[Clayart] Alternatives to hay in primitive kilns

Carolyn Curran cncpots2 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 17:44:39 UTC 2022

Thanks for the tip!   I was thinking of using newsprint  if all else
failed, although   I doubt that  old  newspapers have much in the way of
additives, though ...maybe  innocuous soybean in ink, maybe?  I know
there's kaolin in some of the high grade paper...and probably they manage
to sneak in things like plastic in some form.

 I was so elated to be able to have a very successful firing in   my ugly
little kiln while at son's home at Easter and look forward to birthday
firings at youngest son's workshop  in mif May.  . He has not been able to
"host" a firing because his shop has been so busy that  my presence would
be attractive nuisance distracting the men who work for him!  Hopefully   I
can build some  sculptural kilns at my home  studio  this summer and find
places to fire  them.

Regards and thanks again for your reply.


On Sun, Apr 24, 2022 at 11:32 AM Robert Harris <robertgharris at gmail.com>

> Sounds like others have made great suggestions. ONe thing I would warn.
> Don't use paper. Most paper has a lot of additives (often clay, but not the
> helpful kind!).
> On Sun, 24 Apr 2022 at 05:17, 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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