Thursday, May 6, 2010
Very Hot Pots
These are some very hot pots, about 1800F sitting in the raku kiln. I didn't have any bisque pots except in porcelain, which isn't the best clay for raku, so I observed the raku firing last night with my camera.
When I first read about raku I was a bit intimidated by the heat of the pots, sensing danger, but not any more. As long as you're careful and organized, the process goes smoothly. The instant gratification is a bit like the barrel firings I've done only more instantaneous. I can't wait till the next firing.
The pots are removed from the kiln with tongs when they are red hot and are placed in a reduction chamber. In this case the chamber is a metal trash can filled with shredded newspaper. The paper flames up and then the lid of the can is put on tightly reducing the oxygen in the can which causes great things to happen with the glazes and the pot surfaces.
Here's some horsehair application taking place. The hot pot is taken from the kiln and horsehair is placed against the surface, the heat immediately melts the horsehair onto the pot and causes the characteristic random squiggly lines seen in horsehair pottery.
Some of the finished pots. The upper left pot has copper sand glaze on the body with white crackle on top. The small pots in the foreground are firecracker pots. The pots are made and a firecracker is lit in them when they are green? I'm sure I'll learn more about that process too. Comments and suggestions are welcome.