working to carry on

The past two years have had my attention on family medical concerns. A few months ago I had to say good-bye to my soul partner, after 29 years. I know getting back on the Potter’s Wheel is an important step, both as an honour to creation and an honour to love, which is eternal.

So with that, I am working to carry on, to create, to express, to live. I signed up for another semester with Clayscapes Pottery in Syracuse. I hope to maintain the ‘no expectation’ level, as this experience will be cherished as much as possible.

I chose Clayscapes Pottery because the people there are consistently welcoming, and friendly. I encourage anyone in need of a creative outlet, or tools and equipment for creation of pottery, to check out their website.

Vitrification

An Even-Weirder-Than-Usual Tardigrade Just Turned Up in a Parking Lot |  Space

Vitrification

Attention!

I did not realize that once I delved into the realm of VITRIFICATION (in terms of clay) that I would first encounter the wonderful beautiful magnificent being known as the Tardigrade.. because they have Biological Vitrification!

Imagine that… what does THAT mean? 😀

Imagine Dragons | Official Site
Imagine Dragons!

On a side note I think the Tardigrade is kinda odd-cute, with so much for humanity to learn more about it. And the name reminds me of Dr. Who’s Tardis .. interesting pairing, don’t cha think? But I digress LOL

1963 TARDIS Police Box Exterior

In this post I’m referencing Vitrification regarding Clay. And I found some new insightful information that expands the knowledge base – from Facebook of all places! A great launching pad for sure.

Here is the one tiny tidbit of knowledge to expand or support your understanding Clay Vitrification:

A. Miller (posted in the Pottery Heads Facebook Group, Aug. 28, 2020) “Check your clay manufacturers website for Absorption Rate. The lower the better. Greater than 3 is problematic for anything you want to hold liquid (vase, mug).You can also test for it by weighing your ware dry and weighing it after being submerged.”

Excellent info A. Miller, thanks!

UPDATE!

Image
https://twitter.com/ScienceIsNew/status/1366920471665516544?s=20

“Tardigrade innards are highlighted in this stunning fluorescence image that was a regional winner of the 2019 Olympus Image of the Year Award. The green is the natural fluorescence of their tough chitin cuticle, which also takes up the blue stain.

1127 – 1279

What were your ancestors doing in the years 1127 a.d. thru 1279 a.d. (152 years)?

A sunken chinese merchant ship was found in 1987, the first ancient ship found along the Maritime Silk Road. Among the contents were 60,000 to 80,000 precious cargo, especially ceramics (The Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum)!

Each piece made by hand.

Marveling at the number of hours invested to create each piece.

Imagining the life of one day of one chinese potter.

Check out some of the finds:

Here is from the Facebook page:

Starting Out small

Three exciting Kiln projects!

  • Converted Electric Kiln to Raku Kiln
  • Old gifted Electric Kiln
  • Pit Fire

Firstly, while flying by the seat of my pants I am going to build a small hard fire brick pit fire (much smaller than the photo above). I think two of the bigger things I’m slightly giddy about are what oxides I’m going to add to combustibles and whether/how to do Sagar with tin foil with dried banana peels!

Recently the Universe blessed me with the meeting of two very lovely people, “George and Patty” who sold me their lot of hard fire bricks. George is a potter who had created some amazing pieces, two of which I was graced with seeing up close and personal. This adventure was truly a gift on multiple levels. Two trips to load up these bricks with my oldest grandson has brought me priceless treasured memories to cherish the rest of my days.

Thank you George!

Do you wanna build a Snowman?

How about some figurines?

Pieces fired in the initial firings are TOTALLY experimental. In other words it’ll be an exercise in LETTING GO. Wanna join me?

Here’s an interesting thought… how much BTU will be consumed in a 1.4 cubic foot container (aka the Pit Fire) per hour? http://www.kylesconverter.com/energy,-work,-and-heat/cubic-yards-of-atmosphere And what is a BTU? LOL (answer: British Thermal Unit) “Most common use of term BTU in everyday language. Energy required to raise the temperature of 1lb of water by 1°F. Approximately 1.05505585262 x 103 Joules (SI).” Okay that was fun to tossle around in my brain before I refocused on the next step… which is to choose an option for an insulating variable.

Ceramic Fiber Board vs Ceramic Fiber Blanket (1″ #8 density with ITC undefined https://amzn.to/2NLNmnA) vs justICT) or just 100 ITC… or just “wing it” LOL!

Pit Fire Passion

The passion potters possess pertaining to pit fire pottery is a hot topic! The more I work toward this direction the more excitement builds – tempered with the grounding mantra “it’s an experiment” of course.

Here is a great example of awesome pit fire work, found on Facebook, Guarnera Potter – be sure to check out his other pieces on Facebook!

Kiln Kilts and Kits

A fun update on all three

Kilns

Excitement builds as bricks lay heavy in my mind.
In a good way.

Building a pit-fire kiln has tickled the daydreaming niches of possibilities.
Almost every day.

This book is hard to find
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But I bought it anyway.

And this Blog
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Inspired me in many ways!

Kilts

Always thought it would be fashionable to wear one of these – especially with the bold colors, strong patterns, with some hanging chains of some kind of functionality and maybe even a throwing axe? LOL


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Kits

Yes, the next step towards converting an electric kiln to a Raku kiln is getting a burner kit. A few options exist, including the:


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Raku Burner Kit from Axner.com


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Ward Burner B3 Dual Burner System

Next steps for electric kiln to Raku conversion:

  • Remove the wire elements
  • Fill in or patch areas where soft (insulating) brick is thin or missing
  • Drill hole in metal and insulating bricks… maybe at a slight angle so the fire/flames circulate inside the kiln OR keep straight on. Either way it may be important to have an angled soft (insulating) brick to direct the flames to affect more wares
  • Refit the lid with ceramic fiber and/or other do other repairs.
  • Add wheels to the kiln stand
  • Secure the kiln to the kiln stand
  • Create a wooden ramp from the kiln storage area to the outside
  • Bonus: Possibly create a lid-sliding feature to act as a quick storage feature when opening the kiln during a fire
  • *During this time, I’ll start collecting dried organic combustibles, including, but not limited to: newspaper, sawdust, pine needles, and dried leaves. Closer to the firing time I plan to use discarded banana peels too. The great thing about this is to experiment (with care).

Raku note, tidbits and infor:

Blog, tips: https://www.lickinflames.com/raku.html

Overview: CeramicArtsDaily.org https://oneidashark.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/1cbf6-rakufiring2014.pdf