Technique article
An account of firing in a Paper Kiln
Inspiration
My pots have been inspired by the firemarkings on pots from the Indian Subcontinent and the colour flashes from pitfired pots. Digging pits and building bonfires are not neighbour friendly activities in a suburban garden so I have developed an alternative approach.
Making
The pots are thrown on an electric wheel using white stoneware clay. They are trimmed and burnished when leather hard and fired in an electric kiln to 920c. They are then re-fired in my garden using a paper kiln.
The Kiln
I make the kiln by tightly rolling newspapers into circles which I stack like an alibaba basket about 18" high. This is placed on sawdust in a square of housebricks. The pots go in pure white with rags, straw, seaweed and packets of copper sulphate and salt. Small pieces of wood and loose paper are put around them and the whole structure set alight. It is covered with a corrugated iron sheet and left to cool. Next day there is always excitement when the kiln is opened to see what the combination of copper, salt and fire has done to the pots.
Finishing
They are finally washed and polished with beeswax to protect them.
Care of unglazed pots.
The pots are low fired and unglazed and although strong, are porous and purely ornamental.
They should not be used for water, food or drink.
They should not be placed in direct sunlight.
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On this site you can find all you need to know about the London and Kent based potter. Through the site you can view Jane's latest work and see where she is exhibiting.
You can read about Jane's techniques and firing process. There are also accounts of her research into the pottery techniques of South Asia where the design and manufacture of pots have remained unchanged for centuries.
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Exhibiting information, workshops and latest work
26th May 2017 Kent Potter's Exhibition
Hall Place, Bexley, Kent