[Clayart] Bisque firing story

design at saultman.com design at saultman.com
Sun Jul 28 23:39:19 EDT 2019


In 1974 I was just learning to be a potter. At a country farmhouse pottery studio in Howell, Michigan, I built a catenary kiln, from used fire bricks I found at a derelict foundry in Ann Arbor. I built it in an old out-building on the farms’ property. I used atmospheric burners from a Daniel Rhodes book. Propane.
While I waited for my two potters wheel order to arrive from Estrin, in Canada. We built a kiln-load of pieces that were all hand-built. Hours of careful work.
Having never fired a bisque firing in the new kiln I sadly, fired it too hot and blew up every single piece. When I opened the kiln It was like a hand grenade had gone off in there.
There was sadness, there was learning. It was long ago. I don’t hurt from it anymore. It was a moment in time when I was learning. I have blown up stuff in firings that served as bookmarks in my career. That one sticks in my mind.

Dan



Dan Saultman
Saultman Design, Inc.
Limited edition ceramic products for home & office.
www.saultman.com
Clinton Twp., MI



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