Sunday, February 14, 2010

mud and kilns.

I went out with my wife yesterday to a small town called Buffalo Gap, about 10 minutes from us to dig some red clay. When I was in college this older lady told me about this red clay she dug up from out there that was the most beautiful tenmoku type glaze at cone 10, so now 8 years later I've finally gotten out there to dig some up. I went with the intention of digging various samples from different areas but most creek beds and areas where it's easily obtained are on private property, farms and ranches mostly. Texans like to shoot people and ask questions later so I decided that one sample from the property of some friends was enough for now. Theoretically it's all going to be somewhat similar in that region anyways...I think.



I've glazed and decorated all the pots for the next firing...I think I have a couple big bowls left actually...well anyways: I'm not real happy with my decorating, some of it is derivative and some I just plain don't like. They're not bad, I'll fire them and sell them but I'm just not happy with them. I'll start loading soon, I'd like to fire asap. I have my first show of the season in early March and I'd like to be stocked up.




Since I don't have too much to share with regards to my own work I'll write a little more about one of the kiln's we're building. This is my 10th kiln to build, including my own and the 3rd car kiln. I am by no means a master kiln builder but at this stage I can hold my own.

I'm trying a few new things in this kiln, some ideas came from seeing how other kilns I've built have worn over time and some I've stolen from other sources. I stole this idea of alternating full bricks and soaps on the end of the wall from Donovan Palmquist after seeing the wear on an old kiln I built. I think this will prove to be much more durable. I've also stolen/adapted a couple other of his ideas which won't be implemented until the later on.


Another idea I've adapted is the the cork fit floor. I got the idea from "The Art of Firing" by Nils Lou which for the most part is a pretty terrible book, I wouldn't suggest buying it. I'll leave my review at that. Here is a short little video showing how the floor of the kiln/car works.




Cheers!

8 comments:

Ron said...

Kiln is looking good. I followed Nils book when I built my reduction kiln and really liked that cork floor. A car is really the way to go. Loading is a breeze. I have a friend who recently built a bourry box wood kiln with a car. I'm gonna try and go visit it soon. Looking forward to your next firing.

FetishGhost said...

I always love kiln porno... Thanks, It's a great Valentine's Day special.

Linda Starr said...

amazing you went to dig that clay 8 years later. as we've been driving along the highways I've seen a lot of clay pits and thought about jumping off the highway and getting a bit to take with me. one of these days I plan on doing that and some testing.

tagskie said...

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Michael Kline said...

I like the strip-ed cups! Classic.

Also the video was a real treat. Terry Gess built a cork fit salt kiln. Didn't work out so well and he finally replaced the floor with a conventional non-car floor.

brandon phillips said...

was it the car/floor itself or because it was a salt kiln? i'd be curious to know.

Michael Kline said...

Brandon: I don't know what came first to cause problems. I do know that Terry's kiln and/or the car shifted and the car would get stuck. Also I remember Gay Smith having similar issues with her salt kiln/car kiln. Sorry I can't be more help. Otherwise I think Terry's kiln worked pretty well and the steel parts weren't affected by the salt. But Terry would have to answer any specific questions. I'll see him on Weds. and try to remember to ask!

DetClayCo said...

Thank you for posting you kiln video, very exciting !