[Clayart] firing discussion

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Fri Oct 16 06:53:29 EDT 2020

remember folks, fire and heat are the heart of ceramics.  for those of us
that have been around, we have made our own fire.  we had to learn from the
"ground up".  it seems very foreign for us to just push the button and wait
for the pots to be done.  and then hope for a shot at the cover of cm.

we piled the bricks, took them down and re-piled them. we tried all sorts
of things.  from pit fire, smoke, salt and wood.  it was great fun and full
of adventure and hard work, and often total failure.
but, we kept on moving forward.

i remember telling nils lou..."bed frame metal, and 1/4 all thread will not hold
up a kiln roof".  well, it worked, but we did change to heavy duty metal frame and
welding. three inch angle iron and half inch all thread rod.  then 4" and 3/4"
you sleep better with 3/4" all thread rod holding your kiln in place.

some of you may remember that a couple of years back i ripped the computer controller
off my small kiln and threw it in the garbage truck that was loading on my street.
it was the first time i experienced "mind control".  the computer on the kiln knew
better than me how fire my kiln. that did not last very long.  i killed it. nailed it
with a hatchet. that really felt good. arnold howard went nuts laughing at me.

so these discussions are good for all.  it is about the history of firing
over the last 60 years.  and, the last line of the story is:
figure out how to fire what you make, so it works for you. the total sequence
of making anything is your responsibility. there is no magic formula.
waiting for the temp to rise above 30 so my clay is not full of ice.
geez, early fall. i have to get my one toe shoes on, head band and
some sort of gown that was made in japan/ zen boy.  i am going to spend a few days
in deep zen thought, and make T bowls, chawan...well, no. it is not about
a costume, it is about learned behavior...get to work.  see what shakes out of the bag?

website: www.melpots.com

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