the internet but not come up with what I am looking for yet. Has anyone had any experience of ONCE firing at low temps using such a method? Or could you point me in the right direction to do more research? I am planning to do some tests myself using an old Weber barbecue with low firing crank and raku glazes and I appreciate that there might be a lot of failures but am keen to experiment.

Thank you all so much 

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you are in luck.   if you look above your post you will see the words "Ceramic Arts Network".     click on that and go to "Daily Blog"   there is a recent item on firing in a barbeque grill by Sumi von Dassow showing exactly what you want to do.

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I fired some dug clay that our scouts had made into pots in a fire.  We piled the fire with very dry wood, kept it going for several hours, and got it as hot as we could.

The pots were "fired", but not very.  I later fired same clay in an electric kiln to normal bisque temps.  The fire fired clay was quite different, softer, more easily broken, and black cored.    I estimate the temperature did not exceed 800C.

Still an interesting experiment, so long as you set their expectations.

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I Barbeque'd some groggy clay the other day!

Watched this the other day.

Built a completely illegal wood fired kiln in my old backyard. Out of pavers, dirt, clay, and my outdoor firepit chimney!

I think ceramic Fiber and Wire fencing is the easiest way to source heat containment. Like Simon.





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We’re self isolating too. What one clay studio in my city has done is to make up kits with clay and some simple tools, and they do contactless drop off and pick up so pieces get fired. Classes are done via Instagram Live events that are replayed for 24 hours. I’m not sure how they’re handling glazing, but perhaps glaze portions in plastic containers could be sent out with the bisque, and picked up as well. If they’re used to your shop glazes, perhaps they could request their favourites and return unused portions?

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