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Saturday, June 5, 2010

To Bin Or Not To Bin?

Slightly misleading title. What I mean is to fire in my garden incinerator bin or not.
This week to prepare for my first barrel firing I have thrown a number of test pieces. I have just taken them out of the kiln after the bisc firing along with the other pots I have produced over the last couple of weeks.

So here is everything just out of the kiln (well, almost everything as you'll see shortly). The front eight pots are those I threw to use as practise pots in the barrel firing. Fortunately this week has been baking hot so I popped them outside to dry the day after I threw them and they were bone dry after a few hours. The following day I applied terra sigillata and loaded them into the kiln.
I'm happy with the results. From a ball of clay to fired pots in three days!

Here is a close up of the frog and lizard. I'm going to put these to one side for glazing later. I can see a couple of faults which glazing will cure (I hope!).

And here is the small fish pot. I applied another couple of layers of t.sig to it before firing. I'm happy with the result and I think it may well be improved by barrel firing. I'll let you know after comparing the results from the test, which I hope to do in the next couple of days.

Finally here is the big fish pot. I think this is the best pot I've thrown thus far. It is a good weight and feels very good to handle (if you know what I mean?).
At the end of this week I threw another couple of these pots, which I have wrapped up and put on the shelf for next week.
I have had another epiphany this week: My throwing technique has reached another milestone and the pots I'm producing are much better. It's strange how your throwing can evolve. All of a sudden I found I had stopped using my knuckle to lift and had changed to finger tips instead. I'm not sure when it happened; I think, maybe after my stint throwing off the hump. I can't tell you for sure that it's a good technique, but it gives me much better feedback as to the thickness of the pot wall as I raise it.
Anyway, before I start writing a throwing thesis I should stop.
Thanks as always for visiting. I'll show you the results of the barrel firing this next week (If it doesn't pour with rain; fingers crossed). I've also shot another video which I'll probably post in the next couple of days.


  1. I can't wait to see the finished pots. They all look great.

  2. Beautiful!!!! What a treat to see so many fantastic pots. I want all of your animal pots. The fish pots are nothing short of AWESOME! Are you going to barrel fire the animal pots? From what I read, barrel firing can be tough on the pots.
    I pull mostly with my fingers, but I'm working on a larger piece, I use my knuckle for added strength. I think I change my throwing style with just about every pot.. lol.
    :) Cindy

  3. i absolutely love those fish pots! as for the throwing, i've taught myself and have no doubt i've got some funky hand positions going on. i do use my fingertips, but i also put my right thumb on the pot as i'm pulling up, just seems to help stabilize it. works for me!


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