Earth, Fire, Wind and Water
ALTERNATIVE FIRING -
Is a captivating alliance with nature and the elements.
The artwork is a collaboration between Artist and Mother Nature.
Examples of - achievable colours on textures from barrel firing.
Artwork must be made of strong stoneware clay with a
tolerance for high temperatures as it will be in direct contact with the fire and flame throughout the process.
Pit firing though serendipitous in nature, allows the artist direct involvement throughout most of the process with the opportunity to influence the final outcome to a certain degree.
The influencing factor - depending on what outcome you desire, you can add other materials such as salts, carbonates, oxides, metals, organic matter etc placed around and in close proximity to the surface of the pots.
NOTE: It it critical to get the desired heat, so make a good fire with lots of wood and pack well. I stoke and keep throwing timber on the fire and keep it roaring for around about an hour. This is usually ample time for the fire to reach the desired temperature, then I let it settle till it dies down to ash and cinders then put a metal sheet over the barrel 3/4 covering it and leave it. As the fire dies down the pieces settle in the ashes which is when the salts, chemicals and organic matter start to react with each other and work their magic. Wait till the ashes are cold, retrieve your work and clean.
Wearing a mask, appropriate clothing and safety gear is essential when working with an open fire. The heat can be intense. Always have a hose at the ready for safety. When dealing with salts and chemicals in a toxic state, health and safety is always paramount.