[Clayart] Alternatives to hay in primitive kilns

Hank Murrow hmurrow at efn.org
Sun Apr 24 13:45:45 UTC 2022

Dear Carolyn;

Ask that son of yours to secure a bag of sanding dust from a floor finisher in the area.

The fine dust seals off the body from the air, and does not mark the glaze in any way save for color.

I use it to turn the clay in my Tea work very dark grey to reduce the contrast between clay and body.

Cheers, Hank in Eugene

> On Apr 23, 2022, at 8:05 PM, Carolyn Curran <cncpots2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Knowing the challenges I  face with kiln firing flexibility,  my
> designer-metalworker son is treating me  for my 84th birthday to an entire
> day  with a friend's raku kiln  and firing my primitive kilns at his
> workshop   (Then his wife and the grandkids will join us for pizza in the
> new steel brick pizza oven he designed...this potter's dream birthday.)
> I want  to build at least one  mini primitive kiln before the 14th,  since
> my last kiln  sadly had its last firing in CT at my other son's home and
> will become  a  ceramic  waste pile for future archaeologists there.    Hay
> is sort of messy and a pain to chop up  in a communal studio, and I'm
> wondering if other sources of cellulose might work.  What about sawdust if
> I can't find things like  pine needles or leaves on "campus" here?   Paper
> from a shredder?  It might be fun to try old coffee grounds, as the aroma
> during the firing would be rather pleasant!    I plan on  reconstituting
> some scrap sculpture clay adding vermiculite to  lighten it, but I also
> want the tensile strength given by the hay.  No time for  experiments this
> time and no car  to use for venturing far afield for materials,  so I
> again  seek suggestions from  the Clay Art  community.  Cheers, all,
> Carolyn
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