January 29th smoke firing workshop

We lucked out during today’s smoke firing workshop because the moment we had lit the barrel, the rain came pouring down.

The technique we used is quite simple; bisque fired work is painted with copper, iron and manganese oxide and then placed in a smoke chamber along with colour enhancing ingredients such as coffee grinds, copper wire, salt, soot, sea weed and hydrangea heads. We made salt and coffee bombs ( salt and coffee grinds wrapped in a sheet of newspaper) which we placed inside and beside the vessels so that when they get hot they will burst and give the ceramics an intense blast of colour.

Once the ceramics are placed on a layer of sawdust another layer of sawdust is poured on top…

Some newspaper is torn up and placed on top…

It is lit….

And once the sawdust catches fire, it is time to replace the lid so that the sawdust will glow and smoulder rather than burn, allowing the smoke to decorate the surfaces. The barrel will reach about 8-900 degrees Celsius.

My next sculpture and smoke firing workshop will take place at Dudley Road studios on Sunday 12th February and there will be a plate making workshop on Sunday 5th February. To find out more please go here


About Anna

I am a ceramic sculptor living on the South coast near London, England. My work is influenced by my experience of the earth as a living being and seeing how we are all connected with eachother and with the things that surround us. I create ceramic torsos using molochite clay which I often smokefire in galvanised dustbins. I also make House Gods to protect and amuse, and Fat Birds - little smokefired sculptures that tell the story about what it is like to be a fat bird at peace with its surroundings.
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