Ceramic smoke firing workshop

So Janet arrived from Newcastle with a crate full of bisque fired ceramic work which she wanted to smoke fire here at my studios in HastingsDSCN0963_edited

All these vessels are made from grogged crank, except the piece to the far right, which is white stone ware. Janet’s local pottery bisque fired them to about 1000 C, but they couldn’t help her with the smoke firing.
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Janet used manganese, copper, red and violet iron oxide and copper carbonate to decorate the pots before they were placed in a galvanised dustbin. We made some salt bombs (pour some salt into some newspaper, scrunch up and place next to your object), added coffee grinds, soot and hydrangea heads and then we filled the dustbin with sawdust…and

 

set fire to it!
Once the sawdust catches fire, you can replace the lid. The whole idea is to starve the atmosphere of oxygen. This will add fabulous effects to the ceramics inside the smoke chamber.
The picture to the right shows what we found the next morning!
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Here they all are, lined up on the patio in the early morning drizzle.
And after a good wash we start to see their true beauty;
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I really adore this one.
The orange and yellow markings are manganese oxide and the black is from the fire. The white sparky bits that look like the night sky are the effects of the salt bombs exploding inside the bin.
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This piece is dominated by red iron oxide; I think the brown bits are manganese and copper oxide. I love the markings the fire left behind.
If you want to come to Hastings to play with clay, then please contact me here.
And if you need somewhere to stay, I run an Airbnb, which you can find here

www.annakeiller.com

 

 

 

 

 

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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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