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I just posted some how-to photos and results of Obvara firing. I really like the patterns created from reducing the pieces in a wheatpaste brew.

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/community/gallery/album/586-saggar-horse-hair-feathers-foil-saggars-obvara/

Fired to 1650 and reduced in a liquid flour, sugar yeast brew 3 days old.Rinsed and cooled in water

 

This is suppose to be a Slovakian technique.

 

Marcia

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I made up several test clay bodies: perlite, cat litter, sawdust, coffee grounds and brass shavings.

The pits where the additives were soaked up the carbon.Places where the solution drips can make feather

patterns. Pieces need to stay around the 1650 temp coming out of the kiln. If it gets cooler, the solution

is more black or not carbonizing.

 

Marcia

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amazing!  and i do not use that word in everyday converstation

 

 marcia, it is another example of the unlimited possibilities available to potters.  anything goes, finding what appeals to your own sensibilities is the hard  part.

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SUCH BEAUTIFUL POTS!

 

Is there a link that gives a fuller explanation of your technique.

 

A few of us Santa Fe potters are planning a group pit fire this fall. Would this technique work in this type of a situation or do you have to have a more controlled temperature?

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I just watched another video on the technique.  It looks pretty straight forward, minus the witch's brew that you dunk the pieces in initially. 

 

Are there multiple recipes for the dunking liquid?

 

Also, what would happen if you incorporated a reduction phase, like traditional Raku?

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I just watched another video on the technique.  It looks pretty straight forward, minus the witch's brew that you dunk the pieces in initially. 

 

Are there multiple recipes for the dunking liquid?

 

Also, what would happen if you incorporated a reduction phase, like traditional Raku?

here is the brew:

1 kilo or 2.2 pounds of flour

1 tbsp of sugar

1-2 packets of yeast

10 liters or 2.6 gallons of water

mix, cover and let it ferment for 3 days.

SInce this happens at 1650, colder then raku, and you need the porosity of the clay,reduction might obsure the cool patterns.

Marcia

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

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I just watched another video on the technique.  It looks pretty straight forward, minus the witch's brew that you dunk the pieces in initially. 

 

Are there multiple recipes for the dunking liquid?

 

Also, what would happen if you incorporated a reduction phase, like traditional Raku?

here is the brew:

1 kilo or 2.2 pounds of flour

1 tbsp of sugar

1-2 packets of yeast

10 liters or 2.6 gallons of water

mix, cover and let it ferment for 3 days.

SInce this happens at 1650, colder then raku, and you need the porosity of the clay,reduction might obsure the cool patterns.

Marcia

 

Yeah, that's the recipe, I've seen elsewhere too.  Is that the only recipe though, or can other things be added to the mix?

 

What's the purpose of the yeast?  To make it foamy?

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

I am firing in my small raku kiln which is a little taller than 2/3 of an oil drum. I am thinking of making a smaller one for tests and simple firings. The kiln reaches 1650 in about 45 minutes if I hold back and am not fighting the wind.

Marcia

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

I am firing in my small raku kiln which is a little taller than 2/3 of an oil drum. I am thinking of making a smaller one for tests and simple firings. The kiln reaches 1650 in about 45 minutes if I hold back and am not fighting the wind.

Marcia

 

 

So you don't think I can do Obvara in an open fire pit?

 

Evelyne

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

I am firing in my small raku kiln which is a little taller than 2/3 of an oil drum. I am thinking of making a smaller one for tests and simple firings. The kiln reaches 1650 in about 45 minutes if I hold back and am not fighting the wind.

Marcia

 

 

So you don't think I can do Obvara in an open fire pit?M

Marcia

 

Evelyne

 

If you can get to 1650 F go for it!

I think you would need to stoke a bit.Manolo Sala (Spain) gets copper fluxing in his pit firing of slab, so use a pyrometer and see how hot it really gets.

Marcia

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

I am firing in my small raku kiln which is a little taller than 2/3 of an oil drum. I am thinking of making a smaller one for tests and simple firings. The kiln reaches 1650 in about 45 minutes if I hold back and am not fighting the wind.

Marcia

 

 

So you don't think I can do Obvara in an open fire pit?M

Marcia

 

Evelyne

 

If you can get to 1650 F go for it!

I think you would need to stoke a bit.Manolo Sala (Spain) gets copper fluxing in his pit firing of slab, so use a pyrometer and see how hot it really gets.

Marcia

 

 

Will sure try it one day! Will keep you in the loop (and will google Manolo Sala...). Thanks Marcia!

 

Evelyne

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I 've been playing with Obvara for a little over a year now, that is the recipe.  Approximate amounts is fine,  I have found slight differences in different flours, but not much.  You may want to have a beer on hand to "liven" up the mixture if it looses it fizz or you get delayed a day or two.

I saw that one of the you tubes was you. Thanks for the tip about the beer. The solution smells like a kegger aftermath.I am having fun with the additives to the clay bodies. I find that has quite a lot to do with attracting the markings.

There are quite a few you tubes out there.I am really enjoying doing this.

Marcia

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Just saw this post, so please ignore my asking about the "witch's brew" in my p.m. Marcia. Thank you very much for sharing the receipt. Will sure try it some day... Do you think I can get 1650F in a pit? Want to try the obvara technique also in a pit or a drum instead of a kiln. Taking out the works after, say, 4 hours of pit firing....?

 

Evelyne

I am firing in my small raku kiln which is a little taller than 2/3 of an oil drum. I am thinking of making a smaller one for tests and simple firings. The kiln reaches 1650 in about 45 minutes if I hold back and am not fighting the wind.

Marcia

 

 

So you don't think I can do Obvara in an open fire pit?M

Marcia

 

Evelyne

 

If you can get to 1650 F go for it!

I think you would need to stoke a bit.Manolo Sala (Spain) gets copper fluxing in his pit firing of slab, so use a pyrometer and see how hot it really gets.

Marcia

 

 

Will sure try it one day! Will keep you in the loop (and will google Manolo Sala...). Thanks Marcia!

 

Evelyne

 

Manolo Salas. He is a very excellent ceramic artist with a day job as a tech in a big ceramics factory in Onda.

He developed a glow in the dark glaze for a night club tiled ceiling in Barcelona. I have a test piece on a key chain that he gave me.

Marcia

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As a chemist, I can't see any real reason to ferment the brew you dunk the pots in. Any kind of foaming from the CO2 would not seem to make much difference. The oxidation smoking of the charred organics in the mix is what gives the color.

Has anyone tried it without fermentation?

 

It seems like you could get even more wild effects by adding other chemical to the mix like copper carb or iron chloride. Also thickening with gelatin or even adding cooked angel hair noodles stirred up so they would adhere to the pot when you pulled it out 

 

From the videos I've seen, It looks like the real trick is how long you immerse and quench the piece, and what the temp it actually was when it went in. Some of the pieces in the videos were a heck of a lot cooler than 1600 F.  It looked like, if the pots were cooler, then the patina was more brown and it they were put in real hot, the patina was black, just due to carbon formation. Some of he videos were pretty bad though. Hard to see how how hot the pots were though they didn't seem to be glowing like you would expect at 1600F.

 

I've done a lot of pit fires and 1600F is probably hard to reach but I'm not sure you have to be even very close. I would bet that you can get the same effect even at  eight or nine hundred. It would be worth a try.

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I 've been playing with Obvara for a little over a year now, that is the recipe.  Approximate amounts is fine,  I have found slight differences in different flours, but not much.  You may want to have a beer on hand to "liven" up the mixture if it looses it fizz or you get delayed a day or two.

I saw that one of the you tubes was you. Thanks for the tip about the beer. The solution smells like a kegger aftermath.I am having fun with the additives to the clay bodies. I find that has quite a lot to do with attracting the markings.

There are quite a few you tubes out there.I am really enjoying doing this.

Marcia

 

Your welcome, its been fun to play with and people seem to understand this better than other alternative processes.  We've tried various flours and other ingredients including the traditional beet juice for coloring.  Are you going to demo this in Minneapolis in October?  Wish I could make it, but unable to get the time off this year.

 

Here is the link to the youtube video if anyone wants to watch it, or it's on our web site also.

 

 

Chad

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