Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another firing... More oil drip reduction pots, and something rather special!

I was doing an oil drip reduction firing at the time that I wrote my last post.  Happily this was another really good firing, so here are some photos of pots from that. 

Vase H 170mm x W 180mm (6 3/4 x 7 1/8")

The kiln was in reduction for 2 hours rather than the three of the first firing, and I finished reduction about 20 degrees higher than the time before. 

Vase with copper coloured crystals H 300mm x W 220mm (12" x 8 3/4")

Both the pots and the kiln were much cleaner than after the first attempt. 

Bottle H 230mm x W 150mm (9 1/8" x 6")

Finishing reduction at a slightly hotter temperature gave more chance to burn off excess carbon from the pots and the kiln.  So there was very little cleaning to do when I unloaded.  In the first firing, there was a lot of carbon on the kiln walls and on two of the pots.

In my post of July 25th I mentioned that we had a delightful young couple stay with us recently.  On their last morning here, Jean-Francois and Yuka brought out a selection of interesting musical instruments and played them.  I made a little video at the time, and thought that you might enjoy seeing it too.  Featured are a Didgeridoo, a drum from Egypt, two types of Jew's harps, and some rattles from Africa. 


gz said...

It is sometimes surprising how such a small change in the firing makes such a difference

Paul Jessop said...

Hi Peter, the Glazes look amazing. and the music is a real treat.

Peter said...

Hi Gwynneth,
It certainly is, I guess it is one good reason for keeping a kiln log book handy when firing. It was great having an almost clean kiln the second time around. First time I was quite concerned about the carbon build up.

Hi Paul,
Lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the nice comment, and glad you enjoyed the music. Having those lovely people playing music was a moment that I will certainly always treasure.

Linda Starr said...

Those pots are amazing, you're really on to something here, love the shiny crystals, back to listen to the music.

Linda Starr said...

Wonderful to hear the various musical instruments, those rattles I was just imagining myself playing them and hitting my hands and face, one must be very coordinated to play them.

Tracey Broome said...

Wow, Peter, these pots are crazy! They look like raku in a way, lovely!
Love the didgeridoo, I have a friend that plays one.

am said...

breathtaking...thank you for sharing!

Angie said...

That copper crystal vase(12x81/2) is one of my top favourites both the shape and colour.

That video was so interesting ...his ability to play the Didgeridoo is amazing ...the rattles were fun too. .... so glad you caught him on camera.

ang walford said...

yeh what a firing!!! your crystal glazes are amazing peter and the reduction glazes I've never seen anyone do those da man :))

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter...its great to join your blog, watch you make a pot and listen to the didgeridoo again.
Fascinating :)
I used the mugs when we arrived home tonight, and I am still in love with that wonderful teapot...well, maybe 'in love' is a bit of an overstatement... but I will have one at some point in time!
Your blogs are entertaining. I enjoyed meeting you and seeing your gallery. Gorgeous work!
Let me know whenever you're doing wine goblets, and I'll order some.
All the best, Sue

Sue said...

Oops...that previous comment was from anonymous! Sorry, I am Mark's sister, Sue

Sylwia said...


Peter said...

Hi Linda,
I see that you thought the same way as me regarding the rattles! I was imagining the tangle that I would get into if I attempted to play them! It was a brilliant little performance!

Hi Tracey,
I keep thinking about the fact that it seems possible to fire "useful" raku this way. The little wood-fired kiln that I also experimented with doing an extra reduction firing for crystalline work, produced something between a pit fired look and raku... and the great thing about it is that the work is high fired, vitrified and strong!

Hi Andrzej,
Thank you so much for your kind comment, I appreciate your encouragement very much.

Hello Angie,
It is a lovely thought for me that the fantastic sound of the didgeridoo has made it as far North as Scotland:). I think it would actually blend with the bagpipes in a really intriguing way (seriously).

Gidday Ang,
Great to hear from you. Yow...Tanks for Da Props! :)

Hello Sue,
Welcome to my (sometimes crazy) site. Really lovely to have met you and Lance, and I am glad that the mugs are in use already! Hey, nothing wrong in falling in love with a a species they are often warm, round, cuddly and contentedly middle aged!
Wine goblets shouldn't be too far in the distant future, hoping to be able to squeeze in some time on the wheel soon. As to anonymous.. I knew who you were! P :)

Hi Sylwia,
It is really nice to hear from you, thank you so much for staying in touch.

cookingwithgas said...

WOW Peter! I love the results.
In the area I live many of the older potters used oil to fire.
They did not understand "reduction" back then and sometimes wondered at their results.
Most moved to electric and gas later but those oil fired pots had some real character to them.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Another batch of beautiful pots!

I very much enjoyed your video and the music. I was intrigued by the young man's seemingly uninterrupted flow of breath into the didgeridoo, and I loved the sound of it.

Peter said...

Hi Meredith,
In this environmentally enlightened age I must admit to guiltily hankering after firing with oil for my stoneware pots. I have seen old oil fired pots here too, and they really had something! Electric and gas do mostly seem "colder" somehow... I think that a little fire, smoke, and the odd trace of heavy metal really helps!

Hello Pat,
The breath control was amazing. I am told there is a technique used by didgeridoo players called "circular breathing". A rather neat mental image just formed whilst typing that! Essentially the art of blowing out air whilst also taking air in has to be mastered. A friend from Florida told me that when he started to learn the didgeridoo he practised for about two weeks with a glass of water and a straw. He had to get to where he could produce a continuous stream of bubbles in the water whilst continuing to breathe


Opps, that very descriptive series of letters and numbers was Nigella Stopit's first attempt at descriptive poetry, and it seemed to suggest the stream of bubbles rather well! She jumped onto the keyboard whilst I was writing!

PS when I write "didgeridoo" the spell check suggests "Coleridge"... quite funny really!

John said...

Yay! That is one highly talented cat you have there!
I well remember (60 years back) trying to learn the art of continuous breathing (in through the nose; out through the mouth) for reducing small ore samples, using a blow pipe to direct a very hot jet from a gas flame onto the powder in a hollow on a carbon block. The usual result was a shower of powder + apoplectic student, so I'm full of admiration for all didgeridooists!
... also for the innovative potter who is turning out great work. Keep it up!

Peter said...

Hello John (Dad??!),
I love the description of the scientific use of continuous breathing, had I only realised your capabilities a few years ago, we could have built a gas kiln with human powered forced air blowers!

As to the talented cat, I am sure that Nigella will become a poet before long, she has the appropriate complex artistic personality, full of light and brooding shadow!

Rhonda Beck. said...

Love your blog Peter.Such beautiful work! Magic!

Peter said...

Hello Rhonda,
Thanks for all your encouragement, and a big welcome to my site!